iwd.network man page

iwd.network — Network configuration for wireless daemon


Network configuration files .open, .psk and .8021x


iwd stores information on known networks, and reads information on pre-provisioned networks, from small text configuration files.  Those files live in the state directory specified by the environment variable $STATE_DIRECTORY, which is normally provided by systemd.  In the absence of such an environment variable it defaults to $LIBDIR/iwd, which normally is set to /var/lib/iwd.  You can create, modify or remove those files. iwd monitors the directory for changes and will update its state accordingly.  iwd will also modify these files in the course of network connections or as a result of D-Bus API invocations.

File Format

The syntax is similar to that of GNOME keyfile syntax (which is based on the format defined in the Desktop Entry Specification, see http://freedesktop.org/Standards/desktop-entry-spec).  The recognized groups as well as keys and values in each group are documented here.  Defaults are written in bold.

For completeness we include the description of the file syntax here. This is the syntax that the ell library's l_settings class implements. The syntax is based on lines and lines are delimited by newline characters.

Empty lines are ignored and whitespace at the beginning of a line is ignored. Comment lines have # as their first non-whitespace character.

Key-value lines contain a setting key, an equal sign and the value of the setting.  Whitespace preceding the key, the equal sign or the value, is ignored.  The key must be a continuous string of alphanumeric and underscore characters and minus signs only.  The value starts at the first non-whitespace character after the first equal sign on the line and ends at the end of the line and must be correctly UTF-8-encoded. A boolean value can be true or false but 0 or 1 are also allowed.  Integer values are written in base 10.  String values, including file paths and hexstrings, are written as is except for five characters that may be backslash-escaped: space, \t, \r, \n and backslash itself.  The latter three must be escaped.  A space character must be escaped if it is the first character in the value string and is written as \s.

Settings are interpreted depending on the group they are in.  A group starts with a group header line and contains all settings until the next group's header line.  A group header line contains a [ character followed by the group name and a ] character.  Whitespace is allowed before the [ and after the ].  A group name consists of printable characters other than [ and ].


File names are based on the network's SSID and security type: Open, PSK-protected or 802.1x. The name consist of the encoding of the SSID followed by .open, .psk or .8021x.  The SSID appears verbatim in the name if it contains only alphanumeric characters, spaces, underscores or minus signs.  Otherwise it is encoded as an equal sign followed by the lower-case hex encoding of the name.


The settings below are split into several sections and grouped into broad categories.  Each category has a group associated with it which is given at the beginning of each sub-section.  Recognized keys and valid values are listed following the group definition.

General Settings

The group [Settings] contains general settings.

AutoConnectValues: true, false

Whether the network can be connected to automatically
HiddenValues: true, false

Whether the network is hidden, i.e. its SSID must be included in an active scan request

Network Authentication Settings

The group [Security] contains settings for Wi-Fi security and authentication configuration.

Passphrase8..63 character string

Passphrase to be used when connecting to WPA-Personal networks. Required when connecting to WPA3-Personal (SAE) networks.  Also required if the PreSharedKey is not provided.  If not provided in settings, the agent will be asked for the passphrase at connection time.
PreSharedKey64 character hex string

Processed passphrase for this network in the form of a hex-encoded 32 byte pre-shared key.  Must be provided if Passphrase is omitted.
EAP-Methodone of the following methods:


Identity string transmitted in plaintext.  Depending on the EAP method, this value can be optional or mandatory.  GTC, MD5, MSCHAPV2, PWD require an identity, so if not provided, the agent will be asked for it at connection time.  TLS based methods (PEAP, TLS, TTLS) might still require an EAP-Identity to be set, depending on the RADIUS server configuration.

Password to be provided for WPA-Enterprise authentication.  If not provided, the agent will be asked for the password at connection time. Required by: GTC, MD5, MSCHAPV2, PWD.
EAP-Password-Hashhex string

Some EAP methods can accept a pre-hashed version of the password.  For MSCHAPV2, a MD4 hash of the password can be given here.
absolute file path or embedded pem

Path to a PEM-formatted X.509 root certificate list to use for trust verification of the authenticator.  The authenticator's server's certificate chain must be verified by at least one CA in the list for the authentication to succeed.  If omitted, then authenticator's certificate chain will not be verified (not recommended.)
EAP-TLS-ClientCertabsolute file path or embedded pem

Path to a PEM-formatted client X.509 certificate or certificate chain to send on server request.
EAP-TLS-ClientKeyabsolute file path or embedded pem

Path to a PEM-formatted client PKCS#8 private key corresponding to the public key provided in EAP-TLS-ClientCert.

Decryption key for the client private key file.  This is used if the private key given by EAP-TLS-ClientKey is encrypted.  If not provided, then the agent is asked for the passphrase at connection time.

A mask for the domain names contained in the server's certificate. At least one of the domain names present in the certificate's Subject Alternative Name extension's DNS Name fields or the Common Name has to match at least one mask, or authentication will fail.  Multiple masks can be given separated by semicolons.  The masks are split into segments at the dots.  Each segment has to match its corresponding label in the domain name. An asterisk segment in the mask matches any label.  An asterisk segment at the beginning of the mask matches one or more consecutive labels from the beginning of the domain string.
The following values are allowed:
Tunneled-PAP or
a valid EAP method name (see EAP-Method)
Phase 2 authentication method for EAP-TTLS.  Can be either one of the TTLS-specific non-EAP methods (Tunneled-*), or any EAP method documented here.  The following two settings are used if any of the non-EAP methods is used.
The secure identity/username string for the TTLS non-EAP Phase 2 methods.  If not provided iwd will request a username at connection time.
Password string for the TTLS non-EAP Phase 2 methods. If not provided IWD will request a passphrase at connection time.
EAP-TTLS-Phase2-*Any settings to be used for the inner EAP method if one was specified as EAP-TTLS-Phase2-Method, rather than a TTLS-specific method. The prefix EAP-TTLS-Phase2- replaces the EAP- prefix in the setting keys and their usage is unchanged.  Since the inner method's negotiation is encrypted, a secure identity string can be provided.
EAP-PEAP-Phase2-*Any settings to be used for the inner EAP method with EAP-PEAP as the outer method. The prefix EAP-PEAP-Phase2- replaces the EAP- prefix in the setting keys and their usage is unchanged. Since the inner method's negotiation is encrypted, a secure identity string can be provided.

Network Configuration Settings

The group [IPv4] contains settings for Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) network configuration with the static addresses.

AddressIPv4 address string

The IPv4 address to assign. This field is required for the static configuration.
GatewayIPv4 address string

The IPv4 address of the gateway (router). This field is required for the static configuration.
DNSIPv4 address string

The IPv4 address of the Domain Name System (DNS). This field is optional. DNS setting can be used to override the DNS entries received from the DHCP server.
NetmaskIPv4 address string

The IPv4 address of the subnet. This field is optional. is used as default Netmask.
BroadcastIPv4 address string

The IPv4 address to be used for the broadcast. This field is optional.

The DomainName is the name of the local Internet domain. This field is optional. DomainName setting can be used to override the DomainName value obtained from the DHCP server.

Embedded PEMs

Rather than including an absolute path to a PEM file (for certificates and keys), the PEM itself can be included inside the settings file and referenced directly. This allows IEEE 802.1x network provisioning using a single file without any references to certificates or keys on the system.

An embedded PEM can appear anywhere in the settings file using the following format (this example the PEM is named 'my_ca_cert'):

<PEM data>

After this special group tag its as simple as pasting in a PEM file including the BEGIN/END tags. Now 'my_ca_cert' can be used to reference the certificate elsewhere in the settings file by prefixing the value with 'embed:'


This is not limited to CA Certificates either. Client certificates, client keys (encrypted or not), and certificate chains can be included.


The following are some examples of common configurations

Open Network (Hidden)


Pre-Shared Key (PSK)






TTLS + Pap




See Also

iwd(8), iwd.config(5)


Marcel Holtmann <marcel@holtmann.org>, Denis Kenzior <denkenz@gmail.com>, Andrew Zaborowski <andrew.zaborowski@intel.com>, Tim Kourt <tim.a.kourt@linux.intel.com>, James Prestwood <prestwoj@gmail.com>

Referenced By

iwd(8), iwd.config(5).

22 September 2019 iwd Linux Connectivity