how did i not discover this earlier :? such an efficient tool! no loitering binary/cryptic config files all over the system, or bloatware dependencies like networkmanager.


# apt-get install wpagui

# vi /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf
ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev

two things to note in the above file:
1. update_config=1 to allow users to change config. if not, make it 0.
2. users need to be in netdev (or relevant group, need not be netdev).

$ wpa_gui launches a gui window, and a systray icon. click on the systray icon to show/hide the gui. closing the gui window will not close the app.

$ wpa_gui -t starts with gui hidden, which is probably what you want in startup scripts.

wpa_gui will create a new instance each time you launch it. you will see yet another systray icon.
closing the gui window merely hides it. hide/unhide by clicking the systray icon.
quit from the menu. the systray icon will disappear.

quitting wpa_gui terminates the wpa_gui instance only, and will not terminate/affect network connections.

and finally, networkmanager has been purged from my systems.. what a relief at so much cruft gone! if we don't need all the features, using a smaller/lighter tool is much more efficient.

recompile wpa_supplicant with the qt4 flag, and wheel group in conf.
wiki says either qt5 or qt4. but i couldn't qt5 it.
# USE="qt4" emerge --ask wpa_supplicant

network group in conf
# pacman -S wpa_supplicant_gui

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