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iwd (iNet Wireless Daemon) is an up-and-coming wireless daemon for Linux. It is written by Intel and aims to replace wpa_supplicant.



Security Options --->
	[*] Enable access key retention support
		[*] Diffie-Hellman operations on retained keys

Cryptographic API  --->
	[*] Diffie-Hellman algorithm
	[*] DES and Triple DES EDE cipher algorithms
	[*] User-space interface for symmetric key cipher algorithms

USE flags

Some packages are aware of the iwd USE flag.

USE flags for net-wireless/iwd Wireless daemon for linux

client Enable iwctl client tool
crda Use net-wireless/crda for regulatory domain loading instead of in-kernel (4.15+) support
monitor Enable iwmon monitor tool
ofono Enable support for oFono SIM authentication
wired Enable ethernet authentication daemon


Install the net-wireless/iwd package:

root #emerge --ask net-wireless/iwd

Network management

Gentoo is all about choice, so there should be various methods available for network management. But iwd is new, and not methods support iwd fully. Be sure to heed the warning in the network management article about mixing and matching the different methods for network management.


netifrc is Gentoo's default method of managing networks, but unfortunately it does not support iwd as backend yet, see bug #690808. Make sure that any symbolic links to /etc/init.d/net.lo for the wireless interfaces are removed:

root #rm -i /etc/init.d/net.wl*

Select another, working, method for network management.

iwd native

As of version 0.19 iwd contains a DHCP client and can manage routes and DNS resolving. See here how to configure it.

Start iwd and add it to the default run level:

root #rc-update add iwd default
root #rc-service iwd start


Add both the dhcpcd and then iwd service to the default runlevel and start them up:

root #rc-update add dhcpcd default
root #rc-service dhcpcd start
root #rc-update add iwd default
root #rc-service iwd start

Use iwctl to make connections.


NetworkManager supports iwd. Make sure to set the iwd USE flag:

root #echo "net-misc/networkmanager iwd" >> /etc/portage/package.use/zz-autounmask
root #emerge --ask net-wireless/networkmanager -N

gnome-extra/nm-applet or other NetworkManager frontends can be used as per normal to make connections.


ConnMan supports iwd somewhat. Make sure to set the iwd USE flag en (re-)emerge:

root #echo "net-misc/connman iwd" >> /etc/portage/package.use/zz-autounmask
root #emerge --ask net-misc/connman -N

ConnMan still relies on wpa_supplicant for scanning, but connecting via iwd is possible.

Connecting to an access point with iwctl

iwctl is iwd's tool to control iwd. It supports both a command line interface and an interactive mode. A complete command line would be iwctl station list to see what adapters you might be able to use:

user $iwctl station list
                            Devices in Station Mode
  Name                State          Scanning
  wlan0               disconnected

An interactive session of iwctl commands can be used to connect to a WiFi network access point. First check the status of the WiFi network interface, set it in scanning mode if needed, and then obtain the list of WiFi access points. Finally connect to the access point.

user $iwctl
# station wlan0 show
                                 Station: wlan0
  Settable  Property            Value
            Scanning            no
            State               disconnected

# station wlan0 scan
# station wlan0 get-networks
                               Available networks
    Network name                    Security  Signal
    FRITZ!Box 7362 SL               psk       ***
    WLAN-105127                     psk       *

# station wlan0 connect "FRITZ!Box 7362 SL"
Type the network passphrase for FRITZ!Box 7362 SL psk.

Configuration files

Daemon configuration

iwd keeps its main configuration file in /etc/iwd/main.conf.

iwd native network management

Native network management can be activated as follows:

FILE /etc/iwd/main.conf


  • enable_network_config is required to activate the native network management
  • route_priority_offset is optional and sets the route metric
  • dns_resolve_method is optional and can be used to configure a DNS manager like 'resolvconf' from net-dns/openresolv or 'systemd'.

Disable periodic scan

To prevent iwd from continuous scanning while not connected:

FILE /etc/iwd/main.conf

Configuration per connection

iwd keeps its configuration file per connection in /var/lib/iwd/.

This directory contains files with names like <station>.<networktype>, where:

  • station is the name of the network
  • networkwork type can be
    • psk for pre-shared key, like WPA-PSK or WPA2-PSK
    • 8021x for WPA-Enterprise, like EAP-PWD or EAP-PEAP.


For WPA authentication the contents of the file looks like this:

FILE /var/lib/iwd/station.psk
Passphrase=<human readable password>

The PreSharedKey is the same as one that could have been calculated with wpa_passphrase, from package net-wireless/wpa_supplicant. iwd does not provide a passphrase calculator yet.

Static network configuration

iwd defaults to DHCP, either natively or using an external DHCP-client. For static IPV4 configuration add something like this to /var/lib/iwd/station.pwk:

FILE /var/lib/iwd/station.psk

Interface management

Starting with version 0.18 iwd is actively managing network interfaces [1]. On startup it may destroy an existing network interface and create a new one. The newly created interface will be configured optimally for iwd's use. Note that currently interface renaming is not supported. This means that an interface that was detected by udev, and renamed to say 'wlp2s0' will be destroyed and a new one named for example 'wlan0' might be created. When iwd terminates it destroys the wireless interface it created.

It is possible to suppress this behaviour by passing commandline options -p (+the the name of the phy) and -i (+ the name of the interface) to the iwd daemon.

See also

  • Wifi — describes the setup of a WiFi (wireless) network device.
  • Wpa_supplicant — a wifi supplicant to handle network authentication.

External resources