Manual Commandline Network setup:
So this guide is for those of you who only connect to the same router via Wpa2/Psk encrypted wireless. Although if you want to, you can scan and connect to any wireless connection manually using the wireless-tools suite of scripts.
Wireless setup via a Gui:
If you regularly roam and need to search for and connect to different wireless connections, i’d suggest you install wicd-gtk, it’s in most Linux distro repositories. There’s also network-manager-gnome which provides the nm-applet gui. I prefer the manual method as the gui apps tend to write over system config files. For example, nm-applet removes your dns configs in /etc/resolv.conf.
Ok, you need to have your wireless drivers installed and working. I’m using a Broadcom BCM4138, whose drivers are supplied via the “firmware-b43-installer” which fetches the firmware from openwrt.
More on B43 here: http://linuxwireless.org/en/users/Drivers/b43#b43_and_b43legacy
Next up you need to authenticate with Wpa using PSK TKIP, this is accomplished by installing wpasupplicant:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install wpasupplicant
Now you need to edit a couple of files:
sudo vim /etc/network/interfaces
Supposing your wireless card is called wlan0, and you want a static IP address you add this:
iface wlan0 inet static
Just to make sure you can surf the net, check your dns config. I put my router IP and the Google Open DNS IP as well.
sudo vim /etc/resolv.conf
Now to connect, you only have to issue one command, then every time you login after that you will automatically be connected:
sudo ifup wlan0
That’s it, no need for Gui applications sucking resources and overwriting important files. Just a quick and easy auto-connected wireless every time you bootup.