by Pravin Paratey

Manage your wireless with nmcli

nmcli is a command line tool for controlling NetworkManager and reporting on its status. It is meant to be used as an alternative to nm-applet for headless servers and by power users.


To list all wireless networks in range,

$ nmcli -p dev wifi list

                         WiFi scan list
SSID          BSSID               MODE             FREQ      
'Wireless-1'  B8:E6:25:37:13:XX   Infrastructure   2462 MHz  
'Wireless-2'  02:03:D8:08:A3:XX   Infrastructure   2412 MHz  

Note: Some of the columns have been stripped from the above table.

To list all the known wireless networks (networks that you have previously connected to), run

$ nmcli con

NAME            UUID                                   TYPE              TIME
Wireless-1      28d6c265-xxxx-4e83-907f-ecb5ab3ac37c   802-11-wireless   Thu 
Wired-Network   30d29da3-xxxx-4ea2-94ff-0edac8954ff7   802-3-ethernet    Sun 
Wireless-2      89f31b44-xxxx-4b7d-abb1-8242a1fa7040   802-11-wireless   Thu 
Wireless-3      6adcb4e8-xxxx-4e88-bf50-872d9e5eb1f3   802-11-wireless   Fri 
Wireless-4      8c4fc701-xxxx-472e-aecc-40131c0d8d31   802-11-wireless   Fri 

Connecting to your network

Once you locate the network that you want to connect to, copy its BSSID and run the command,

$ nmcli -p dev wifi connect "00:03:D8:0A:11:XX"

For a known network, you can use the UUID to connect using,

$ nmcli con up uuid 28d6c265-xxxx-4e83-907f-ecb5ab3ac37c

Deleting a known network

To delete a known network,

$ nmcli con delete uuid "30d29da3-xxxx-4ea2-94ff-0edac8954ff7"