How to Configure Wireless on Mint

By David Secor

In most cases, configuring a wireless Internet connection on Linux Mint is nearly automatic, requiring only a few steps. For advanced users, however, there are many ways to customize a wireless connection, giving you full control over your network and its performance. All of these options can be configured from within the GUI, making use of the terminal unnecessary.

Connecting to a Wireless Network

Step 1

Click the network icon on the task bar near the clock, which will look like a wireless signal meter or desktop computer depending on how you are currently connected, and select “Network Settings.” Alternatively, from the Linux Mint menu, choose “Network” from the “Preferences” sub-menu.

Step 2

Select “Wireless” from the left pane in the resulting window. If the “Wireless” toggle switch above the right pane is not in the “On” position, click the switch to enable the wireless connection. A list of networks that the wireless card can detect will now be listed In the right pane.

Step 3

Click the SSID, or network name, of the wireless network to which you would like to connect. If the network does not require a password, the connection will be automatically configured. Otherwise, you will be prompted to enter a password first.

Advanced Configuration

Step 1

Open the “Network Settings” dialog and in the right pane, click the arrow next to the wireless network you would like to configure.

Step 2

Click the “Settings” button to configure that connection. The “Settings” dialog will open to the “Wi-Fi” tab.

Step 3

Enter a new SSID only if you will be changing the SSID on the router. Select the operating mode, either “Infrastructure” or “Ad-hoc” for the current network. A network that uses a router or access point is using infrastructure mode in most cases, while an ad-hoc network is a direct connection between two computers. This should already be set correctly.

Step 4

Click the “Wi-Fi Security” tab to enter a new passkey for the network or to choose encryption schemes. Both of these settings should match what your wireless router uses.

Step 5

Select the “IPv4 Settings” or “IPv6 Settings” tab to set a static IP address for your wireless card or to add custom DNS addresses to use when browsing the Internet. Some local networks use static IP addresses in either the older IPv4 format or the newer IPv6 format, instead of randomly assigned dynamic IP addresses, in order to make sure a computer is always located at the same network address. A DNS server converts people-friendly Web addresses, such as, into the public IP addresses that computers require when exchanging data with a server over the Internet. A custom DNS server can be used to speed up the conversion process, which may help certain applications like video streaming perform better.

Step 6

Choose the “General” tab to toggle the options to automatically connect to the network and to make the network available to all users on the machine. If you have a virtual private network set up, you can also enable the VPN for the current connection from this tab.

Tips & Warnings

  • Click the “Create Hotspot” button in the “Network Settings” dialog to turn your wireless adapter into an access point for other devices to use. This will only work if you are connected to the Internet through a wired connection or another device. You will not be able to use your wireless connection to access the Internet while the access point is active.
  • If your wireless adapter is not working, it may require proprietary drivers. Select “Driver Manager” from “Administration” in the Linux Mint menu and enter your password. If there is a driver listed for your wireless adapter, select it and click “Apply Changes.” Make sure you are connected to the Internet through your wired network card in order to download the driver.
  • If the settings for your wireless card do not match your router, you will lose network connectivity. Be careful when entering custom settings.