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Can I view detected WiFi networks details (like signal strength, encryption etc.) in command line? The more detailed - the better.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted
sudo iwlist wlan0 scan

Assuming your wireless is wlan0, of course. If you're not sure, iwconfig should tell you.

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But it only shows 4 networks while the GUI WiFi applet shows 5. I am curious who is lying... – Ivan Feb 9 '12 at 20:24
@Ivan I think the GUI applet has some kind of caching and/or sets the limit for a viable wireless network higher or lower than the defaults in iwlist – TheLQ Feb 9 '12 at 20:42

Under Linux, you can use the iw* series of commands to configure and display information about wireless networks:

  • iwconfig - configure a wireless network interface
  • iwlist - Get more detailed wireless information from a wireless interface
  • iwpriv - configure optionals (private) parameters of a wireless network interface
  • iw - show / manipulate wireless devices and their configuration
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