I have two identical desktops running Ubuntu server 14.04. During the install process I only selected Ubuntu server, no other packages.

Desktop #1) This was my first linux build, and so fumbled around quite a bit until I figured it out. I configured the WPA_Supplicant.conf file utilizing the wpa_passphrase program, can can connect fine using wpa_supplicant. I can then get an ip using dhclient, or assign a static address in wpa_supplicant.conf... I also successfully configured the /etc/network/interfaces file .. first to connect via DHCP, then changed it to connect to a static IP. So.. for desktop #1 it works perfect.. connecting to my wireless network via WPA_supplicant manually, or automatically utilizing /etc/network/interfaces on boot.

Desktop #2) This is the problem machine. It is the same model, and same wireless card. I have successfully created the WPA_Supplicant.conf file, and can connect manually by running wpa_supplicant, then of course get an address via dhclient. It works great!!!! However, for the life of me, I can't connect automatically on logon with /etc/network/interfaces. It just doesn't connect! I can't find a single difference between the two machines!

Perhaps I inadvertently changed something on desktop #1 in my banging around to make it connect on logon?

Here is my wpa_supplicant.conf:

#### #psd="mypasscode"

here is my /etc/network/interfaces:

#### #The loopback network interfaces
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

#### #The primary network interface
auto lo
iface wlan0 inet dhcp
wpa-essid myssid
wpa-psk my-very-long-64char-passcode

note: I have tried the wpa-psk as clear text, as well as 64bit.. either seems to work in desktop 1, neither seem to make a difference in desktop 2.

Any help is appreciated!!!

Oh to connect manually I simple run...

sudo ifconfig wlan0 up
sudo lshw -C network
sudo iwlist scan
sudo wpa_supplicant -B -Dwext -iwlan0 -c/etc/wpa_supplicant.conf
dhclient wlan0
  • sudo lshw -C network - to confirm it is enabled
  • sudo iwlist scan - to confirm it can scan
  • sudo wpa_supplicant - to connect
  • dhclient wlan0 - to get IP

this works great on both desktops.. it's just that I can't get desktop #2 to auto connect on logon!!!

Thank you!!


1 Answer 1


In /etc/network/interfaces, the declaration wpa-psk expects the password in clear text, not a 64-bit scrambled version. I suggest you amend your file to:

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

auto wlan0
iface wlan0 inet dhcp
wpa-essid myssid
wpa-psk mypasscode

Restart the interface:

sudo ifdown wlan0 && sudo ifup -v wlan0

The '-v' for verbose should produce some output indicating what's happening behind the scenes.

NOTE: "auto lo iface wlan0 inet dhcp" is incorrect. See my suggestion above.

  • Thanks.. I changed it back to clear text.. same thing. :(
    – Paul
    Dec 11, 2014 at 13:12
  • Meaning what? Meaning it won't connect at all or it won't connect on boot?
    – chili555
    Dec 11, 2014 at 14:03
  • Hi chili555 - sorry.. fist, my bad.. typo on auto lo.. my interfaces file is actually auto wlan0.. so that's not it. :(
    – Paul
    Dec 12, 2014 at 0:56
  • As for a clearer definition of the symptoms (apologies).. it will not connect on logon. I can still connect manually, but not on logon. Interestingly, I have to clear out the interfaces file (comment out the lines) in order to connect manually. Otherwise, if I boot with the interfaces file (and it fails) I can't connect manually. I HAVE to log on without the system attempting to connect with interfaces in order to be able to connect manually.
    – Paul
    Dec 12, 2014 at 0:58
  • Is Network Manager running? ps aux | grep -i network If so, it probably needs to be purged.
    – chili555
    Dec 12, 2014 at 13:11

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