I am able to connect with nmcli to a WPA enterprise network only in an interactive mode launched by

 nmcli con edit id MYNAME

nmcli refuses to change 802-1x values while not in edit mode:

nmcli c modify MYNAME wifi-sec.key-mgmt wpa-eap 
Error: Failed to modify connection 'MYNAME': 802-1x: 'wpa-eap' security requires '802-1x' setting presence

How would you suggest to connect without "setting presence" which I don't want since I want to automatize the connection setting process.

1 Answer 1


Kind of a late response, but maybe someone stumbles upon this same problem and may be looking for a solution.

Proper Solution

EDIT: Looks like I was wrong with both solutions, since I happened to get exact same error. However I found a solution to this - simply set all 802-1x settings in one line, e.g.:

nmcli c modify <connection_name> 802-1x.eap <eap_mode> 802-1x.identity <username> 802-1x.phase2-auth <auth_type>

For what I've tested, these 3 settings are a minimum to setting 802-1x property. I will leave the previous answer, for I believe these still might be applicable as part of the solution.

Previous Solution (for reference)

This looks like you are trying to set wifi-sec.key-mgmt connection property before setting 802.1x values. To put it simplier, you must put your edits in specified order, with 802.1x settings first, and wifi-sec keys later.

However, if that is not the case - do you have your connection already added? You can add an empty template using following command:

nmcli con add type wifi [ifname <interface_name>] [con-name <connection_name_shown>] [ssid <ssid_of_wifi_connection>]

All parts (not sure about con-name) in [] can be skipped, but you would need to add them through modify command later on for the network to run, unless you only have 1 WLAN interface.

  • 1
    You've just restored my faith in humanity! A first post that is of excellent quality! ;-) +1
    – Fabby
    Feb 1, 2017 at 11:00
  • @Fabby I've been struggling with similiar issue, and came upon this question somehow, thought I could share with community ;)
    – Asunez
    Feb 1, 2017 at 13:19

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