Using OctoPi is one of the best ways to control your 3D printer with its clean interface, especially considering that it takes the load off your main computer and allows you to use and watch your printer remotely from any location.
That being said, compared to other 3D printer interfaces, it’s undeniable that OctoPi can be slightly hard to configure and install, especially if you are not familiar with networking concepts and the hardware it runs on, the Raspberry Pi.
One of the most commonly encountered problems within the community is getting OctoPi to work with WiFi, which is unsurprising considering that the WiFi configuration process of OctoPi can be challenging for a beginner. Because of this, we decided to dedicate today’s article to configuring WiFi on OctoPi.
So, why is OctoPi not connecting to WiFi, and how can you fix it?
The primary reason behind OctoPi not connecting to WiFi is the improper configuration of the “octopi-WPA-supplicant.txt” file, which is the file that contains the necessary information for OctoPi to connect to your wireless network.
To fix the issue, the best thing to do is to double-check this file and make sure that there are no typos, as even a minor error in the text can prevent OctoPi from connecting to your WiFi.
Although less likely, problems such as your Raspberry Pi not getting enough power, the WiFi signal strength not being strong enough, and electrical interference can also prevent OctoPi from connecting to your WiFi.
Next up, we will be diving into all the possible causes behind this issue, which we believe will be helpful for you to identify the one that is affecting you.
Why Is OctoPi Not Connecting to WiFi?
OctoPi not connecting to your WiFi can be very frustrating, especially if you can’t find the cause behind the problem.
Without further ado, let’s look at all the possible scenarios that can cause such an issue.
Misconfigured “octopi-WPA-supplicant.txt” File
A misconfigured “octopi-WPA-supplicant.txt” file causes the majority of the connectivity issues between OctoPi and WiFi.
As the configuration file needs to be formatted very strictly, small mistakes that may get overlooked while configuring this file can easily cause OctoPi to fail to connect to a wireless network.
Here are the most common errors that take place during the configuration of this file.
- Not removing the # characters on the required lines.
- Removing the # characters on the wrong lines.
- Deleting or adding spaces after removing the # characters.
- Typo on SSID or password.
- Altering the format of the text file. (Using an editor such as WordPad or TextEdit can cause this.)
Low WiFi Signal Strength
A low WiFi signal strength can also prevent OctoPi from connecting to your WiFi, as it can’t detect the network if the signal isn’t strong enough.
This problem is more likely to occur if there is a considerable amount of distance between your wireless router and the Raspberry Pi, as the range of most wireless routers isn’t too large.
Raspberry Pi Not Getting Enough Power
While rare, your Raspberry Pi not getting enough power can be the cause behind OctoPi not connecting to WiFi.
In some cases, the Raspberry Pi may not get enough power to power all the components up even though it boots successfully. As the WiFi adapter is not one of the crucial components for the Pi to operate, it may not be functional in such a case.
If you are using your computer’s USB port or an unofficial power adapter that does not satisfy the power requirements of the Raspberry Pi, this issue is more likely to happen.
While this is very unlikely to happen in most cases, it’s worth mentioning as a potential cause.
Interference caused by electrical appliances such as a television, microwave oven, or radios, Bluetooth, and other wireless networks in the area can prevent OctoPi from connecting to your WiFi.
That being said, in this scenario, some of your other devices should also be unable to connect to the wireless network as the Raspberry Pi can’t be the only thing that’s affected in the case of electrical interference.
How Do I Connect to WiFi on OctoPi?
While connecting to WiFi on OctoPi is simple on paper, unexpected problems can happen at times and create a great deal of frustration.
To ensure that the process of connecting OctoPi to your WiFi goes as cleanly as possible, here are the steps we recommend taking.
Use the Raspberry Pi Imager to load OctoPi on the SD Card (Recommended)
*This step is only suitable for those who haven’t created their OctoPi SD Card yet, or those who are willing to create one from scratch, deleting prior configuration in the process.
The Raspberry Pi Imager makes the WiFi configuration much easier as it allows you to input the SSID and the password directly into a user-friendly form.
To configure WiFi, press CTRL+SHIFT+X to bring up advanced options after choosing OctoPi as the OS, check the Configure WiFi box, and input the SSID, Password, and WiFi country accordingly.
Configure the “octopi-WPA-supplicant.txt” file.
*This step is only required if you haven’t used the Raspberry Pi Imager to create your OctoPi SD Card.
The first step of connecting OctoPi to your wireless network is filling the configuration with the necessary information.
If you have modified this file before, we highly recommend downloading a fresh copy to ensure that you don’t face any issues related to formatting.
- Open the file with Notepad++ to avoid formatting issues that editors such as WordPad can cause.
- Find out the encryption protocol of your WiFi. In most cases, this is WPA2.
- Find the related section in the config file, and remove the # characters between the lines that start with networkand end with }.Be careful not to remove any other #, or add or remove extra spaces.
- Fill out the SSID and the PSK (password) of your WiFi in their respective lines, between the quotation marks.
- Remove the # character at the start of the line that belongs to your country. If your country isn’t listed, add it yourself by following the same format. The file provides a link to the country codes of all countries that you can use to find out your country code.
An example of the modified fields for a WPA2 secured WiFi network:
## WPA/WPA2 secured
country=US # United States
As you can see, these are all the modifications you need to do, with the rest of the file completely untouched.
Ensure That the WiFi Works on Other Devices
One of the first things you should do is to check whether your WiFi functions as intended on other devices, as it’s much easier to tell that something is wrong with the wireless network on a device such as a smartphone.
Use the Official Raspberry Pi Power Adapter
Using the official Raspberry Pi power adapter is the best way to ensure that your Pi is correctly powered up and is able to supply the wireless adapter with enough power.
As unofficial adapters may not meet the power requirements of the Raspberry Pi, you may encounter issues with the wireless adapter even if your Pi is booting successfully.
Place the Raspberry Pi Next to the Router
Placing the Raspberry Pi right next to the router eliminates the risk of WiFi signal being too low for OctoPi to connect, which is a good idea to do at least during the initial setup to reduce the chance of something going wrong.
After you confirm that OctoPi successfully connects to WiFi, you can move the Pi to its intended location.
How Do I Know If OctoPi Is Connected to My WiFi?
There are a few different ways to know if your OctoPi is connected to your WiFi.
- Check the connected devices in your router interface. Search for a device with the name “octopi” in the connected devices section of your router interface. You can usually find this section under a menu called LAN or WLAN.
- Connect a keyboard and a monitor to your Raspberry Pi. Use the ifconfig wlan0 command to get information about the wireless adapter. If you’re seeing a local IP (such as 192.168.xx.xx), OctoPi is connected to your WiFi.
- SSH into your Raspberry Pi with an ethernet cable. Connect your Raspberry Pi to the network with an ethernet cable, and run the ifconfig wlan0 command through SSH. Once again, if you’re seeing a local IP (such as 192.168.xx.xx), the connection is successful.
How Do I Change My WiFi on OctoPi?
You can change the WiFi on OctoPi with two different methods, so feel free to pick the more convenient one.
- Connect a keyboard and a monitor to the OctoPi.
- Remove the SD card from the Raspberry Pi and insert it into your computer.
With either method, find the wpa_supplicant.conf file located in the /etc/wpa_supplicant folder, and edit the SSID and password accordingly for your new WiFi.
Can You Use OctoPi Without WiFi?
Technically speaking, OctoPi only requires a network, meaning that it doesn’t matter whether it’s wired or wireless.
You can use OctoPi without WiFi if you connect it to your network with an ethernet cable, which would essentially serve the same purpose.
While WiFi is usually more convenient as it doesn’t require wires, it’s completely fine to connect your Raspberry Pi to your network with an ethernet cable, and it should make no difference compared to connecting through WiFi.
How Do I Connect to My OctoPi Local?
Connecting to your OctoPi local is a straightforward task, with the only requirement being that both your Raspberry Pi and the device you’re trying to connect to OctoPi on are on the same local network.
To connect to your OctoPi Local, launch your favorite browser, and type http://octopi.local in the address bar.
If this does not work, you can also input the local IP of your Raspberry Pi into the address bar to access OctoPi, which you can find through the interface of your router.
OctoPi not connecting to your WiFi can certainly be a frustrating problem that can take a fair amount of time to fix if you don’t have any idea of where to start.
On the other hand, we believe that you can quickly solve this problem once you know the things that can cause it to take place, as going through the possible causes eventually allows you to find the one that is affecting you.
We hope that this guide helped you to get your OctoPi to connect to your WiFi!
Mike started his 3D printing journey with the Anet A8 when it first came out back in 2017, and has been obsessed with 3D printers ever since. Nowadays, he primarily uses his Ender 3 to print functional parts that make his life more convenient whenever possible.