Home Wiki > SDB:YaST wireless network in first stage installation
Sign up | Login

The english openSUSE wiki has been moved and updated recently. If you encounter any issue, please let us know by mail to admin@opensuse.org.

SDB:YaST wireless network in first stage installation

tagline: From openSUSE


In openSUSE 10.3 a new feature has been added to the first-stage installation: Network Setup. In the Installation Mode select one or both of Use Add-On Product or Add Online Repositories, you will be later offered to configure your network.

Although you can use both static and dynamic configuration and additionally a proxy, wireless options (such as encryption key, ESSID) are not supported at all. If you really want to have wireless network during installation/upgrade, you can configure it manually.

How to Configure Wireless Network Manually

All needed software should be included in the installation system (CD or DVD). Manual setup requires access to a shell, editing files manually and running configuration programs. It may also contain nuts ;)

Getting a Shell for Manual Setup

There are two possibilities

  • In YaST/Installation Qt GUI, for instance in the Installation Mode dialog, press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+x key combination. You will get an xterm shell. Press Ctrl+d or type exit to close it.
  • Alternatively, press Ctrl+Alt+<F2> to get a system console. Press Alt+<F7> in Qt GUI, or Ctrl+Alt+<F1> in text-mode installation to get back.

List of Interfaces

For listing active wireless interfaces and getting more information use


You may get something similar to this output

 lo     no wireless extensions.
 eth0   no wireless extensions.
 wlan0  IEEE 802.11g  ESSID:""
        Mode: Managed  Channel:0 Access Point: Not-Associated
        Retry min limit: 7  RTS thr: off  Fragment thr: 2346 B
        Encryption key:off
        Link quality:0  Signal level:0  Noise level:0

It basically says that interface wlan0 supports wireless functions and it has the initial settings set. This example will use wlan0 as the right interface for configuration. Please, replace it with another one to fit your needs.

Scanning for Available Wireless Networks

There might be several wireless networks you could use, it's always better to scan for possibilities and to check the signal strength.

First, we need to activate the interface

 ip link set wlan0 up

Then, we can scan for available networks

 iwlist wlan0 scan

This can return something similar to this output

 wlan0    Scan completed:
          Cell 01 - Address: AA:BB:CC:00:11:22
                    Frequency:2.422 GHz
                    Quality=93/100   Signal livel=-60 dBm
                    Encryption key:on
                    IE: WPA Version 1
                        Group Cipher : TKIP
                        Pairwise Ciphers (1) : TKIP
                        Authentication Suites (1) : PSK
                    IE: IEEE 802.11i/WPA2 Version 1
                        Group Cipher : TKIP
                        Pairwise Ciphers (1) : TKIP
                        Authentication Suites (1) : PSK
          Cell 02 - Address: AB:35:85:EE:12:01

Configuring Encryption etc.

This step expects you to know all needed information, such as encryption type and auth-key. It describes the WPA-PSK mode, other modes could be set using the Linux WPA/WPA2/IEEE 802.1X Supplicant article.

First, let's make some temporary directory

 mkdir -p /tmp/wifi/

Then, we create a configuration file for your wireless network

 vi /tmp/wifi/wifi.conf

with this content (example)

(Note: press the i key for an insert mode in the vi editor).


Replace $your_password string with current password for your wireless network.

Close vi editor this way

  • Press Escape key
  • Write :wq
  • Press Enter key

Adjusting Interface Encryption

To use just-written configuration, type

 wpa_supplicant -B -c/tmp/wifi/wifi.conf -iwlan0

Check the settings with iwconfig again

 lo     no wireless extensions.
 eth0   no wireless extensions.
 wlan0  IEEE 802.11g  ESSID:"eXample"
        Mode: Managed  Channel:3 Access Point: AA:BB:CC:00:11:22
        Retry min limit: 7  RTS thr: off  Fragment thr: 2346 B
        Encryption key:$some_very_long_key ;)
        Link quality:90/100  Signal level:-59dBm

DHCP or Static IP

To obtain a DHCP address from the server, just type

 dhcpcd wlan0

and check it with

 ip addr show dev wlan0

To setup a static IP and/or proxy, it's rather easier to continue the installation instead (after Installation Mode dialog), where YaST offers you configuration dialogs.

Note: You will have to select one or both of Add Online Repositories Before Installation or Include Add-On Products from Separate Media to be offered to configure the network.