TL;DR: Can I set Ubuntu up to - from boot - have the wireless hotspot turned on?

My mother-in-law lives so far from civilization that she can only reach the Internet through a 3G dongle, which works fine. Her devices*, however, are not so clever.

Using her computer as a wireless hotspot works fine, but it has to be turned on manually after a reboot, and crucially, I've set the computer up so she doesn't have root or sudo access. Can I set Ubuntu up to - from boot - have the wireless hotspot turned on?

*: Most importantly, her e-book reader that keeps her from going all out cat person insane

4 Answers 4


Press CtrlAltT to open a terminal window and type

sudo -H gedit /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/Hotspot

Find the string:


and change it to true


According to this page http://www.howtogeek.com/116409/how-to-turn-your-ubuntu-laptop-into-a-wireless-access-point/ it is an option called Connect Automatically.

"From the wireless tab...The Connect Automatically check box should allow you to use the hotspot as your default wireless network – when you start your computer, Ubuntu will create the hotspot instead of connecting to an existing wireless network."

  • Unfortunately, that option seems to have vanished in 14.04. I guess I'll have to poke around for a scripted way of doing it. I've already set up autossh at boot anyway.
    – Jan
    Jul 28, 2014 at 19:41
  • 1
    I just tried this in 18.04 and the relavent option seems to now be named "Automatically connect to this network when it is available". Apr 20, 2021 at 0:36

A more programmatic way would be (assuming you are using NetworkManager)

nmcli con modify Hotspot connection.autoconnect true

here r the steps

Go to a terminal by pressing ctrl+alt+T and copy past this into it:

sudo apt-get install kde-nm-connection-editor

after install, open the KDE connection editor from the dash, or by pressing alt+f2 and run kde-nm-connection-editor to launch it.

Click the Add button and choose Wireless (shared) from the list.

Type in a name, ssid, and select Access Point mode and set up a password under the Wireless Security tab and click OK.

click Network Manager applet on Unity panel and then choose Connect to Hidden Wi-Fi network, choose the connection you created in the previous step and click the Connect button.

Now go to your phone and most see your hotspot ssid there! Enjoy! :-)

NOTE: you may need to press fn+alt+f2 to run the command, depending in your BIOS setting.

And your mother-in-low will never be more happy than this :D

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