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wifi-select is a console tool for selecting wireless networks in "real-time" (in NetworkManager fashion). The tool might be convenient to use in Internet cafés or other places you are visiting for the first (and maybe the last) time. With wifi-select you do not need to create a profile for a new network, just type:

$ sudo wifi-select wlan0

and choose the network you need. In order not to type "wlan0" every time, you can set it (or make sure it is already there) in $WIRELESS_INTERFACE in /etc/conf.d/netcfg

wifi-select is currently packaged and available in the community ArchLinux repository. To install it, please run:

# pacman -S wifi-select


Usage: wifi-select [-p | --show-pass] [-x | --pass-in-hex] [--use-dhclient] [-h | --help] [interface]

Shows a list of available wireless networks and interactively connects to
the network you select, asking for a password if needed.

 -p, --show-pass    show password characters instead of '*' while typing a password,
                    (by default it shows '*')
 -x, --pass-in-hex  store the entered WPA password as a hexadecimal string
                    (using wpa_passphrase)
     --use-dhclient use "dhclient" instead of "dhcpcd" in generated profiles
 -h, --help         show this help

 interface          a wireless interface to use
                    (if omitted, uses WIRELESS_INTERFACE from /etc/conf.d/netcfg)


wifi-select does the following and nothing more:

  • parses iwlist scan results and presents a list of networks along with their security settings (WPA/WEP/None) and signal quality using "dialog" tool

  • if a user selects a network with an existing profile -- it uses this profile to connect with "netcfg"

  • if the user selects a new network (which doesn't have a profile yet), wifi-select automatically generates a new profile with corresponding $SECURITY and asks for the key (if needed). The key for WPA may be stored as a hex string generated by wpa_passphrase. wifi-select uses DHCP as $IP by default

  • if a network connection succeeds, the profile is saved for later usage

  • if a network connection fails, the user is asked whether he/she wants to keep the generated profile for further usage (for example to change $IP to static or adjust some additional options)