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Wifish -

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Wifish is a console-based wireless networking connection manager. According to the project's Github page, wifish is designed to

  • List Available Wifi APs
  • Connect to an AP

Contrary to this, wifish has a couple of extra features that make it a compelling minimalist wireless network manger -- it will update your wpa_supplicant.conf with the network information.


Install wifish via

 # xbps-install wifish

Next, enable the wpa_supplicant service:

# ln -s /etc/sv/wpa_supplicant/ /var/service/

Then run wpa_cli status and ensure that wpa_supplicant is functioning properly.

Next, make sure your user account is able to manipulate wpa_supplicant by checking /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf. By default you should see:


This tells us that members of the wheel group have permission to update /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf and control wireless interface settings. You can either add your user account to %wheel, or you can choose another group/create a new group and add your user account to it:

# groupadd wifish
# usermod -a -G wifish your_user_name


Listing networks

wifish list will print available networks in the terminal and then exit. wifish menu will present an ncurses menu listing the available networks (along with the the option to connect to one). wifish menu requires the dialog package to be installed.

By default, wifish does not effectively scan for available networks - it will read wpa_supplicant's most recent scan. You can edit /usr/bin/wifish to change the defaults:


But if you don't need/want to wait 5 seconds every time you want to connect, you can just pass SCAN_SECONDS at runtime:


Connecting to a network

You can connect to a network from the terminal by running

wifish connect network_ssid

If the network is password protected, you'll be prompted for the password and whether you'd like to store the connection information.

wifish menu can also be used to connect in a similar fashion to wifish connect, but uses an ncurses interface.