Connecting Octoprint to a secure wifi network


#1

I'm trying to get Octoprint set up on my Prusa i3 Mk3 with a Raspberry Pi Zero W but my connecting to my specific wifi network is a little odd. My wifi network requires a MAC address to connect devices up to it. Once it has that address, there is no password to connect, it just knows it's one of your devices. Since the main way to connect the Raspberry Pi Zero is with a network name and password, I 'm not sure that I can apply that to my situation. Where might I find the MAC address of the Raspberry Pi Zero? Or is there another way to do it?

I tried looking to see if anyone had a similar case and also solved it but I couldn't find either.

I'm using OctoPi version 0.15.1


#2

First off, I'd suggest properly securing your wireless network, if you haven't already, as it would appear to be an unsecured network, given your description and lack of mention of WPA, 802.1X, RADIUS, or pre-shared certificates, most/all of which Linux supports via wpa-supplicant (OctoPi is a Raspbian image; Raspbian is a Linux distribution).

Second, a Pi Zero W isn't really adequate for OctoPrint, and we see a decent number of posts where people have trouble using them; you're better off using an RPi 3, preferably over Ethernet (it performs better), for OctoPrint.

Finally, MAC addresses are available on Linux machines via the command

ifconfig -a

I hope some of this helps.


#3

My wifi is a little wacky since it's what my apartment complex uses. I sign into my account on their portal, and there I am able to add a device to the network given I have the MAC address. And then on the device directly, I am able to connect to their wifi network. Without a way to get the MAC address for a device, I can't use wifi on it.

I also have a RPi 3 so I could give that a go but I was following Prusa's tutorial to set up Octoprint on my Mk 3 using just the Pi Zero W, link here. Without the hiccup on the wifi, it seems like a pretty simple process but If you still recommend I use a RPi 3 to do it, I will give that a try. I'm a mechanical engineering student so my knowledge of software is slim to none.

I also would be using Octoprint on my Windows PC.


#4

A RPi 3 is going to be your best bet; the Prusa tutorial is a point of contention with the OctoPrint community, as Prusa Research didn't contact @foosel or anyone in the community to make sure a Pi Zero W would be sufficient to run it reliably. People have issues all the time, especially if they try adding a camera, since the Pi Zero W has super-wimpy resources.

I'd strongly recommend getting a couple of inexpensive routers and setting up your own network. If you get a router that's able to be used as a wifi to ethernet bridge out of the box, you can connect that up to your complex's wifi, and have it bridge to the WAN port on a second wifi router, that you can use to create your own network, without having advanced skills or having to put custom firmware on a router. TP-Link, for instance, makes affordable routers that can do this stuff. I wouldn't blindly hook OctoPrint up to your complex's WiFi, as you're asking for trouble, since it's not a secure network, and anyone in your complex (and quite possibly anyone on the internet) can likely access it. See the article linked below for some ideas of why this is bad:

Finally, don't let being an ME student keep you from understanding software and hardware...the broader your knowledge base, the more valuable you are, and the farther you'll go. ME, EE, and software skills all fit nicely together, and if you've got some hardware and software to go with the mechanical skills, you can build pretty much anything and make it work, which will leave you very much in demand in the job market, and positioned to create just about anything you can imagine on your own as well.


#5

Absolutely. Buy a router, have that connect to the network and present that guy's MAC address to them. Everything on this side of the router is yours and you don't have to worry about anyone seeing your printer or your webcam, etc.