How to Set Up a Raspberry Pi on CMU WiFi with SSH Enabled

As of April 2019, these steps work for Carnegie Mellon University’s “CMU” legacy network, and probably “CMU-Devices” also.

If you currently have your Pi up and running on a home WiFi network, you can save yourself a lot of time by getting your Pi’s MAC address and registering its information on CMU-DEVICE before you move it to campus. Just type in the command line:

ifconfig eth0

and copy down the string after HWaddr. Then register your device. To get started setting up WiFi and SSH, remove the microSD card from the Pi and mount your microSD card on your computer.

Open Terminal and navigate to the microSD directory. Assuming your card is named boot, you can just type:

$ cd /Volumes/boot

Create the file wpa_supplicant.conf (this will replace the current RPi wifi config on next boot):

$ nano wpa_supplicant.conf

The basic format for the wpa_supplicant.conf is below, but we have to adjust it a fair bit for the CMU-DEVICE network. Take a look at the format then scroll down for the settings we’ll use.

ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev


We’ll change CODE to the US country code, and the psk, ssid, and key_mgmt variables to match the CMU-Device network.

Paste the following into the file (delete any other text in the file first, if there is any):

ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev


Save this file, close it, and then enable ssh with the following command:

$ touch ssh

Now unmount your microSD card, place it back in your Pi, and on boot your Pi will connect to the specified Carnegie Mellon network with SSH enabled!