Ubuntu Is Looking At Offering Better WiFi Support By Using Intel's IWD

Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 12 August 2020 at 12:11 PM EDT. 44 Comments
Ubuntu developers are looking at using Intel IWD as the iNET wireless daemon to potentially replace WPA_Supplicant for offering a better WiFi experience.

Intel's open-source team has always been working on IWD as a potential replacement to WPA_Supplicant while recently the Ubuntu folks have found it has "mostly reached feature parity" now to WPA_Supplicant albeit is in need of more testing on the desktop side.

Among the IWD functionality they are interested in is faster network discovery, more reliable roaming, less system resource usage, making use of modern Linux kernel features, support for enterprise security features, support for multiple clients, and other features.

Ubuntu hasn't decided for sure to replace WPA_Supplicant with IWD at this time but they are looking for users on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and Ubuntu 20.10 daily builds to try it out for handling their WiFi connections. Switching over right now to IWD just involves installing its package, disabling WPA_Supplicant via a systemd mask, and enabling IWD as the WiFi back-end for NetworkManager.

Those wanting to help engage in IWD testing on Ubuntu or curious how others are finding this Intel open-source project perform, see this Ubuntu Discourse thread.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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