Connecting to Wi-Fi with the iNet wireless daemon (iwctl)

Josh Sherman
1 min read
Linux Arch Linux

Part of the Arch Linux appeal is how minimal it is. With this minimalism comes adopting command-line tools to do the basic things we take for granted, like connecting to Wi-Fi.

While this isn’t necessarily the case if you install a desktop environment like GNOME or KDE, but it definitely comes into play during the installation of Arch Linux, which is as stripped down as it gets.

Since I don’t reinstall Arch very often, maybe once a year or so less, I tend to forgot how to connect to the Internet during the initial setup. Previously this was done with netctl by way of the wifi-menu command. It was straight forward (execute it and run through the dialog), but doesn’t seem to be included in the base image any longer.

What is included is the iNet wireless daemon (iwd) which gives us the iwctl command. Upon running iwctl you are dropped into the iwd interactive prompt:

$ iwctl

[iwd]#

From the prompt you will need figure out your device name, and assuming you know the SSID of your wireless network, go ahead and connect like so:

[iwd]# device list

# You should see something like this:
#
#                            Devices
# -------------------------------------------------------------
#   Name          Address          Powered    Adapter    Mode
# -------------------------------------------------------------
#   wlan0         ...              on         ...        ...

[iwd]# station YOURDEVICE connect YOURSSID

For a secured wireless network, you will be prompted for it and you’ll be off to the races!

Of course, if you don’t know the SSID for the network you’re connecting to, you can scan for available networks:

[iwd]# station YOURDEVICE scan

And when you’re all done and would like to disconnect, simply run:

[iwd]# station YOURDEVICE disconnect
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