On of more asked question in this blog, is “how do i enable wifi on Minibian?”

The reason because wifi support is not preinstalld by design, is that the philosopy of Minibian is to have a really minimal distribution, but in order to make wifi working out of the box every wifi adapter firmware should have been installed, and the idea to do this seems really bad and we prefer that users install only the software they really needed it.

So installing wifi is not difficult and not so different than in the official Raspbian Image, you just have to install the needed packages:

First check your wifi adapter model and identify the chipset (there are many methods for doing this, you can install the package usbutils and then check with “lsusb” or you can search for your model here.
After this you have to install the appropriate firmware (in this example for realtek-based adapter Asus N10, we will use “firmware-realtek”, for atheros chips you can use “firmware-atheros”, for ralink “firmware-ralink” and so on):

apt-get update
apt-get install firmware-realtek

Then you have to install wpasupplicant, a package managing wpa/wpa2 wifi connection

apt-get install wpasupplicant

Proceed with usual wifi configuration, editing your /etc/network/interfaces like this

allow-hotplug wlan0
iface wlan0 inet manual
wpa-roam /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf
iface default inet dhcp

Edit /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf fitting your wifi network


Finally you can reboot, and you will be connected to wifi network.
You can optionally apt-get install iw crda wireless-regdb in order to avoid boot crda warning, and apt-get install wireless-tools if you want some usefull command-line wireless tools.


26 thoughts on “WiFi

  1. For doing ‘apt-get’ to install wifi packages internet is needed. My main source of internet is wifi only. That is, Asus android tab provides internet via wifi hotspot and I am using a wifi dongle in Rpi. A deadlock situation. In this age of wireless networking, wifi support should be default in Minibian.

  2. Typo: firwmare-realtek should be firmware-realtek

  3. firwmare-realtek
    => firmware-realtek
    wrong spelling

  4. Any idea how to get the official Raspberry Pi dongle working? I’m not having much luck

  5. Thank you for minibian. If you added in a detection routine on startup that would detect the ‘pi 3’ model and automatically enable blue tooth and wifi by default – since it is the same and built into every pi 3, that would be very nice of you. Until then, all us noobs are stuck using NOOBS. 🙂

  6. I’m pretty sure I did everything word for word but I’m “Calling CRDA to update world regulatory domain”

  7. network={

    what is ‘&quot’???

  8. thanks to ‘mike r’ for the wifi minibian distro – made a minibian install a *much* easier, and works perfectly – with the exception of having to ‘apt install apt-utils sudo crda libnss-myhostname’ – i then rolled in a base ldxe for a nice desktop on a 4GB filesystem!

  9. Aren’t realtek drivers baked into the kernel these days? Do we still need to get the realtek firmware as described above?

  10. Trying to get wifi working on my PI3 internal 80211. With Raspbian I can connect fine, so hardware is OK. I did the install command from the RPI3 webpage and rebooted. I get “failed to start configure bluetooth modems” during boot up. I made the configuration changes on this page, the same results. Please help.

  11. Noob question or… dumb comment? You decide!

    Aren’t all Raspberry Pi 3 made with the same parts? If the answer is “yes” then we should have to loud one single diver for the inbuilt wifi module. Right?
    And then the distro wouldn’t be that more gigantic than it is now!
    Comment: Aren’t you beeing a little stubborn on not enabling wifi by default?

    Just silly me thinking… 😛

    • You can always use other distros… This distros is MINIMAL, and the steps required to install Wifi are not so complex.
      So you can decide to use it, or not to use it, or to do your own distro

  12. could you please provide the steps for the Pi 3b?

  13. dear All, thank you for this nice instruction!
    I do like minibian, using for some project like aprs, works fine!

    I wanted to set up wifi on rp3, using the lates minibian, and i have an issue, i can not see the hardware if run ifconfig, eth0, lo are there, but no wlan.

    is there something I need to do additionally to this guide? I have installed the driver, and followed the same settings when i use usb adapter, with works fine on rpi2.

    thank you in advance!
    best regards!

  14. Hi,
    Thank for this nice small project!
    For your information, on Pi Zero, it’s possible (using another running Pi and “chroot” to your sdcard, minibian filesystem, plugged in the Pi USB port) to update to the latest raspbian kernel (4.4.13+), which has the g_ether driver, install avahi-daemon, making then possible the internet access through the pi Zero usb port!
    Have fun!

  15. Just putting my thoughts into this.

    Miniban should **not** include wifi drivers by default, as this goes against what the purpose of the OS is.

    If you need Wifi out of the box – use another distro!

  16. Rather than argue about whether or not Minibian should support Wifi out of the box or not is less helpful than providing 2 builds, one with decent peripheral support and one with nothing

  17. Hi and thank you for the tutorial.
    I have two questions:
    is there a comment to test and see if the pi is able to connect to the Wifi?
    and my Wifi doesn’t have a password, what do I do?

  18. hi there
    how can i set static wireless ip?
    thank you

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