Manual browser: wpa_supplicant(8)

WPA_SUPPLICANT(8) System Manager's Manual WPA_SUPPLICANT(8)


wpa_supplicantWPA/802.11i Supplicant for wireless network devices


wpa_supplicant [-BdehLqvw] [-f debug-file] -i ifname -c config-file [-N -i ifname -c config-file ...]


The wpa_supplicant utility is an implementation of the WPA Supplicant component, i.e., the part that runs in the client stations. It implements WPA key negotiation with a WPA Authenticator and EAP authentication with an Authentication Server. In addition, wpa_supplicant controls the roaming and IEEE 802.11 authentication/association support and can be used to configure static WEP keys based on identified networks.

The wpa_supplicant utility is designed to be a “daemon” program that runs in the background and acts as the backend component controlling the wireless connection. It supports separate frontend programs such as the text-based wpa_cli(8) program.

The following arguments must be specified on the command line:

-i ifname
Use the specified wireless interface.
-c config-file
Use the settings in the specified configuration file when managing the wireless interface. See wpa_supplicant.conf(5) for a description of the configuration file syntax and contents.

Changes to the configuration file can be reloaded by sending a SIGHUP signal to the wpa_supplicant process or with the wpa_cli(8) utility, using “wpa_cli reconfigure”.


The following options are available:
Detach from the controlling terminal and run as a daemon process in the background.
Enable debugging messages. If this option is supplied twice, more verbose messages are displayed. Messages are sent to stdout by default, even when daemonised. This can be changed with the -f flag.
Use an external IEEE 802.1X Supplicant program and disable the internal Supplicant. This option is not normally used.
Specifies a file to send debug messages to when enabled with the -d flag.
Show help text.
Include key information in debugging output.
Display the license for this program on the terminal and exit.
-N -i ifname -c config-file ...
Specify an additional interface and configuration file. If multiple interfaces are specified then wpa_supplicant will manage them all with a single process.
Decrease debugging verbosity (i.e., counteract the use of the -d flag).
Display version information on the terminal and exit.
If the specified interface is not present, wait for it to be added; e.g. a cardbus device to be inserted.


The wpa_supplicant utility first appeared in NetBSD 4.0.


The wpa_supplicant utility was written by Jouni Malinen <>. This manual page is derived from the README file included in the wpa_supplicant distribution.
January 22, 2010 NetBSD 7.0