I'm trying to add an additional network to a Raspberry Pi 4 running Buster that I use on my home network that I am travelling with. The location I am staying in appears to have Wifi delivered via a wifi extender so I don't have access to the router itself, just the network ID and password and the actual device itself in the rental unit. I have attempted to add another network the wpa_supplicant.conf file as well as adding an IP address I think is free (based on the IP's my phone and laptop take up). The issue is that a network scan doesn't show the Pi on the network and I can't ssh into the Pi either on it's previous or the new static IP. I have edited the wpa_supplicant using ubuntu on WSL, and the cmdline.txt via Windows notepad. The network itself appears to be broadcasting 5G and the device is in the same room as the network extender less than 5 meters away, so I don't think bandwidth or distance are a factor.

What I'm not sure about is if either of these methods are appropriate to update the settings, and or if the issue has to do with a network configuration I don't have access to, but I think that with the correct password and SSID.


Addressing questions in the comments:

  1. I modified both the wpa_supplicant.conf and cmdline.txt files through different processes because I thought that my issue might be with my previously setting of static IP on my home network. This was a trying everything till something worked process.
  2. I chose to set a static IP for my own ease of use, to avoid updating ssh commands and other IP based configurations when the Pi is turned off. If there's a more efficient way of achieving this, I'm very happy to learn it.
  3. I don't currently have a way to interface with the Pi besides modifying the SD card and I don't want to reimage the SD to preserve it's current software set up.

My current wpa_supplicant.conf looks like this:

ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev



I've double checked the SSID and passwords, so besides a potential conflict with the network bandwidth I'm not sure where my problem could be. My Pi is a Pi 4, so I don't think the network band is the issue.

  • why did you edit cmdline.txt? and why did you use notepad in windows? and why would the pi need a static IP if your phone and laptop both manage to get an IP without having a static one configured? Nov 8, 2022 at 22:33
  • Please add details the are facts not just, " I have added..." ! Be more precise. Thx
    – MatsK
    Nov 8, 2022 at 22:34
  • See How to set up Static IP Address BUT note the caveats. As you have discovered static IP (which are a Pi disease) DON'T make things easier!
    – Milliways
    Nov 8, 2022 at 23:23
  • Does this answer your question? How do I set up networking/WiFi/static IP address on Raspbian/Raspberry Pi OS?
    – Dougie
    Nov 9, 2022 at 9:53
  • "adding an IP address I think is freei" -> Just trying to use an IP address that isn't otherwise assigned doesn't automagically work. You can ask a DHCP server for a specific address, but generally for this to work consistently you need to register your MAC address via the router configuration (which you cannot do in this case). As per previous comments, things will probably go better if you just ask to be assigned whatever address the DHCP server wants to give you (which is what DHCP is for).
    – goldilocks
    Nov 9, 2022 at 13:23

1 Answer 1


So, in my case the issue came down not the with Wifi settings, but the fact that I'd set the Pi to use a static IP on my home network. Having read more about this, I see why this is a non-ideal approach and is better handled through settings on the router itself for predictable IP assignment. As I am traveling with the Pi, I didn't have ssh access to the OS. My choices came down to using software to mount ext4 files on my widows computer and editing the DHCPCD settings, using the cmdline.txt with an .sh file as suggested by this post on this SO. Alternatives could have been to buy some network cables and connect the Pi to the wifi extender, or alternatively physically connect to the Pi itself but where I'm travelling at the moment would have meant ordering online and waiting.

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