Tutorial on Setting Raspberry Pi to Auto Connect to Wi-Fi on Startup

Automation can bring many conveniences, but it may also lead to some unnecessary challenges. For instance, when setting up a Raspberry Pi to auto-connect to Wi-Fi on startup, it often starts scanning from the first network it encountered and uses stored passwords. However, in certain scenarios, such as with a printer, you might need the Raspberry Pi to connect to a specific Wi-Fi network. In such cases, the default auto-connect feature might become a hindrance. How can you address this issue and make the Raspberry Pi’s auto-connect more efficient?

Table of Contents

Edit wpa_supplicant.conf

In Raspberry Pi and other Linux systems, Wi-Fi network connection configurations are typically managed by editing the wpa_supplicant.conf file. This file contains all the information needed to connect to Wi-Fi networks. Open this file and ensure the following basic configuration is present:

				
					country=your_country_code
ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev
update_config=1
ap_scan=1
network={
    ssid="Your_SSID_1"
    psk="Your_Password_1"
    key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
}
network={
    ssid="Your_SSID_2"
    psk="Your_Password_2"
    key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
}
# Add more network configurations as needed
				
			

When you need to connect to a new Wi-Fi network, open the wpa_supplicant.conf file and add or modify the relevant network information. Based on this principle, you can ensure that the Raspberry Pi avoids connecting to non-specified Wi-Fi networks by modifying their details.

Auto-Execute wpa_supplicant.conf on Startup

Now, set up the Raspberry Pi to automatically connect to the specified Wi-Fi network on startup by creating a systemd service. Create a file /etc/systemd/system/wpa_supplicant.service and add the following content:

				
					[Unit]
Description=WPA supplicant
Wants=network.target
After=network.target
[Service]
Type=simple
ExecStartPre=/sbin/ifconfig wlan0 up
ExecStart=/sbin/wpa_supplicant -i wlan0 -c /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf
RemainAfterExit=yes
[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target
				
			

Ensure the service file is enabled and started:

				
					sudo systemctl enable wpa_supplicant.service
sudo systemctl start wpa_supplicant.service
				
			

This configuration ensures that wpa_supplicant runs correctly during system startup and connects to the Wi-Fi networks specified in the wpa_supplicant.conf file.

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