From https://unix.stackexchange.com/a/158747/674,

First, run

nmcli c

This will list your connections, with the first column being the SSID, and the second column being the UUID of the connection.

In its manpage and google, I don't find the differences between UUID, ESSID and BSSID of a network. What are their differences? Thanks.


First result

The ESSID is what is transmitted and what you "see" this is what you will normally connect to for example "Joe's Wi-Fi". As you can guess, I can have five networks called "Joe's Wi-Fi".

The BSSID is the MAC address associated with the Access Point (AP). It is hardware set and should be unique. So of those five "Joe's Wi-Fi" networks, each AP will have it's own BSSID. You can alter your AP's MAC address.

From that first result: "ESSID is another way to identify the network." which is a bit vague; however, hopefully the diagram will help:


UUID is just a unique ID number. There are not supposed two of the same value.

| improve this answer | |
  • 3
    Thanks. But still not understand relation and differences between UUID and ESSID/BSSID of a network – Tim May 5 '15 at 1:07
  • @Tim the only time I've seen UUID used in networking is with /etc/sysconfig/networking-scripts/ifcfg-ethX. – SailorCire May 5 '15 at 1:07

The ESSID of a wifi network is its human-friendly name. It usually identifies the network in order to distinguish it from other wifi networks that may be in range, but it's up to the administrator to choose a meaningful and unique name or not.

The BSSID of a wifi network is its machine-friendly name. It is normally unique (but may not be if the wifi provider is malicious).

See Wikipedia and SailorCire's answer for more information.

The UUID mentioned here is not a concept related to wifi networks. It's a concept of Network Manager, the program that you're using. Network Manager assigns a unique machine-friendly name (in the form of a UUID) to each connection. A connection, in this context, is a set of configuration parameters that describe the network (its name, its credentials, etc.). Connections also have human-friendly names; the UUID is used to tell apart connections that have the same human-friendly names.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thanks. Is BSS different from ESS? Is ESS a union of more than one BSSes? – Tim May 6 '15 at 3:16

UUID stands for "universally unique identifier". This is not only used in Wifi/Network configurations.

The article UUIDs and Linux: Everything you ever need to know seems a good one to understand what actually this is.

Then, networking in particular, this answer explains the usage.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.