[Nottingham] Connect to WPA wireless using command line

Simon Sleaford simon.sleaford at gmail.com
Sun Sep 6 14:50:29 UTC 2009

I'm trying to connect to my wireless network at home from the command line
on a machine that isn't running X. These are the steps that I have taken so

1 Make sure my wireless adaptor is recognised:


Recognises the RaLink RT2860 adaptor in my netbook correctly (designated

2. Scan for wireless network:

iwlist ra0 scan

Correctly sees my sky router and tells me that it is using WPA encryption.

3. This is where it seems to go wrong, when I try to connect using the
following command

iwconfig ra0 essid "SKYRouter" key s:mywirelesskey

I get no output following the command so assume it has worked but cannot
ping the router and have no IP address.

Can anybody help me out with what I'm doing incorrectly?


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