Retrieve information about your wireless interface on Ubuntu with the command line.

Posted: February 17, 2016. At: 11:17 AM. This was 2 years ago. Post ID: 8718

The /proc/net/wireless file contains information about your wireless connection.

[email protected]:~$ cat /proc/net/wireless 
Inter-| sta-|   Quality        |   Discarded packets               | Missed | WE
 face | tus | link level noise |  nwid  crypt   frag  retry   misc | beacon | 22
 wlan0: 0000   58.  -52.  -256        0      0      0      1     47        0

This information may also be retrieved with the iwconfig command. This command prints information about the wireless connection and the hardware the user is using to connect to an access point.

[email protected]:~$ sudo iwconfig
eth0      no wireless extensions.
vmnet1    no wireless extensions.
wlan0     IEEE 802.11bgn  ESSID:"detportal"  
          Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.437 GHz  Access Point: 00:1A:1E:57:44:20   
          Bit Rate=58.5 Mb/s   Tx-Power=16 dBm   
          Retry short limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Encryption key:off
          Power Management:off
          Link Quality=58/70  Signal level=-52 dBm  
          Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:1  Invalid misc:60   Missed beacon:0
vmnet8    no wireless extensions.
lo        no wireless extensions.

This shows the frequency of the access point and the signal strength. The bit-rate is also displayed, this is 58.5 megabytes per second on this network.

The ifconfig command may also be used to gain information about IP addresses on a wireless network.

[email protected]:~$ sudo ifconfig wlan0
wlan0     Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr f4:b7:e2:c9:1b:e3  
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: fe80::f6b7:e2ff:fec9:1be3/64 Scope:Link
          RX packets:176847 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:103889 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
          RX bytes:195813843 (186.7 MiB)  TX bytes:13882413 (13.2 MiB)

Get information about the wireless chipset.

[email protected]:~$ lspci | grep -i wireless
02:00.0 Network controller: Qualcomm Atheros AR9485 Wireless Network Adapter (rev 01)

Get a list of channels on the access point using the iwlist command.

[email protected]:~# iwlist wlan0 channel
wlan0     14 channels in total; available frequencies :
          Channel 01 : 2.412 GHz
          Channel 02 : 2.417 GHz
          Channel 03 : 2.422 GHz
          Channel 04 : 2.427 GHz
          Channel 05 : 2.432 GHz
          Channel 06 : 2.437 GHz
          Channel 07 : 2.442 GHz
          Channel 08 : 2.447 GHz
          Channel 09 : 2.452 GHz
          Channel 10 : 2.457 GHz
          Channel 11 : 2.462 GHz
          Channel 12 : 2.467 GHz
          Channel 13 : 2.472 GHz
          Channel 14 : 2.484 GHz
          Current Frequency:2.437 GHz (Channel 6)

Information about the authentication capabilities.

[email protected]:~# iwlist wlan0 auth
wlan0     Authentication capabilities :

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