I use my Pi in a headless setup , mainly using ssh. When plugged the usb wifi dongle , the have recognized it (how btw?) and wicd-curses enumerated all visible networks. however, when I choose a network my eth based connection of ssh shuts down. how can I do it without interfering the eth connection?

  • This is perfectly doable, although I'm not sure how wicd works. I use wpa_supplicant and it works without extra configuration, by just plugging the wifi adapter or the ethernet cable
    – foibs
    Jan 8, 2014 at 11:40
  • No a power issue could cause the ethernet connection to drop. I would suggest this is likely the problem. You can diagnose this by following this guide elinux.org/R-Pi_Troubleshooting#Troubleshooting_power_problems. Feb 18, 2015 at 1:32

2 Answers 2


The reason SSH stops working when you switch interfaces is because each one has a different IP. The SSH connection is active to the old IP each time, but because that interface is down it no longer works. If you configured both interfaces with a static IP address, it may get around the problem, but you'd have to ensure that both interfaces were never up at the same time or you'd loose access completely.


If you are using Arch on your Pi, just run wifi-menu and choose yout network. On the other hand, if using Debian/Raspberry just use wpa-supplicant.

Be sure your problem is related to wice-curses and not to a power issue.

  • Power issue would cause the Raspberry Pi to reset, right? Not just the ethernet to fail for a second or drop connections?
    – M. Mimpen
    Mar 12, 2014 at 11:03
  • 1
    @M.Mimpen no, actually it's more likely to cause Ethernet issues - the reason being that the Ethernet portion of the Pi runs off of 5v, whereas mostly everything else runs off of 3v3 - the 3v3 may still have a nice clean voltage at 3v3 even if the voltage drops slightly since there is a regulator which has 1.7v to work with normally, but will function with less - the Ethernet, however will suffer first. The other exceptions are usb devices, which while they typically run at 5v, many will work just fine at 3v3 as well (sometimes long/bad cables cause voltage sag on them). Apr 5, 2015 at 16:56

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