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This article series is under heavy development.
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Where to Discuss?


Goal: Examine wireless in system: device, driver, and interface.

This is not a recommended way to connect to your wifi. But I write this anyway for the sake of curiousity.

For daily usage, you should use either iwd, nmcli or connman instead,

Table of Content

Wireless Tools

This is lower level wireless tool.

ip and iw

In the context of wireless tools in Linux, ip and iw are both command-line utilities that are used for managing network interfaces, but they serve different purposes.

While both ip and iw are useful networking tools in Linux, ip is a general-purpose command for managing networking in general, while iw is focused specifically on wireless network interfaces.

In real low level usage, we need both command.

Using iw

We need to list our device. Physical name could be different. Since iwconfig has been deprecated since decades ago, we are using iw.

❯ iw dev 

This would looks like

iNet wireless: iw dev

When you are connected with an SSID, This would looks like below:

        Interface wlan0
                ifindex 3
                wdev 0x1
                addr 9c:2f:9d:9a:6d:e3
                ssid E.R. Nurwijayadi
                type managed
                channel 161 (5805 MHz), width: 80 MHz, center1: 5775 MHz
                txpower 20.00 dBm
                multicast TXQ:
                        qsz-byt qsz-pkt flows   drops   marks   overlmt hashcol tx-bytes        tx-packets
                        0       0       0       0       0       0       0       0               0

iNet wireless: iw dev

iw Issue

There is a case that iw return nothing.

❯ iw dev 

In order to use iw, we need to start either iwd or wpa_supplicant.

sudo systemctl start iwd


sudo systemctl start wpa_supplicant

I can’t replicate this issue. So I’m not sure about this.


sudo iw dev wlan0 connect "E.R. Nurwijayadi"
command failed: Network is down (-100)

iNet wireless:  Network is down

Powering Up

We need a little help from ip command.

❯ ip link show wlan0 
3: wlan0: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc noqueue state UP mode DORMANT group default qlen 1000
    link/ether 9c:2f:9d:9a:6d:e3 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff

iNet wireless: ip link show wlan0

sudo ip link set wlan0 up
[sudo] password for epsi: 

iNet wireless: ip link show wlan0

Scanning SSID

We can also scan our available SSID for our wireless.

sudo iw dev wlan0 scan
command failed: Device or resource busy (-16)

Let’s try again.

sudo iw dev wlan0 scan | grep SSID
                 * SSID List
        SSID: E.R. Nurwijayadi
        SSID: Soadamara110
        SSID: RUT955_4B8D
                 * SSID List
                 * UTF-8 SSID
                 * SSID List
        SSID: OPIS
        SSID: DIRECT-3B-EPSON-L5190 Series
        SSID: FreeNet
        SSID: Bangtan
        SSID: RUNNER_5G

iNet wireless: iw scan

From this step, we may choose method to connect to your wireless. There are many methods, but you can only chooses one method at a time. This will show you NetworkManager using nmcli command.


Oh man… low level is a mess. But you can always try for the sake of knowledge. Consider this iw dev command.

sudo iw dev wlan0 connect "E.R. Nurwijayadi"
[sudo] password for epsi:  
command failed: Operation already in progress (-114)

iNet wireless: iw dev wlan0 connect

I guess I have to use nmcli instead. We will explore this later.

iNet wireless: iw dev wlan0 connect

And try again

iNet wireless: iw dev wlan0 connect

Using ‘nmcli’

NetworkManager is very common. I’m using Vanilla Arch with systemd that using nmcli. Again, let’s do it with command line.

❯ nmcli dev wifi connect "E.R. Nurwijayadi"
Error: NetworkManager is not running.

Of course we need to run Network manager first.

sudo systemctl start NetworkManager

Then we can connect.

❯ nmcli dev wifi connect "E.R. Nurwijayadi"
Error: Connection activation failed: Secrets were required, but not provided.

Allright we need to provide the password.

❯ nmcli dev wifi connect "E.R. Nurwijayadi" password oyenyebus
Device 'wlan0' successfully activated with '4525cdf8-a007-446e-b3c2-cd5172ce44df'.

Network Manager CLI: Password

Other time I don’t even need to provide the password.

❯ nmcli dev wifi connect "E.R. Nurwijayadi"
Device 'wlan0' successfully activated with '70f471c9-f896-424d-9ac6-25812c39994e'.

Network Manager CLI: iw scan

Note that the actual ID will remain the same.

Check Connection

Again.. check your connexion.

❯ iw dev wlan0 link 
Connected to 9c:a2:f4:c1:da:69 (on wlan0)
        SSID: E.R. Nurwijayadi
        freq: 5805
        RX: 2728763 bytes (8007 packets)
        TX: 153923 bytes (1026 packets)
        signal: -33 dBm
        rx bitrate: 1080.6 MBit/s 80MHz HE-MCS 10 HE-NSS 2 HE-GI 0 HE-DCM 0
        tx bitrate: 1200.9 MBit/s 80MHz HE-MCS 11 HE-NSS 2 HE-GI 0 HE-DCM 0

        bss flags:      short-slot-time
        dtim period:    1
        beacon int:     100

Network Manager CLI: iw dev wlan0 link


We still have to reserve our IP with dhcpcd.

❯ dhclient wlan0
RTNETLINK answers: File exists

Now you can ping

❯ ping -c 2 
PING ( 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from ( icmp_seq=1 ttl=114 time=20.8 ms
64 bytes from ( icmp_seq=2 ttl=114 time=20.8 ms

--- ping statistics ---
2 packets transmitted, 2 received, 0% packet loss, time 1002ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 20.803/20.804/20.806/0.001 ms

iNet wireless: ping google


Finally, you may disconnect,

❯ nmcli dev disconnect wlan0 
Device 'wlan0' successfully disconnected.

Network Manager CLI: nmcli dev disconnect wlan0

What is Next 🤔?

I should know what’s inside my notebook. So I can be ready for Gentoo. After this mess, we can get into proper connection with either iwd, nmcli or connman

Consider continue reading [ Wireless: INet Wireless Daemon ].