How To Check Wireless Network Card And WiFi Information From Linux Command Line

I was using Manjaro 18.0 OS in my primary Laptop for daily purpose and most of the time i use CLI for most of the my activity so, i would like to check wifi details through command line.

I did a small google search and found few things about it.

I had explorer so many things based on that. Now, i’m going to write a detailed article about that to help others.

For that you have to identify the interface name first. Once you found the interface name then you can use one of the below utility to get the detailed information about it.

Most of the utility allows you to monitor and view wireless networks noise levels, bit rate, signal quality, signal strength, packet statistics, device configuration and network parameters etc.

Following Utilities are available in Linux to check Wireless Network Card Information

  • lspci: lspci is a utility for displaying information about PCI buses in the system and devices connected to them.
  • ip: It show / manipulate routing, network devices, interfaces and tunnels information.
  • nmcli: nmcli is a command-line tool for controlling NetworkManager and reporting network status.
  • ethtool: ethtool is used to query and control network device driver and hardware settings, particularly for wired Ethernet devices.
  • iwconfig: Iwconfig is similar to ifconfig, but is dedicated to the wireless interfaces.
  • iwlist: Iwlist is used to display some additional information from a wireless network interface that is not displayed by iwconfig.
  • procfs: The proc filesystem (procfs) is a special filesystem in Unix-like operating systems that presents information about processes and other system information.
  • wavemon: wavemon is a ncurses-based monitoring application for wireless network devices.
  • GNOME NetworkManager: The GNOME NetworkManager daemon attempts to make networking configuration for network interfaces, like Ethernet, WiFi, and Mobile Broadband devices.

Check Wireless Network Card Name Using lspci Command?

lspci is a utility for displaying information about PCI buses in the system and devices connected to them.

By default, it shows a brief list of devices. Use the options described below to request either a more verbose output or output intended for parsing by other programs.

Run the following command to identify your wireless network card name.

$ lspci | grep -i wireless
08:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Wireless 8260 (rev 3a)

Use the following command to get more details about wireless card information.

$ lspci -vv -s 08:00.0
08:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Wireless 8260 (rev 3a)
	Subsystem: Intel Corporation Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
	Control: I/O- Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B- DisINTx+
	Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B- ParErr- DEVSEL=fast >TAbort- SERR- 
	Kernel driver in use: iwlwifi
	Kernel modules: iwlwifi

Check Wireless Interface Name Using ip Command?

It show / manipulate routing, network devices, interfaces and tunnels information.

Run the following command to check whether the wireless network interface is active or not. Yes, it’s active and working fine.

Make a note, wireless interface name would start with w and wired interface would start with e.

$ ip a
1: lo:  mtu 65536 qdisc noqueue state UNKNOWN group default qlen 1000
    link/loopback 00:00:00:00:00:00 brd 00:00:00:00:00:00
    inet 127.0.0.1/8 scope host lo
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
    inet6 ::1/128 scope host 
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
2: enp9s0:  mtu 1500 qdisc fq_codel state DOWN group default qlen 1000
    link/ether c8:5b:76:4d:d4:5c brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
3: wlp8s0:  mtu 1500 qdisc mq state UP group default qlen 1000
    link/ether e4:a7:a0:32:fc:e9 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
    inet 192.168.1.4/24 brd 192.168.1.255 scope global dynamic noprefixroute wlp8s0
       valid_lft 83000sec preferred_lft 83000sec
    inet6 fe80::ad00:2f7e:d882:5add/64 scope link noprefixroute 
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever

Check Wireless Access Point Information Using nmcli Command?

nmcli is a command-line tool for controlling NetworkManager and reporting network status. It can be utilized as a replacement for nm-applet or other graphical clients. nmcli is used to create, display, edit, delete, activate, and deactivate network connections, as well as control and display network device status.

Run the following command to view available wifi access points for you. It will show which wifi is currently connected on your system and also shows you which wireless interface is binded on it.

$ nmcli connection show
NAME                UUID                                  TYPE      DEVICE 
2g                  3a0097de-5574-4df9-b43b-2eaaec4abb62  wifi      wlp8s0 
Redmi               156a7844-7135-4246-8576-17a97dd4f197  wifi      --     
Wired connection 1  4e26e12c-0146-35f4-85ff-a1f6c387d370  ethernet  --     

To view access point speed, signal strength and security informations.

$ nmcli dev wifi
IN-USE  SSID       MODE   CHAN  RATE        SIGNAL  BARS  SECURITY 
*       2g         Infra  2     54 Mbit/s   100     ▂▄▆█  WPA2     
        DIRECT-EK  Infra  11    130 Mbit/s  55      ▂▄__  WPA2     

Run the following command to see the details of “2g” wifi access point.

$ nmcli connection show 2g
connection.id:                          2g
connection.uuid:                        3a0097de-5574-4df9-b43b-2eaaec4abb62
connection.stable-id:                   --
connection.type:                        802-11-wireless
connection.interface-name:              --
connection.autoconnect:                 yes
connection.autoconnect-priority:        0
connection.autoconnect-retries:         -1 (default)
connection.multi-connect:               0 (default)
connection.auth-retries:                -1
connection.timestamp:                   1544408252
connection.read-only:                   no
connection.permissions:                 --
connection.zone:                        --
connection.master:                      --
connection.slave-type:                  --
connection.autoconnect-slaves:          -1 (default)
connection.secondaries:                 --
connection.gateway-ping-timeout:        0
connection.metered:                     unknown
connection.lldp:                        default
connection.mdns:                        -1 (default)
connection.llmnr:                       -1 (default)
802-11-wireless.ssid:                   2g
802-11-wireless.mode:                   infrastructure
.
.
DHCP4.OPTION[14]:                       requested_ntp_servers = 1
DHCP4.OPTION[15]:                       requested_rfc3442_classless_static_routes = 1
DHCP4.OPTION[16]:                       requested_root_path = 1
DHCP4.OPTION[17]:                       requested_routers = 1
DHCP4.OPTION[18]:                       requested_static_routes = 1
DHCP4.OPTION[19]:                       requested_subnet_mask = 1
DHCP4.OPTION[20]:                       requested_time_offset = 1
DHCP4.OPTION[21]:                       requested_wpad = 1
DHCP4.OPTION[22]:                       routers = 192.168.1.1
DHCP4.OPTION[23]:                       subnet_mask = 255.255.255.0
IP6.ADDRESS[1]:                         fe80::ad00:2f7e:d882:5add/64
IP6.GATEWAY:                            --
IP6.ROUTE[1]:                           dst = fe80::/64, nh = ::, mt = 600
IP6.ROUTE[2]:                           dst = ff00::/8, nh = ::, mt = 256, table=255  

Run the following command to view the “wlp8s0” wifi interface details.

$ nmcli -f GENERAL,WIFI-PROPERTIES dev show wlp8s0
GENERAL.DEVICE:                         wlp8s0
GENERAL.TYPE:                           wifi
GENERAL.NM-TYPE:                        NMDeviceWifi
GENERAL.VENDOR:                         Intel Corporation
GENERAL.PRODUCT:                        Wireless 8260 (Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260)
GENERAL.DRIVER:                         iwlwifi
GENERAL.DRIVER-VERSION:                 4.19.6-1-MANJARO
GENERAL.FIRMWARE-VERSION:               36.7596afd4.0
GENERAL.HWADDR:                         E4:A7:A0:32:FC:E9
GENERAL.MTU:                            1500
GENERAL.STATE:                          100 (connected)
GENERAL.REASON:                         0 (No reason given)
GENERAL.UDI:                            /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1c.2/0000:08:00.0/net/wlp8s0
GENERAL.IP-IFACE:                       wlp8s0
GENERAL.IS-SOFTWARE:                    no
GENERAL.NM-MANAGED:                     yes
GENERAL.AUTOCONNECT:                    yes
GENERAL.FIRMWARE-MISSING:               no
GENERAL.NM-PLUGIN-MISSING:              no
GENERAL.PHYS-PORT-ID:                   --
GENERAL.CONNECTION:                     2g
GENERAL.CON-UUID:                       3a0097de-5574-4df9-b43b-2eaaec4abb62
GENERAL.CON-PATH:                       /org/freedesktop/NetworkManager/ActiveConnection/1
GENERAL.METERED:                        no (guessed)
WIFI-PROPERTIES.WEP:                    yes
WIFI-PROPERTIES.WPA:                    yes
WIFI-PROPERTIES.WPA2:                   yes
WIFI-PROPERTIES.TKIP:                   yes
WIFI-PROPERTIES.CCMP:                   yes
WIFI-PROPERTIES.AP:                     yes
WIFI-PROPERTIES.ADHOC:                  yes
WIFI-PROPERTIES.2GHZ:                   yes
WIFI-PROPERTIES.5GHZ:                   yes

Check Wireless Interface Driver & Firmware Information Using ethtool Command?

ethtool is used to query and control network device driver and hardware settings, particularly for wired Ethernet devices.

Run the following commands to know about wifi kernel driver, firmware version and bus info.

$ ethtool -i wlp8s0
driver: iwlwifi
version: 4.19.6-1-MANJARO
firmware-version: 36.7596afd4.0
expansion-rom-version: 
bus-info: 0000:08:00.0
supports-statistics: yes
supports-test: no
supports-eeprom-access: no
supports-register-dump: no
supports-priv-flags: no

Check WiFi Signal Strength, Bit Rate & Link Quality Information Using iwconfig Command?

Iwconfig is similar to ifconfig, but is dedicated to the wireless interfaces. It is used to set the parameters of the network interface which are specific to the wireless operation.

Iwconfig may also be used to display those parameters, and the wireless statistics (extracted from /proc/net/wireless).

All these parameters and statistics are device dependent. Each driver will provide only some of them depending on hardware support, and the range of values may change. Please refer to the man page of each device for details.

$ iwconfig wlp8s0
wlp8s0    IEEE 802.11  ESSID:"2g"  
          Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.437 GHz  Access Point: DC:MA:90:51:E2:96   
          Bit Rate=54 Mb/s   Tx-Power=22 dBm   
          Retry short limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Power Management:off
          Link Quality=69/70  Signal level=-41 dBm  
          Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:85   Missed beacon:0

Check Detailed Wireless Interface Information Using iwlist Command?

Iwlist is used to display some additional information from a wireless network interface that is not displayed by iwconfig.

$ iwlist wlp8s0 scan
wlp8s0    Scan completed :
          Cell 01 - Address: DC:MA:90:51:E2:96
                    Channel:6
                    Frequency:2.437 GHz (Channel 6)
                    Quality=70/70  Signal level=-32 dBm  
                    Encryption key:on
                    ESSID:"2g"
                    Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s; 9 Mb/s
                              18 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s
                    Bit Rates:6 Mb/s; 12 Mb/s; 24 Mb/s; 48 Mb/s
                    Mode:Master
                    Extra:tsf=00000011762b2d86
                    Extra: Last beacon: 13647ms ago
                    IE: Unknown: 00023267
                    IE: Unknown: 010882848B961224486C
                    IE: Unknown: 030106
                    IE: Unknown: 2A0100
                    IE: Unknown: 32040C183060
                    IE: IEEE 802.11i/WPA2 Version 1
                        Group Cipher : CCMP
                        Pairwise Ciphers (1) : CCMP
                        Authentication Suites (1) : PSK
                    IE: Unknown: DD180050F2020101000003A4000027A4000042435E0062322F00
                    IE: Unknown: 0B05010005127A
                    IE: Unknown: DD07000C4304000000
                    IE: Unknown: DDA90050F204104A0001101044000102103B00010310470010388330923092188382D5DCEF0915D2581021000D4E4554474541522C20496E632E1023001D4E45544745415220576972656C6573732041636365737320506F696E74102400074E4554474541521042000831323334353637381054000800060050F204000110110014574E523631342028576972656C6573732041502910080002210C103C0001011049000600372A000120

Check Wireless Interface Information Using procfs file?

The proc filesystem (procfs) is a special filesystem in Unix-like operating systems that presents information about processes and other system information.

It’s sometimes referred to as a process information pseudo-file system. It doesn’t contain ‘real’ files but runtime system information (e.g. system memory, devices mounted, hardware configuration, etc).

$ cat /proc/net/wireless
Inter-| sta-|   Quality        |   Discarded packets               | Missed | WE
 face | tus | link level noise |  nwid  crypt   frag  retry   misc | beacon | 22
wlp8s0: 0000   64.  -46.  -256        0      0      0      0      6        0

Check Wireless Interface & Access Point Information Using wavemon Command?

wavemon is a ncurses-based monitoring application for wireless network devices. It plots levels in real-time as well as showing wireless and network related device information.

The wavemon interface splits into different “screens”. Each screen presents information in a specific manner. For example, the “info” screen shows current levels as bargraphs, whereas the “level” screen represents the same levels as a moving histogram.

$ wavemon

┌─Interface───────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┐
│wlp8s0 (IEEE 802.11), phy 0, reg: n/a, SSID: 2g                                          │
├─Levels──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┤
│                                                                                         │
│link quality: 99%  (69/70)                                                               │
│=======================================================================================  │
│                                                                                         │
│                                                                                         │
│signal level: -41 dBm (0.08 uW)                                                          │
│=============================================================                            │
│                                                                                         │
├─Statistics──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┤
│RX: 60,276 (47.39 MiB), drop: 150 (0.2%)                                                 │
│TX: 44,938 (8.66 MiB), retries: 2,630 (5.9%)                                             │
├─Info────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┤
│mode: Managed, connected to: DC:MA:90:51:E2:96, time: 49:27m, inactive: 0.0s             │
│freq: 2437 MHz, channel: 6 (width: 20 MHz (no HT))                                       │
│rx rate: 54.0 Mbit/s, tx rate: 54.0 Mbit/s                                               │
│station flags: WME, preamble: short, slot: short                                         │
│power mgt: off,  tx-power: 22 dBm (158.49 mW)                                            │
│retry: short limit 7,  rts/cts: off,  frag: off                                          │
├─Network─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┤
│wlp8s0 (UP RUNNING BROADCAST MULTICAST)                                                  │
│mac: E4:A7:A0:32:FC:E9, qlen: 1000                                                       │
│ip: 192.168.1.4/24                                                                       │
└─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘

F1info  F2lhist F3scan  F4      F5      F6      F7prefs F8help  F9about F10quit 

This screen allows you to change all program options such as interface and level scale parameters, and to save the new settings to the configuration file.

┌─Preferences─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┐
│                                        - Interface -                                    │
│                           Interface                         wlp8s0                      │
│                           Cisco-style MAC addresses            Off                      │
│                           Scan sort type                  Chan/Sig                      │
│                           Scan sort in ascending order         Off                      │
│                           Statistics updates                100 ms                      │
│                           Histogram update cycles                4                      │
│                           Level meter smoothness               0 %                      │
│                           Dynamic info updates                10 s                      │
│                                                                                         │
│                                       - Level scales -                                  │
│                           Override scale autodetect            Off                      │
│                           Low threshold action            Disabled                      │
│                           High threshold action           Disabled                      │
│                                                                                         │
│                                         - Startup -                                     │
│                           Startup screen               Info screen                      │
│                                                                                         │
│                                      Save configuration                                 │
│                                                                                         │
│                                                                                         │
│                                                                                         │
│                                                                                         │
│                                                                                         │
│                                                                                         │
│                                                                                         │
│                                                                                         │
│                                                                                         │
│                                                                                         │
│                                                                                         │
└─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘
F1info  F2lhist F3scan  F4      F5      F6      F7prefs F8help  F9about F10quit  

This is a full-screen histogram plot showing the evolution of levels with time.

┌─Level histogram─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┐
│                                                                                      -10│
│                                                                                         │
│                                                                                         │
│---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------20│
│                                                                                         │
│                                                                                         │
│                                                                                         │
│                                                                                         │
│---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------37│
│                                                                                         │
│⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽│
│                                                                                         │
│                                                                                         │
│---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------53│
│                                                                                         │
│                                                                                         │
│                                                                                         │
│                                                                                         │
│---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------70│
│                                                                                         │
│                                                                                         │
│                                                                                         │
│                                                                                         │
│---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------87│
│                                                                                         │
│                                                                                         │
│                                                                                         │
│                                                                                     -100│
├─Key─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┤
│[─] sig lvl (-45..-43 dBm)  [─] ns lvl (unknown)  [ ] S-N ratio (unknown)                │
└─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘
F1info  F2lhist F3scan  F4      F5      F6      F7prefs F8help  F9about F10quit  

Check Wifi Information Using GNOME NetworkManager Command?

The NetworkManager daemon attempts to make networking configuration and operation as painless and automatic as possible by managing the primary network connection and other network interfaces, like Ethernet, WiFi, and Mobile Broadband devices.

NetworkManager will connect any network device when a connection for that device becomes available, unless that behavior is disabled. Information about networking is exported via a D-Bus interface to any interested application, providing a rich API with which to inspect and control network settings and operation.

Magesh Maruthamuthu

Love to play with all Linux distribution

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