Even though getting things done via graphical mode is quite easy, you should know how to perform most of the tasks from commandline in Linux. Because, there are chances that you may need to work with Linux servers with no GUI. Also some specific tasks might be uncooperative or unresponsive in graphical mode. In this brief guide, we will learn one of the basic Linux networking concept i.e. how to connect and disconnect WiFi from commandline in Linux operating system.
There are multiple ways to activate and deactivate wireless networks in Linux from commandline. Here, we are going to discuss about two commandline tools namely
nmtui. Both comes pre-installed in many modern Linux distributions.
1. Connect and disconnect WiFi from commandline with Nmcli in Linux
Nmcli is a commandline interface used to control NetworkManager and report network status in Linux. Using nmcli, we can create, display, edit, delete, activate, and deactivate network connections, as well as control and display network device status. All from commandline! No need to use any other GUI clients to configure wired or wireless network connections in Linux. Nmcli comes pre-installed with all GNOME based Linux desktops.
First, let us view the list of saved network connections and the wireless device name in your Linux system using command:
$ nmcli connection
Or, shortly use this:
$ nmcli c
The above command will list all saved network connections (both wired and wireless) in your Linux machine:
NAME UUID TYPE DEVICE JioFi4_12E9FE a583ac06-30da-4e8b-b9e0-674ec33bece8 wifi wlp9s0 mpqemubr0 44554d0e-a243-41ad-a298-a02737d6e8aa bridge mpqemubr0 virbr0 5bd9c4cd-d546-4a62-8c51-051d392d062c bridge virbr0 tap-d8f1eebb39f eae33bb5-6430-4ab8-9ebd-d2a05ec0b02d tun tap-d8f1eebb39f HP 7 VoiceTab Network 73ef7815-0fb0-4272-8bfd-8ecf85c75225 bluetooth -- sktab 1732d713-ad4e-4ec5-8dad-49f0cd8f1cb2 wifi -- Wired connection 1 410f30c5-b1ca-3e7c-9083-2b59c73be34a ethernet --
As you see in the above output, my wireless network connection name is "JioFi4_12E9FE" and the Wireless network interface name is "wlp9s0".
If you want to list all wireless networks (i.e. access points, hotspots) around you, run this command:
$ nmcli device wifi list
Or, shortly use this command:
$ nmcli d wifi list
* 40:C8:CB:12:E9:FE JioFi4_12E9FE Infra 6 65 Mbit/s 69 ▂▄▆_ WPA2 [...]
The WiFi network currently in use are marked with an asterisk (*) symbol.
You can optionally pass
--rescan yes flag to tell
nmcli to rescan all available WiFi networks near you:
$ nmcli device wifi list --rescan yes
After finding the list of WiFi connections, you can connect to a specific WiFi network, for example JioFi4_12E9FE, using the following command:
$ nmcli c up JioFi4_12E9FE
Connection successfully activated (D-Bus active path: /org/freedesktop/NetworkManager/ActiveConnection/20)
To disconnect from a WiFi network, run:
$ nmcli c down JioFi4_12E9FE
Connection 'JioFi4_12E9FE' successfully deactivated (D-Bus active path: /org/freedesktop/NetworkManager/ActiveConnection/20)
--ask) flag if you want to be prompted to enter the WiFi password:
$ nmcli -a c up JioFi4_12E9FE
Once the WiFi is connected, the connection is saved and it will be automatically reconnected at every reboot.
You don't have to use
-a every time. The connected networks will be saved and reconnected automatically in the subsequent times.
The another way to connect to a wireless network connection using
nmcli command is:
$ nmcli -a d wifi connect JioFi4_12E9FE
-a flag will ask you to enter the WiFi password.
After you entered the correct password, you will see the successfully connected message:
Device 'wlp9s0' successfully activated with 'a583ac06-30da-4e8b-b9e0-674ec33bece8'.
To disconnect from the WiFi network, simply deactivate the network card:
$ nmcli d disconnect wlp9s0
Replace "wlp9s0" with your wireless card name.
To activate the wireless card again, do:
$ nmcli d connect wlp9s0
In the above examples, we have activated and deactivated a specific Wireless network connection and interface. If you want to enable or disable the entire WiFi access in your Linux system, simply turn your wireless radio ON or OFF like below:
$ nmcli radio wifi on
$ nmcli radio wifi off
Once you turned on the WiFi radio, the saved connection will auto-connect.
To make your NetworkManager to forget (i.e. remove from saved list) the connection, do:
$ nmcli c delete JioFi4_12E9FE
You need to enter the correct password to connect to this network next time.
For more details, refer
nmcli man pages.
$ man nmcli
2. Connect and disconnect WiFi from commandline with Nmtui in Linux
Nmtui is a curses-based text user interface (TUI) to control and interact with NetworkManager.
To connect or disconnect WiFi networks from commandline in a Linux system, launch nmtui tool using command:
Choose "Activate a connection" option and hit ENTER key.
In the next window, choose the WiFi connection you want to activate or deactivate. If the selected WiFi connection is already connected, you will see "Deactivate" option. If it is disconnected, you will then see the "Activate" option. Choose the Activate/Deactivate option and hit ENTER to connect to or disconnect from the selected Wireless network.
For more details, refer man pages:
$ man nmtui
Hope this helps.
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Featured image by ivke32 from Pixabay.
Pretty good and easy.
Thank you so much for the great topic
This article assumes that the user uses the abomination known as network manager. Other alternatives are available eg wicked or if you have neither, then you should learn how to use wpa_supplicant and connect and disconnect from the command line using that and the ip command to set wireless interface address and route.