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Re: Where are WiFi passwords (WPA keys) stored?

Hi Christian (and everybody else),

thanks for all the helpful answers. NetworkManager was what I was
looking for. I was just not aware of any additional layer on top of


On Tue, Dec 6, 2016 at 11:14 AM, Christian Seiler <christian@iwakd.de> wrote:
> On 12/06/2016 09:04 AM, Robert Latest wrote:
>> Not in /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf, despite suggestions in
>> every bit of documentation that I got my hands on. In fact, that file
>> doesn't even exist on my jessie system. Nevertheless, when I
>> configured the WiFi network using some GUI tool in the XFCE desktop,
>> it worked.
> Disclaimer: I'm not a user of XFCE, so if that does something
> really weird, this may not apply.
> However, most graphical tools interface with NetworkManager, and
> that stores its configuration in /etc/NetworkManager.
> You'll likely find your password stored in
> /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/$SSID
> (file only readable/writable as root; also please don't modify it
> while NetworkManager is running, it will overwrite it without
> warning; modifying it when NetworkManager is stopped is fine
> though)
> where you replace $SSID with the SSID of your WiFi.
> On some desktops (e.g. GNOME) the Password can be stored in the
> personal user's keyring/wallet/password manager instead, but
> then you need to be logged in for NetworkManager to have access
> to the password - which is not true in your case because you
> mentioned:
>> Even after a reboot, with no desktop running, I could ssh
>> into the system via WiFi.
> So that means that NetworkManager has the password stored
> directly.
> Note that when using NetworkManager, it configures its own
> instance of wpa_supplicant, so you should never touch a
> configuration file for wpa_supplicant yourself in this kind of
> setup.
> (You could of course stop using NetworkManager and configure
> wpa_supplicant manually, but I really wouldn't recommend that;
> I don't think wpa_supplicant is designed in a way that makes
> direct end-user usage easy - there's a reason why NetworkManager
> exists instead of desktop environments communicating directly
> with wpa_supplicant.)
>> BTW, I did find a wpa_supplicant.conf file in some deep subdir of
>> /etc/dbus-1/...
> That's just the DBus policy, that doesn't configure how
> wpa_supplicant reacts, but only how the DBus daemon handles
> the access policy for wpa_supplicant. (DBus is a communication
> bus used on Linux and other systems; most desktop envirnoments,
> including XFCE, use it internally for some things.) Unless you
> know what you're doing, I wouldn't touch that, otherwise you
> could end up stopping NetworkManager from communicating with
> wpa_supplicant and then your WiFi could stop working altogether.
> Regards,
> Christian

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