A minimalist wireless connection manager

September 2016

Most network managers for Linux seem to malfunction frequently, yet wpa_supplicant is somewhat more stable. Whyfi is a minimalist network manager that can connect to networks, save changes and restart the interface. It's also less crashy, so far. The user interface is an interactive menu in the terminal. Whyfi is written in Python and communicates with wpa_supplicant over the wpa_cli interface.

How do I use it?

  1. Configure your wireless interface to use wpa_supplicant for control and to run a DHCP client automatically
  2. make config; Set up your wireless interface and wpa_supplicant parameters
  3. make install; Install whyfi somewhere in your path
  4. whyfi; Run the program when you want to connect to a wireless network


  • Shows current network info and lists available wireless networks
  • Prompts for credentials
  • Supports WPA-PSK and WPA-EAP (WPA Personal and Enterprise, respectively) as well as NONE (open wireless networks)
  • Can connect immediately, or save wireless networks in a configuration file.
  • Only 300-ish lines of Python.
  • Might not crash.
  • Absurdly well-documented.


  • Seems to be too lazy to reassociate to a wireless network after the laptop wakes up from sleep, or one is roaming. - This is really the wpa_supplicant's responsibility, but I would like working wifi so I should fix this some time.
  • Creates wpa_cli 'network' configurations ad nauseum.
    • There is a limit, and configurations should be reused eventually.