Connect to the University of Cape Town's "uct-secure" Wireless Network with Ubuntu

The University of Cape Town is rolling out a secure wireless network to many buildings on campus. This network requires that you authenticate using your UCT username (usually with your student number, staff number or third-party number) and password. The SSID of the network is “uct-secure”.

This document describes how to configure an Ubuntu Hardy Heron (or more recent) Linux machine with a wireless card to connect to this network.


The uct-secure network is already deployed across a lot UCT, and is still being deployed in other areas.


The easiest way is to set your wireless networking to roaming mode and using the GUI to do the configuration. To do this do the following:

Before you begin, make sure that your wireless network card’s MAC address is registered to get an IP address via DHCP. You will need to log a call of visit the ICTS Reception to get this done. I think the plan is to do away with this requirement for the wireless network, but as far as I know, at the moment, it is still required.

Hardy only: Click System -> Administration -> Network. Check what “Wireless connection” is set to in the Connections tab. If it says “Roaming mode enabled”, you’re all set to go. If not, click the Unlock button, authenticate, highlight “Wireless connection” and click Properties. Check “Enable roaming mode”.

On the task bar find the network configuration icon. Left click on it and you should get a Wireless Networks menu listing all of the wireless networks visble from your position with their current signal strengths. Select the uct-secure network.

Select the network

The “Wireless Network Authentication/Key Required” dialog should popup. Set the options as follows:

On hardy:

Setting Value
Wireless Security WPA2 Enterprise
Key Type Automatic (Default)
Phase2 Type MSCHAPv2
Identity Your UCT username (capitalise)
Password Your UCT password

Leave everything else empty and click Connect.

Hardy configuration dialog

On Jaunty:

Setting Value
Wireless Security WPA & WPA2 Enterprise
Authentication Protected EAP (PEAP)
CA Certificate /etc/ssl/certs/Thawte_Premium_Server_CA.pem
PEAP Version Automatic (Default)
Inner Authentication MSCHAPv2
User Name Your UCT username (capitalise)
Password Your UCT password

Leave everything else empty and click Connect.

Jaunty configuration dialog

If you did it all correctly, the Network configuration icon on the task bar should change to a histogram icon. The bars of the histogram change from grey to blue to indicate the signal strength. You can also mouse-over the histogram for more info.

Connected Histogram

To check that everything looks correct. Right click on the histogram and select Connection information.

Connection Information




I am trying to connect to Eduroam on a Pi 3. This is basically my first experience with linux. I understand that I need to fiddle with wpa_supplicant files.
My perfect world goal would be to make a downloadable wpa_supplicant.conf file to facilatate any people trying to get a Pi onto eduroam. Unfortunately I am falling short myself…

But UCT-secure is long dead, so maybe a HowTo for eduroam through terminal would be great :)


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