NOTE: this page is for archival only, see the note at the end of the page.

About iw

iw is a new nl80211 based CLI configuration utility for wireless devices. Currently you can only use this utility to configure devices which use a mac80211 driver as these are the new drivers being written – only because most new wireless devices being sold are now SoftMAC. Please see our list of mac80211 drivers.

iw is still under development. Features are added 'as we go'. The only documentation that exists for iw is this page. Please help expand it ;)

Getting iw

You can download iw from git:

Using iw requires you to have at least libnl-1.0 pre8 as this release introduced genl, Generic Netlink, which nl80211 relies on. Most distributions aren't shipping this yet, although Debian Sid and OpenSUSE 11 contains version 1.1. If your distribution's libnl is insufficiently recent, you'll have to download and compile libnl yourself for now.

Libnl homepage:

Note also that iw requires a recent version of the header file 'nl80211.h'; if the version on your system is too old, try using the version from the compat-wireless tarball.

Adding interfaces with iw

The command line is:

iw dev wmaster0 interface add moni0 type monitor

where you can replace monitor by anything else and moni0 by the interface name, and need to replace wmaster0 by the master interface for your hardware (usually wmaster0 will be correct.) Sometimes the newly created "VAP" will show up as mon0 or wlan0_rename, although i dont think this matters provided you type in the correct name when using the interface.

Deleting interfaces with iw

The command line is:

iw dev moni0 interface del

Where "moni0" was the "VAP" interface that was created with the first command

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