Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Debian on Pogoplug Tutorial - Wireless Configuration

This is a continuation of my Hacking the Pogoplug v4 (Series 4 and Mobile) with Linux (Debian or Arch) Tutorial.

Tested Wi-Fi Adapters:

Wi-Fi Configuration for Debian on Pogoplug

#Add "non-free" repo
echo "deb wheezy main contrib non-free">>/etc/apt/sources.list

#Update repo
apt-get update

#Install required Wi-Fi packages and common non-free Wi-Fi adapter firmware
apt-get install wireless-tools wpasupplicant usbutils firmware-ralink firmware-realtek firmware-atheros

#Bring up Wi-Fi adapter. If you get an error, try rebooting.
ifconfig wlan0 up

#Scan available Wi-Fi networks
iwlist wlan0 scanning

#Update interfaces file with Wi-Fi configuration
nano /etc/network/interfaces

#Add the following to the end of the /etc/network/interfaces file
#Update "YourWiFiNetworkName" and "YourWiFiPassword" with appropriate values.

#auto wlan0
#iface wlan0 inet dhcp
#   wpa-ssid "YourWiFiNetworkName"
#   wpa-psk "YourWiFiPassword"

#Restart Networking Service
/etc/init.d/networking restart

#Check if Wi-Fi configuration successful
#Note the IP Address assigned to wlan0

At this point, you should be able to reboot and unplug the Ethernet network cable from the Pogoplug.

Notes: I don't use wireless with my Pogoplugs so have not tested Wi-Fi extensively. If you don't have a stable Wi-Fi connection, you may want to look into a Wi-Fi auto reconnect script. If I find a good script or method for Wi-Fi auto reconnect, I'll post it. If you have a good solution, please share via the comments.

If you lose Wi-Fi connection, plugging in the Ethernet network cable should work, but note that it may take 2-3 minutes for the Pogoplug to pick up a IP Address.



  1. Hi, Qui:
    Thank you for your new contributions. Have you tried this on Debian successfully? I tried many times but never very successful. Eventually I put some heck there and it did the trick. However, if your approach tested working on Debian, I would like try it again. I think it will work on Arch with no problem but I don't want to switch platforms. Thanks.

    1. Of course I verified the tutorial before publishing it. :)

  2. Qui:
    Thank you for your quick response.
    I tried your approach also. Unfortunately, it has the same problem as before. There's no problem to ssh into the wifi ip address with the ethernet cable connected. However, if I unplug it, the wifi disconnected also. It will not work if I restart the Pogo mobile 4 without the ethernet cable disconnected. Not sure why.

    1. Strange. What type of USB network card are you using? What's the content of your /etc/network/interfaces file?

  3. I have struggled with this problem for a few months now.
    The USB wifi dongle is Edimax EW-7811Un. It works with RPi. Other 8188cus based card all behave the same.
    The interface file is simply:

    auto lo eth0
    iface lo inet loopback
    iface eth0 inet dhcp
    auto wlan0
    iface wlan0 inet dhcp
    wpa-ssid "..."
    wpa-psk "..."

    I can only make it work by adding the following in the rc.local file before exit:

    if ifconfig wlan0 | grep "inet addr:" ; then
    ifconfig eth0 down
    route add default gw

    1. I would suggest trying again using a freshly extracted rootfs and then only following this tutorial. This will assure that the issue isn't related to some other services/package you installed. Chances are the issue is with your setup and not with the Debian wiki (or my tutorial).

  4. O.K. I will try that.
    Another interesting thing is that it will work with my patch but when I upgrade the kernel to Bodhi's 3.16 or 3.17, the wifi didn't work at all. Have you ever tried that?

    1. No, I have not found a reason to upgrade the kernel.

    2. It somehow is working now. Let me see if it will stop working again, if ever.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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