Starting the wpa_supplicant Daemon from rc.conf

Julian H. Stacey jhs at
Wed Dec 11 16:02:58 UTC 2013

Martin McCormick wrote freebsd-questions at

> We are using 802.1x on our wired network and the wpa_supplicant
> on this system works like it should to authenticate with the
> network if manually called as in 
> sudo ./etc/testwpa which is the name I gave the script that
> calls wpa_supplicant and gives it the configuration file and
> interface information to authenticate.
> 	The only thing that is not yet working is getting
> wpa_supplicant to authenticate automatically upon reboot or
> startup. I presently have the following in /etc/rc.conf:
> #wpa_supplicant
> wpa_supplicant_enable="YES"

What do you expect is looking for wpa_supplicant_enable ?
  wpa_supplicant_enable is not in 10-RC1 (or preceeding)
  It's not in any of src/ except src/contrib/wpa/wpa_supplicant/
  where all occurences of string are C variables

  It's not in current/ports/net/wpa_gui , just similar but longer C vars.
  It's not in ports/net-mgmt/wifimgr

BTW What does `uname -a` says ? ie what release ?

> wpa_supplicant_program="/usr/sbin/wpa_supplicant"	
> #executable
> wpa_supplicant_flags="-B -c/etc/wpa_supplicant.conf -D wired -i le0"

My rc.local calls
	wpa_supplicant -i wlan0 -c /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf &
your le0 looks wrong (IMHO *), I recall I found I needed not physical device
driver name but instead : -i wlan0

> 	The test script doesn't daemonize so there is no -B flag.
> We send:
> sudo wpa_supplicant -c /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf -D wired -i le0
> We get messages saying that the authentication was successful and
> the port opens.
> 	There are no log entries until I ran the sudo command in
> the test so I don't think that wpa_supplicant is ever run by the
> command in rc.conf.
> 	Thanks for all constructive ideas.
> Martin McCormick

BTW I also kick off wpa_supplicant from attach in
/usr/local/etc/devd/jhs.conf in case my first wlan dev is only
plugged in after boot. (Whether that might fight with a prior
wpa_supplicant started at boot if another wlan device already plugged
in, I havent had time to consider)

* I've only made few wlan connections myself, 
If you get stuck, ask specialist list: <freebsd-wireless at>

Julian Stacey, BSD Unix Linux C Sys Eng Consultant, Munich
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