WPA Manual Setting


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Some builds of the XO software (including early in the original G1G1 program) cannot connect to wireless routers protected with the WPA protocol. Although the networks are visible from the OLPC, they stall when user enters a password.

In order to get around this problem, you've got a few options:


Option 1: Upgrade your XO

Advanced users should consider upgrading their XO to build 653 or higher, where WPA support is much better. Of course, to be able to do this, you need to be connected to the internet. You could either connect to a public hotspot, or try one of the options listed here that will allow you connect to a WPA-protected access point without upgrading your XO.

Option 2: Turn off WPA

If you can turn off WPA from your router, you should be able to connect by choosing the access point from the neighborhood view.

Option 3: Use the hexadecimal version of your WPA key

Instead of typing your passphrase as a human-readable (e.g. english) word or phrase, you need to enter the key as a hexadecimal value. Here's how to figure out the hexadecimal equivalent of your passphrase:

1. Start the Terminal activity.

2. Type the following, substituting the values for ssid and passphrase (and then press the "Enter" key):

/usr/sbin/wpa_passphrase <ssid> <passphrase> > ~/passkey

If your SSID or passphrase contains spaces, surround the entire thing in quotation marks. e.g.:

/usr/sbin/wpa_passphrase "My Access Point" "This is my passphrase"

3. In the Browse Activity, press Ctrl-L and enter "file:///home/olpc/passkey". Find the line that starts with "psk=" and use the mouse to select all of the text that comes after the "=" (The easiest way to do this is to double-click in the middle of the long string of hexadecimal digits). Press Ctrl-C to copy the key to the clipboard.

4. Now try to connect to your WPA-protected access point in the neighborhood view. When it asks for the key, paste in the hexadecimal version of the key by typing Ctrl-V.

If you plan to use the same WPA key frequently, there is a script available at WPA Manual Setting with discussion here and here; not needed since build 656.

Option 4: Manual Script

  • If you are having trouble connecting to a specific access point and you want to try it manually, you can try using this script: http://wiki.laptop.org/images/4/44/Wpa.sh. Once this procedure is successful, you will not have to do it again as the settings will be remembered when you reboot.


  $ df
  • Look for the line that starts with /dev/sda1 and read across to get the name of your USB stick. In this example the name is USBNAME.
  mtd0       1048576       375772  672804    36%  /
  tmpfs        35676            0   35676     0%  /dev/shm
  /dev/sda1   990432       331024   659408   34%  /media/USBNAME
  • Copy the Wpa.sh file from the USB stick by substituting your USBNAME when typing this command. Note the period at the end of the command:
  $ cp /media/USBNAME/Wpa.sh .
  • Execute the script as root by typing:
  $ su -
  # cd /home/olpc/
  # ./Wpa.sh
  • If you get a "Permission denied" error, then use chmod, and try again
  $ chmod 777 Wpa.sh
  # ./Wpa.sh

  • Follow the instructions on screen, providing the SSID, passphrase and WPA version of your Access Point. If you don't know the WPA version, try '1' first.
  • Reboot the XO by typing:
  # reboot
  • When it boots back up, go to the mesh neighborhood view and click on the circle of your AP, that should be showing as open now (no lock attached to the circle)
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