This handy tutorial shows you how to set up wireless networking on your raspberry pi, from makeuseof.
When you first acquire your Raspberry Pi, the best option is to use an Ethernet connection to ensure the operating system is correctly configured and up-to-date. You can then move onto a wireless USB connection once you’re happy.
The benefit of Ethernet over wireless LAN on the Raspberry Pi – as with most other platforms – is that there is zero configuration required. All you need to do is ensure the cable is connected to a correctly-configured router, plug it into your Pi and boot it up.
Conversely, setting up wireless LAN on the Raspberry Pi can be tricky. The first thing to do is make sure you have chosen a compatible wireless USB dongle.
Finding A Compatible Wireless USB Dongle
There are various way that you might have acquired your Raspberry Pi. You might, for example, have bought it as a standalone unit and purchased the required additional components, a tactic that can prove more expensive than expected but still cheaper than other computers.
Alternatively, you may have purchased a Raspberry Pi kit, containing the computer, a case, SD card, and other hardware, including the wireless dongle. In this case, you should be confident that the dongle will be compatible with the computer.
Many early buyers of the Raspberry Pi didn’t have the option of a dedicated Wi-Fi dongle, and had to rely on trial and error. This is how the list of compatible hardware was created at elinux.org, which includes a section on wireless USB dongles.
For the best results, you should get your hands on the USB Wi-Fi adaptor distributed through The Pi Hut. This is a Wireless N device that will also work on other platforms (Windows, other Linux distros, Mac OS X) and is available for around $10 plus shipping.
This is the most common Wi-Fi adaptor in use for the Raspberry Pi, and is the one used to outline the process of configuring your WLAN connection below. Note that the following steps are intended for Raspbian users – the general process should be largely the same on your chosen Raspberry Pi distro, however.
Configuring The WLAN Connection
Start by connecting your USB Wi-Fi adaptor to your Raspberry Pi, ensuring the Ethernet cable is also connected. Check your SD card is secure and connect to your power supply.
You’ll need to ensure your version of Raspbian is fully updated, so after you log on, enter:
sudo apt-get update
Alternatively, you can launch into the GUI (enter startx)> and enter the same command in LXTerminal.
Next, check that the USB dongle is detected by your minicomputer – enter lsusb and check the results. The Wi-Fi device should be listed