How do I set up network interface on Debian?

Zhong Jiang October 18, 2012
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After performing a minimum install, there are variety of hardware/driver problems. But the most critical issue of all, is the WiFi. At first, I cannot seem to find a GUI, since it’s not installed from the base and later I learn that it must be configured through the .conf file.

As a previous Windows user, this is very strange to me, so I went ahead to do some research, but it quickly fell short. I’ve looked at some examples from blogs and tried to modify mine according to their guidelines, but when I restart the service, there were no dhcp persistent lease database or bound to Here’s the /etc/network/interface,

# This file describes the network interfaces available on your system
# and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5).

# The loopback network interface
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

# The primary network interface
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static

# Wireless Interface
auto wlan0
iface wlan0 inet dhcp
wpa-ssid “SSID”
wpa-key-mgmt WPA-PSK
wpa-group TKIP CCMP

Hardware information:
Qualcomm Atheros AR9285
Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller

When I use the ethernet cable, it works, but does not indicate anything within Debian that internet access has been connected vice versa.

  1. Bruce Epper
    October 18, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    To see what network interfaces are configured, you use the ifconfig command. To see every interface whether they are up or down, plumbed or not, use 'ifconfig -a'. If you are using the GNOME desktop environment, you can add a panel to indicate your network status. There will be similar functionality for KDE, Xfce and the other desktop environments as well. As far as the wireless portion of the config file, if you haven't replaced SSID and YOUR-PASSWORD-HERE with the SSID and the shared key for your network respectively, it simply won't be able to connect since it needs to know what network you wish to use.

    • Zhong
      October 20, 2012 at 3:33 am


      I'm able to get my wireless interface to work through network manager. However, due to some stranger behavior Network Manager will regenerate the resolv.conf, leaving it blank whenever I connect or reconnect to a network. Here's what it says on the resolv.conf file after it loads.

      # Generated by Network Manager

      Then I enter the nameserver likewise,

      #Generated by Network Manager

      Usually, the name resolution error will disappear but recently my browser is unable to connect to the destination.

      Is there something wrong I'm doing here?