Introducing wiconn: A text-based 802.11 wireless network manager for OpenBSD

When I switched back to OpenBSD as my primary daily-use operating system back in 2011, my biggest complaint was the lack of an easy-to-use tool for managing wireless networks. I only used maybe two or three different wireless networks daily. I just used a few shell scripts that statically configured the network card for each of these environments. Any time I'd go somewhere else, though, it would be a pain to manually configure it.

Almost exactly five years ago, I did something about it, and I called it wiconn.sh. Since I already had one-off scripts for my home and office networks, Wiconn started as a script to display open networks. It would display only the open ones, and prompt me for an SSID, and it could remember the BSSID (MAC Addresses) of open networks I used to protect me from things like my own Evil WiFi setup and other "evil twin" style wireless attacks.
That first version looked something like this:

Wiconn evolved over time. By late 2012, I'd given it a bunch of features and made the interface look nicer. All SSIDs were being listed with color-coded backgrounds for the network you're connected to, and open networks. Visually, it hasn't changed much since 2012. This is how Wiconn looks today:

Over this long holiday weekend, I finally got it to a place where I feel like sharing it. Since it's already in the garage for maintenance, I figured I might as well put wiconn on GitHub.

  • Written primarily in Bourne shell (/bin/sh)
  • No dependencies: Relies only on the OpenBSD base distribution
  • Built-in protection from common wireless attacks
  • Easily connect to saved networks with one command (no scanning or prompt)
  • 2-Clause Simplified BSD license
There's still some more work to do.  I'd like to have it detect that one of your saved networks is in the list and ask if you'd like to join it. I'm also using NetBSD a bit more, and feel like there might be a way to make it work well on both OpenBSD and NetBSD from the same codebase, despite small differences in command syntax and output format between them.

Anyhow, for the growing number of folks who are giving OpenBSD a shot lately, I thought I'd share. Feedback is welcome, and more information is available through the documentation via GitHub.

n0xa/wiconn on GitHub

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