Reasonable Wifi setup on Raspberry Pi command line: wicd-curses

One thing I always hated about the Raspberry Pi is the Wifi configuration, especially with multiple networks that need to be configured and the Raspberry Pi should connect to them as they are in range. Until recently, I edited the files /etc/network/interfaces and /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf by hand. Unfortunately, it is very easy to make errors in these configuration files and an error means that I cannot connect to the Raspberry Pi anymore – I have to go there, connect monitor + keyboard, find the error and retry. This is of course a waste of time.

Now I got a hint from my father: in this stackoverflow question the tool wicd-curses is recommended. Here is another tutorial – seems very easy to get going, and it runs on the command line!

The main steps:

sudo apt-get install wicd-curses
sudo wicd-curses

The tool will then show you a list of networks. You can connect to networks here directly or first go to settings for the selected network (“P” or right arrow). The settings are very good, for example you can select to always prefer a cable connection over wifi. I activated the automatic reconnect feature for wifi, too. Under extended settings you can tell it to show signal strength in dBm, which I prefer over nonsense percentages. It is also possible to scan for invisible networks, but I did not try because our network is not hidden.


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