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.

  • 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
  • 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

Another option would be:

sudo apt-get install network-manager
nmcli dev wifi
  • 1
    (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
  • 2
    I like the colorized output of this command – Lincoln Sep 30 '19 at 14:45
  • The only command that listed all wifi networks and their signal strength on an interface that "doesn't support scanning" according to iwlist wlan0 scan. – Cees Timmerman Apr 10 '20 at 15:57

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.


To fetch wireless signal informations you can use this command :

tail /proc/net/wireless



  • 3
    welcome to U&L, please do not post text as image, log files can be copy/pasted for a better reading. – Archemar Feb 23 at 9:46
  • Ok I will. Thanks for the helpful advice! – HaiahemMedAR Feb 23 at 9:49

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