Arch Linux

How to Use the Arch Linux Network Manager

The Arch Linux system network service known as “Arch Linux Network Manager” controls the network connections for the Arch Linux operating system. It can toggle between various connections, handle both wired and wireless connections, and instantly connect to the established networks. Additionally, it could be employed to set up the network configurations such as IP addresses, DNS servers, and routing. With the help of the Network Manager, users can control their networks more effectively and easily. In this guide, we will discuss how an Arch Linux user can use the Network Manager on its system after configuring it.

Install the Network Manager

Before managing the network properties for your Arch Linux system, you should have a Network Manager installed at your end. For this, we cast off the pacman utility of Arch Linux to install the Network Manager followed by its “-S” option. The following command is used to install three software packages on an Arch Linux system using pacman.

The wpa_supplicant is used to authenticate a user on a wireless network and provides the essential encryption keys. The wireless_tools allows you to configure the wireless interfaces such as setting the SSID, the channel, and the encryption method. Last but not the least, the Network Manager is a system network service that copes with network connections on the Arch Linux operating system. It allows you to use both wired and wireless connections and can automatically associate with identified networks and switch among numerous connections.

[omar@omar ~]$ sudo pacman -S wpa_supplicant wireless_tools networkmanager

Any mobile device can have a network manager configured in the same way. The following command is used to install three software packages on an Arch Linux system using the pacman package manager. The “modemmanager” is a DBus-activated daemon that controls the mobile broadband (2G/3G/4G) devices and connections. The mobile-broadband-provider-info is a package that contains a database of the mobile broadband providers. The usb_modeswitch is a program that enables the mode switching of various USB devices that have multiple modes of operation.

[omar@omar ~]$ sudo pacman -S modemmanager mobile-broadband-provider-info usb_modeswitch

The “rp-pppoe” is a PPP over Ethernet client for Linux. It permits you to associate with a PPPoE (Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet) server which is usually used by the DSL suppliers to deliver an Internet access to customers. The package delivers the pppoe-connect and pppoe-start instructions command-line utility which can be used to create and control the PPPoE connections. The “sudo pacman -S rp-pppoe” command is used to install the rp-pppoe package on an Arch Linux system using the pacman package manager. Once the installation is finished, you will see an output like this:

[omar@omar ~]$ sudo pacman -S rp-pppoe

In Arch Linux, the nm-connection-editor and network-manager-applet are the tools that allow the users to easily manage and configure their network connections on a Linux system. They provide a graphical user interface that makes it simple to set up and edit the network connections including wired and wireless connections. Additionally, nm-connection-editor and network-manager-applet can help the users to easily switch between different connections depending on their location or needs. Therefore, we tried the following command to install them. The command starts by resolving the dependencies and checking for conflicting packages. The user is then asked to confirm the installation before the packages are downloaded and installed.

[omar@omar ~]$ sudo pacman -S nm-connection-editor network-manager-applet

Configure the Network Manager

It’s time to configure the network manager on our Arch Linux with the help of simple instructions. This systemctl command enables the NetworkManager service. The command creates symbolic links in the /etc/systemd/system/ directory for the NetworkManager service, the NetworkManager-dispatcher service, and the NetworkManager-wait-online service. These links are used to start the service automatically when the system starts up and ensures that the service is running at all times.

[omar@omar ~]$ sudo systemctl enable NetworkManager.service

We disable the default dhcp service. The following command removes the symbolic link in the /etc/systemd/system/ directory for the dhcpcd service. This ensures that the service does not start automatically when the system starts up and that it does not run at all times. This can be useful if you want to use a different DHCP client or configure the network settings manually.

[omar@omar ~]$ sudo systemctl disable dhcpcd.service

The wpa_supplicant is a supportive service that is responsible to connect to the wireless networks and manage the wireless connections. The “systemctl” command creates the symbolic links that are used to start the service automatically when the system starts up and ensures that the service is running at all times.

[omar@omar ~]$ sudo systemctl enable wpa_supplicant.service

It’s time to start the Network Manager service on Arch Linux using the systemctl command that is shown in the following. This command starts the NetworkManager service, allowing it to manage and configure the network connections on the system. This command is useful if the service is previously stopped or if you want to start the service after a reboot or disable it temporarily.

[omar@omar ~]$ sudo systemctl start NetworkManager.service

The “nmcli” command is used to list the available wifi networks. The command lists every wifi network that is accessible to your device. Since we are working on the virtual box with an ethernet connection, it does not display any network.

[omar@omar ~]$ nmcli device wifi list

The nmcli command is cast off to connect to a wifi network using the Network Manager. The wifi’s SSID is its name, and its password is contained in the SSID-PASS> argument.

[omar@omar ~]$ nmcli device wifi connect SSID password SSID-PASS

Here is the command that shows a list of all connections, whether they are currently active or not. This can be helpful to detect which connections are currently active on the system or to resolve the network difficulties.

[omar@omar ~]$ nmcli connection show
NAME                UUID                               TYPE     DEVICE
Wired connection 1  6e94cfb0-9efc-33e0-a680-8fa732e1f852  ethernet   enp0s3

To make a connection working for your machine, use the following instruction with the UUID of a particular device.

[omar@omar ~]$ nmcli connection up uuid UUID

To reload, use the following instruction:

[omar@omar ~]$ sudo nmcli connection reload

The one-word “nmtui” command can be utilized to edit the connections through GUI and is very easy to use in comparison to the previous instructions.

[omar@omar ~]$ nmtui


After going through this guide, you will understand the importance of using the Network Manager on Arch Linux which allows you to manage the different internet connections, especially the wifi networks. Starting from installing the Network Manager in your device to configuring it, all the steps are very easy and simple using simple instructions. Lastly, you will be able to list all the available networks and connect with them on Arch Linux.

About the author

Omar Farooq

Hello Readers, I am Omar and I have been writing technical articles from last decade. You can check out my writing pieces.