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

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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  • Note: iw is the second generation utility, and should be used in preference over iwconfig, iwlist and iwpriv. – dirkt Sep 23 '18 at 5:10

Here is a rather comprehensive list. One particularly nice way is:

watch -n 1 cat /proc/net/wireless
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Another option would be:

sudo apt-get install network-manager
nmcli dev wifi
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  • (Which will only work if you have network manager installed and running). – dirkt Sep 23 '18 at 5:11
  • @dirkt you right, I am going to update my answer. Thanks. – Fábio Sep 23 '18 at 5:40
  • I like the colorized output of this command – Lincoln Sep 30 '19 at 14:45

Actually are all commands (iwconfig, iwlist, ...) replaced with newest tool iw. to show signal and other info:

iw wlan0 link

where wlan0 is interface name.

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