trevcan@internets /dev/human $

Getting access to public wifi internet on Linux

Posted on: 05/02/22 20:53:00
Last edited: 05/02/22 20:53:00

Okay, so you’re at a mall or something, there’s public WiFi. Cool. And you can access the internet with your phone. But you open your Linux computer and connect to the network, yet nothing happens ! I’ll show you how to fix this.

Most public wifi networks use what is known as a Captive Portal. It is merely a login page used to authenticate control over Wi-Fi hotspots (Nyman, 2013).


just go to on a web browser. It should redirect you to the login page.

tldr 2

tldr didn’t work ? Open a web browser, create an incognito window, go to a website you’ve never visited before. It should redirect you to the login page.

tldr 3

get into a terminal. type the following command: ip route. you should get something like:

$ ip route
default via dev zwn0 proto dhcp metric 600 dev docker0 proto kernel scope link src linkdown dev wlan0 proto kernel scope link src metric 600

get the first IP address under default. In this case, That should redirect you to the login page. If none of these solutions work, you should try reading this [0] stackoverflow question. It has great explanations on what could be going on, as well as multiple solutions.


if you’re on a nice Desktop Environment (DE), the captive portal page will most likely open for you just as you connect to the network.