How to Activate Wireless on Arch Linux

A step-by-step and easy-to-follow tutorial for Arch Linux users

By on June 7th, 2013 00:51 GMT

The following tutorial will teach Arch Linux users how to activate support for wireless (Wi-Fi) networks right after they've installed the distribution. This guide is designed for Arch Linux beginners only, of course.

So, now that you've installed the Arch Linux distribution, and you also know how to install third-party applications, we will teach you how to activate the wireless network on your Arch Linux powered computer.

These days, wireless became something that we can't live without, as we have lots of mobile devices around us, from netbooks and laptops to mobile phones and tablets. Right after you install Arch Linux using an Ethernet connection, you'll probably want to ditch the Ethernet cable and connect to your already working Wi-Fi network.

How can you do that? Well, assuming your wireless chip is already detected by Arch Linux (read this article in case it's not detected), it's actually pretty easy, but it will take a lot of time to search for the right instructions. So here they are!

For GNOME/Xfce/LXDE users:

If you've installed GNOME, Xfce or LXDE as your preferred desktop environment during the initial Arch Linux installation, you will have to execute the following commands in a Terminal, one by one, hitting Enter after each one:

sudo pacman -S network-manager-applet
sudo systemctl enable NetworkManager
sudo systemctl start NetworkManager


If you've used another GNOME-based operating system before, you probably know that NetworkManager is the default and only network management application for the GNOME desktop environment.

It is installed by default in Arch Linux, but for some reason, it is not enabled. This is what we do with the above commands. That's it! You'll see the NetworkManager Applet icon in the tray area, from where you can connect to your wireless network.

For KDE users:

If you've installed KDE as your preferred desktop environment during the initial Arch Linux installation, you will have to execute the following commands in a Terminal, one by one, hitting Enter after each one:

sudo pacman -S kdeplasma-applets-networkmanagement
sudo systemctl enable NetworkManager
sudo systemctl start NetworkManager


That's it! You'll see the NetworkManager Applet icon in the tray area, from where you can connect to your wireless network.

Do not hesitate to comment below in case you run into trouble. Have fun using Arch Linux!

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