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Trials of Eduroam

16 April 2013 (2 minute read)

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linux wifi technology

I’ve been having trouble connecting to Eduroam, at least reliably and persistently, without heavy desktop environments or complicated network managers. Eduroam is the wireless networking service used by many Universities in Europe, and whilst it would probably work fine using the tools provided by heavier DEs, I wanted something that could just run quickly and independently.

Many approaches require the editing of loads of config files (especially true for netcfg), which would need altering again after things like password changes. The approach I used (for Arch Linux) is actually really simple and involves the use of the user-contributed wicd-eduroam package available in the Arch User Repository.

Obviously, wicd-eduroam is related to, and depends on, wicd, a handy network connection manager, so install that first:

# pacman -S wicd
$ yaourt -S wicd-eduroam

(If you don’t use yaourt download the tarball and build it using the makepkg method.)

wicd can conflict with other network managers, so stop and disable them before starting and enabling wicd. This will allow it to startup at boot time. e.g.:

# systemctl stop NetworkManager
# systemctl disable NetworkManager
# systemctl start wicd
# systemctl enable wicd

Now start wicd-client (or set it to autostart), let it scan for networks, and edit the properties of the network eduroam Set the encryption type as eduroam in the list, enter the username and password, click OK and then allow it to connect.

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