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Ubuntu GNOME 17.04: wi-fi not working — mac address keeps changing!


My Panda USB wi-fi adapter works just fine on 16.10, but when I try to connect to my wi-fi router in 17.04, GNOME network manager reports “Connection failed.” I did some tinkering, and noticed that my MAC address for my wifi adapter, according to GNOME, is DIFFERENT every time I make it forget my wifi settings and try to reconnect. Any leads on a possible fix or work-around?

I’m running Ubuntu GNOME 17.04, kernel 4.10.0-19-generic, GNOME 3.24.0.

Accepted Answer

So Jesse discovered a solution and I’m going to share it here in answer form as clearly as I can muster. This fixed wifi for me using a Panda Wireless USB wifi adapter on Ubuntu 17.04:

For privacy reasons, the default settings for Ubuntu 17.04’s network manager (ALL flavours, not just GNOME) cause the MAC address of the Wifi device to change constantly. To fix this, you just have to create a new config file as outlined below and then restart the network-manager service.

Open a terminal and run:

sudo tee /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/wifi.scan-rand-mac-address.conf > /dev/null <<EOF
sudo service network-manager restart

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and wifi should work again! (unless something else is wrong).

This fix should work even on a live CD/USB session.

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