Connecting to wireless networks

Haiku has growing support for connecting to wireless (Wi-Fi, 802.11) networks and currently supports connecting to unencrypted, WEP encrypted and WPA encrypted wireless networks. However, because WEP encrypted wireless networks are not very secure, it is recommended that you configure your router and Haiku to use WPA.


  • Haiku R1 Alpha 4 (R1A4) or later
  • A supported 802.11 wireless network device

The firmware installer

Some wireless network cards require binary firmware modules to operate. Haiku cannot include some of these proprietary firmware files due to licensing issues. Haiku does however include an easy script which will retrieve and install all of the needed proprietary bits for you. Generally if you are planning to use wireless networking it is a good idea to run this to ensure your system has all the proprietary network code it might need.

If you are unable to access the Internet due to the lack of wireless firmware binaries, please check out the offline method of running the firmware installer.
  1. Open the Haiku Terminal
  2. Type Enter
  3. Review the licenses and accept them to install all of the available firmware files

Connecting to a WEP or WPA wireless network

Haiku has support for accessing wireless networks via WEP encryption keys and WPA encryption keys. WEP is an old encryption method that is not the most secure. Therefore it is recommended that you use WPA.

If you are unsure on what to enter for your wifi_device_path, you can look at the Network preferences applet, or execute ifconfig -a in the Haiku Terminal.

Below are a few examples of connecting to a wireless network named wifitopia. For these examples we are assuming your Wi-Fi network card is /dev/net/iprowifi3945/0. All commands have to be exexcuted in the Haiku Terminal.

Listing wireless networks:

ifconfig /dev/net/iprowifi3945/0 list

Joining WEP or WPA secured wireless network using an ascii password:

ifconfig /dev/net/iprowifi3945/0 join wifitopia mypassword

Joining WEP or WPA secured wireless network using a 64-bit hex password:

ifconfig /dev/net/iprowifi3945/0 join wifitopia 0x4010FABEEF
WEP encryption keys
WEP encryption keys are password strings used to identify one's self to a wireless network and to encrypt data sent to the wireless network. A WEP password key can be a fixed length string or hexadecimal number.

  • 64-bit WEP uses a 40-bit key, which means 5 text characters or 10 hex digits
  • 128-bit WEP uses a 104-bit key, which means 13 text characters or 26 hex digits
  • hexadecimal digits = characters 0-9 and A through F (prepended with "0x" in ifconfig)

WPA encryption keys
WPA encryption keys don't have a fixed length. For security's sake, a minimum of 8 characters is recommended, however.

Leaving a wireless network:

ifconfig /dev/net/iprowifi3945/0 leave wifitopia

This doesn't work WPA yet!

Automatically connecting to a wireless network

To make your system connect to a given SSID at each boot automatically, you can specify your wireless networks and passwords in /boot/system/settings/network/wireless_networks with the following format: