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I was trying to set up a headless Raspi 3 by putting my wpa_supplicant.conf into rootfs/etc/wpa_supplicant/, but it only started working once I put it into the boot partition.

I thought the OS would just copy the file to /etc/wpa..., although there seems to be a bit more logic that I did not consider. Could anyone explain to me what happens at boot with that wpa_supplicant.conf besides simple copying and why directly putting it there didn't work?

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    why directly putting it there didn't work - perhaps you did something wrong when you did this - it should work just as well – Jaromanda X Mar 18 at 1:09
  • The directory rootfs/etc/wpa_supplicant/ is wrong. You have to put it into /etc/wpa_supplicant/. What error messages do you get? – Ingo Mar 19 at 13:10
  • the rootfs part meant the partition, so the dir was correct. I did not see any errors since the setup was headless... – Daniel D. Mar 19 at 15:11
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At boot Raspbian will copy wpa_supplicant.conf from the FAT partition containing the bootloader etc. overwriting any existing file in /etc/wpa_supplicant/ otherwise /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf will remain unchanged.

Whether it works depends on HOW you "put it there".

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