I have a Pi3 connected via Ethernet to my router. I have configured router (not the Pi) to associate static IP addresses to the MAC addresses of eth0 and wlan0. When I boot up the Pi and run ifconfig, I can see that eth0 was assigned the correct IP, however wlan0 is up but does not have an IP assigned. Why is this? Btw, there is nothing in particular I am trying to achieve. Just playing around with the hardware.

I have played around with /etc/network/interfaces what I describe above happens under the setting

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp

auto wlan0
iface wlan0 inet dhcp

I have not configured wpa_supplicant. What I am trying to understand is how one could assign an IP to the wlan0 interface without connecting the pi via said interface. My naive understanding is that since the Pi is connected via Ethernet, and the WiFi interface is on the same piece of hardware it should be "discovered" and an DHCP running on router should assign IP, but obviously that's not how it works. So what am I missing?

  • 1
    I assumed that you have configured the /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf with your WiFi settings?
    – MatsK
    Commented Sep 4, 2017 at 18:51

2 Answers 2


A dhcp server assigns an ip address to each connected interfaces in the network. While your wifi is on the same board as the ethernet, your wifi does not send any data through the ethernet cable, right?

So the wifi is only physically connected and has no actual links to the network, hence no ip address ia assigned.


Have you configured Pi's /etc/network/interfaces file? More info here: How do I set up networking/WiFi/static IP address?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.