Starting with or changing Wi-Fi on Raspberry Pi 4

Changing Hassio Wi-Fi Setup (Sun 6/14/2020)

I’ve spent a lot of time searching the internet to figure out two related how-to’s:

  1. How to do a fresh Hassio install on a Raspberry Pi 4 and have it come up talking on my wi-fi network.
  2. How to change the wi-fi network this device talks to later when I move it from my house to the location where it will actually be used.

In my brief experience #1 and #2 are done the very same way, which is:

  1. Using a Windows PC.
  2. Place the SD card in a USB adapter and install it in the Windows PC.
  3. You will see the device with one place where some files appear.
  4. Create a new folder there named “CONFIG”.
  5. Inside the CONFIG folder create another folder called “network”.
  6. Inside the network folder create a plain text file called “my-network”. That file should contain network settings described in this reference document:
  7. Save your changes.
  8. Remove the SD card from the Windows PC.
  9. Installed the SD card in the Raspberry Pi.
  10. Boot the Raspberry Pi. It should come up on the network you specified.
  11. If it doesn’t come up on the network, your only option appears to be to repeat this process until you get it working.

I found information on how to do this other ways, none of which worked for me:

  1. I tried placing information on a USB thumb drive, inserting it into the Raspberry Pi before the first boot. The thumb drive is supposed to be formatted FAT32 with a volume name CONFIG, a folder “network” and a file “my-network”. Didn’t work for me.
  2. Similarly, after I had Hassio up and doing a few things, I tried to use a USB thumb drive and Supervisor -> System -> Import From USB. I got no feedback when I pressed the link other than my USB stick LED flashing, but after trying it several times it didn’t appear to work.

The only way I could change my wi-fi setup was by shutting down the Raspberry Pi, moving the SD card to a PC, and adding the CONFIG folder.

Note that when this works, Hassio will remove the CONFIG folder you created from the SD card where you put it. So you might want to keep a copy of what you used somewhere else.

I read a post from someone who put their SD card in a Linux VM, where they would have access to the entire Hassio setup, and make the change that way. I suspect that process also works. I just didn’t want to spend more time figuring out how to expose USB ports to a VM I had running.

In another post I read a series of comments questioning why someone would put their Hassio CPU on wi-fi to start with? I agree I would like a wired connection better but in the target location I’m dealing with zwave and zigbee devices and a USB controller stick plugged into the Pi. I wanted to be able to move it around in case talking to my devices became an issue.