(Using ubuntu 14 on a laptop) I followed this guide to set up my wifi by sshing into the pi via ethernet. I checked my routers networks settings and it showed two ip addresses from the pi, and I could ssh into the wireless address without a problem.

When I unlplugged the ethernet and restarted the pi the wifi address does not show up, and I can't ssh in.

I tried restarting it with and without ethernet with the same results. whats happening?

Here is my interfaces file:

auto lo

iface lo inet loopback
iface eth0 inet dhcp

allow-hotplug wlan0
auto wlan0

iface wlan0 inet dhcp
wpa-ssid "Patty likes oldman"
wpa-psk "analrapist"
wpa-roam /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

iface default inet dhcp

Here is my wpa_supplicant.conf file:

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

ssid="Patty like oldman"

# Protocol type can be: RSN (for WP2) and WPA (for WPA1)

# Key management type can be: WPA-PSK or WPA-EAP (Pre-Shared or Enterprise)

# Pairwise can be CCMP or TKIP (for WPA2 or WPA1)

#Authorization option should be OPEN for both WPA1/WPA2 (in less commonly used $
  • Without knowing what you did noone can say. There are hundreds of guides on setting up IP on the Pi, most wrong.
    – Milliways
    Feb 27, 2015 at 1:08
  • added the guide used
    – tkelly003
    Feb 27, 2015 at 3:28
  • what do you mean by turn on? power turns on or accessibility over network?
    – askmish
    Feb 27, 2015 at 4:11
  • it flashes blue when it is working and accessible over the network, it only does this when ethernet is also plugged in
    – tkelly003
    Feb 27, 2015 at 4:15

1 Answer 1


This applies to Raspbian Wheezy prior to 2015-05-05 for later (and Jessie) See How do I set up networking/WiFi/Static IP

This SHOULD work, but without seeing your /etc/network/interfaces it is hard to know.

I do not think this is the best option. I suggest /etc/network/interfaces should contain

allow-hotplug wlan0
auto wlan0
iface wlan0 inet manual
wpa-roam /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

iface default inet dhcp

wpa-roam will keep trying to reconnect when it finds no wired network.

wpa-conf option will not keep reconnecting.

It is difficult to find the documentation for these commands.

  • 1
    so I shouldn't put the password ssid and psk in the interfaces file? will it just get them from wpa_supplicant.conf?
    – tkelly003
    Feb 27, 2015 at 4:04
  • There are many ways to do this. Anyone can read /etc/network/interfaces so this is a security risk. In addition you can put many different networks in wpa_supplicant.conf
    – Milliways
    Feb 27, 2015 at 4:17
  • this doesn't seem to be working, I've added the related files to my question
    – tkelly003
    Feb 27, 2015 at 4:30
  • You didn't setup as above. I particular iface wlan0 inet manual. Frankly most people who try to set these up manually get it wrong. The easiest and most reliable way to set up initially is with a monitor attached to the Pi, using the GUI setup utility. After this you can use ssh.
    – Milliways
    Feb 27, 2015 at 5:04
  • It still doesnt work with this change. Unfortunately I don't have a monitor to use with it. I can use a remote desktop with ethernet though, where do I find the set up itility?
    – tkelly003
    Feb 27, 2015 at 5:16

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