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What is it?

Wireless related commands for the beginner (or the forgetful).

This is not a complete list and is not intended as a subsitute for the manual (man man) nor the time tested method of experimentation.
It is instead, a list of useful command line entries (or observations) that will help to kickstart the puzzled newbie into using wireless on Linux effectively.
It concentrates on the CLI as that's the base most of the GUI's work from, it's also always there.

If you're after more then the External linkRute User's Tutorial and Exposition is one of many resources for an introduction to Linux.

Feel free to add to it...


Command Line Interface - Which means you're sitting at a terminal (of some sort) and entering text strings at the prompt. You may be physically at the computer or remotely accessing it via SSH or a serial console.

Self Help




-h --help

help switches, add either the short format -h or the long format --help after a command to get help on it.

Networking Commands

pcmcia_cs (card--- commands)

PCMCIA Card Services - generally starts on system boot up or may be
manually started using /etc/init.d/pcmcia and displayed arguments
(RedHat, Fedora, Debian and others)
If it's not running on start up the chkconfig or setup can be used under RedHat, Fedora to check the start configuration. (What is it under Debian?)
If problems are experienced in ejecting a card, the interface may need to be brought down first. Programs such as dhclient may be blocking the card and preventing a clean exit.

ifup, ifdown


wireless-tools (iw--- commands)

To perform MAC filtering (deny), use the following two commands:


supplied by the iproute or iproute2 package. A (minimum) 2.2 kernel is usually required and the package may need to be manually installed.


System Commands


display the kernel messages. Useful immediately after boot up or at any time that the OS messages may need reviewing. ie: You have (computer based) problems


show running processes
options - too many to list - review the manual.


Commands centred around modules (drivers). Not usually needed except when first installing a card, that is not automatically detected.
If errors are reported back about missing dependencies then look in /lib/modules/<kernel_version>/modules.dep, find the module you're trying to load and see what else is mentioned on that line, in this case it's 8390. Load 8390 first then load ne2k-pci and all should be okay.
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