I am trying to connect my RPi to my WLAN, but I fail. The network connection works when I use a cable. The RPi was bought about two weeks ago, and I am using a recent (I don't know exactly which) version of Raspbian.

My router is an AVM Fritzbox 7270 running a WPA/WPA2-secured wireless network with a public SSID and DHCP enabled. The network key is a number with 16 digits.

The wireless network is found if I type iwlist wlan0 scan. The wireless network adapter being used is a Netgear WNA1000M. The adapter is listed if I type ifconfig, but it has no IP address assigned.

I updated the /etc/network/interfaces file according to the information I found on the web. Now the file looks like this:

auto lo

iface lo inet loopback
iface eth0 inet dhcp

auto wlan0
allow-hotplug wlan0
iface wlan0 inet dhcp
wpa-roam /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf
wpa-ssid MYSSID
wpa-psk MYPSK

iface default inet dhcp

For MYSSID and MYPSK I entered the SSID of my network (without quotes) and the value I got from the wpa_passphrase command (also without quotes).

The file looked originally like this:

auto lo

iface lo inet loopback
iface eth0 inet dhcp

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

When I reboot my RPi, the blue led of the wireless adapter flashes for about one second, then turns off again, and I can not access my RPi in a wireless way.

Once I connect it to the cable, I am able to access it using SSH again.

The last lines of dmesg are:

[    3.010438] usb 1-1.1: New USB device strings: Mfr=0, Product=0, SerialNumber=0
[    3.036171] smsc95xx v1.0.4
[    3.098577] smsc95xx 1-1.1:1.0: eth0: register 'smsc95xx' at usb-bcm2708_usb-1.1, smsc95xx USB 2.0 Ethernet, b8:27:eb:85:47:8d
[    3.213348] usb 1-1.3: new high-speed USB device number 4 using dwc_otg
[    3.325470] usb 1-1.3: New USB device found, idVendor=0846, idProduct=9041
[    3.343128] usb 1-1.3: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
[    3.363116] usb 1-1.3: Product: 802.11n WLAN Adapter
[    3.370586] usb 1-1.3: Manufacturer: Realtek
[    3.393128] usb 1-1.3: SerialNumber: 00e04c000001
[    3.843420] udevd[137]: starting version 175
[    6.484503] usbcore: registered new interface driver rtl8192cu
[    9.612649] EXT4-fs (mmcblk0p2): re-mounted. Opts: (null)
[   10.076909] EXT4-fs (mmcblk0p2): re-mounted. Opts: (null)
[   10.838719] bcm2835 ALSA card created!
[   10.852938] bcm2835 ALSA chip created!
[   10.865355] bcm2835 ALSA chip created!
[   10.871429] bcm2835 ALSA chip created!
[   10.882875] bcm2835 ALSA chip created!
[   10.891016] bcm2835 ALSA chip created!
[   10.899001] bcm2835 ALSA chip created!
[   10.906941] bcm2835 ALSA chip created!
[   19.430721] smsc95xx 1-1.1:1.0: eth0: link up, 100Mbps, full-duplex, lpa 0x45E1
[   50.632430] smsc95xx 1-1.1:1.0: eth0: link down
[   65.384999] smsc95xx 1-1.1:1.0: eth0: link up, 100Mbps, full-duplex, lpa 0x45E1
[   83.627435] Adding 102396k swap on /var/swap.  Priority:-1 extents:1 across:102396k SS

As you can see the wireless adapter is being detected in the lines that start with usb 1-1.3, but nothing happens afterwards.

The RPi is powered by an adapter with (I guess) 1.0A, it may be 2.0A.

Any idea what I am doing wrong?


I highly doubt this is a power issue considering the size of your wireless card. I run a USB wifi dongle on my Pi off the supplied power adapter just fine.

Do you have any kind of MAC filtering enabled on your router? If so, add the MAC of your Wifi dongle in your router settings.

Other than that:

The settings in wpa_supplicant.conf are wrong. Try running wpa_supplicant manually. First edit /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf and check everything is correct to your network. If it's the default configuration file (a long one with lots of example networks), just create your own configuration file (my.conf for example) to look like:

    # Note you need the quotes around ssid and psk strings
    proto=WPA RSN
    pairwise=CCMP TKIP
    group=CCMP TKIP

Then run wpa_supplicant manually with:

wpa_supplicant -B -i wlan0 -c /path/to/your/conf -Dwext

When that is running, run dhcpcd -v to obtain an IP.

  • I did what you said (a MAC filter was not present). Now I get a wireless connection (yay!), but only if I start wpa_supplicant manually. Just one last question: How do I set things up so that it connects to the wireless network on startup automatically? – Golo Roden Dec 5 '12 at 9:12
  • 1
    Cool. Edit /etc/network/interfaces to reflect your new config file: wpa-roam /path/to/your/config and remove the wpa-ssid and wpa-psk variables. – Munkeh Dec 5 '12 at 11:00
  • I did, but the wireless network is still not active when rebooting the RPi automatically. Do I need to add the wpa_supplicant line somewhere? – Golo Roden Dec 5 '12 at 11:14
  • 1
    I don't use Debian so I'm not sure how their network configuration works, sorry. You could just stick the wpa_supplicant and dhcpcd commands into /etc/rc.d/rc.local until you figure out the interfaces file :) – Munkeh Dec 5 '12 at 11:20
  • Okay, then I'm going to try to discover it on my own, but LOTS of thanks for your really great and awesome help :-)! – Golo Roden Dec 5 '12 at 11:26

How do you power your RPi? It could potentially be an power issue. WLAN USB adapters need quite a bit of power!

On the other hand: what are the last few lines of the output of the 'dmesg' command?

  • I've updated my question accordingly. Regarding the power issue: The adapter basically works, otherwise it would not be able to find wireless networks - it just does not connect. Does it need more power for connecting than for scanning? – Golo Roden Dec 4 '12 at 23:08

Replace wpa-roam with wpa-conf in /etc/network/interfaces:

wpa-conf /path/to/your/config

AFAIK wpa-roam only works with:

iface wlan0 inet manual

but not with

iface wlan0 inet dhcp

Works fine for me ...

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