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Other posts seems to be addressing more complicated network connection issues from the command line.

The Unity panel Network indicator/button doesn't respond too well sometimes - it keeps trying to connect to a network even when i click on "disconnect", stuff like that.

So I want to go command line for the control. I don't like GUIs anyway.

Is there not some simple command line tool which can do something like the following?

wifi connect MyNetworkNameA
wifi disconnect
wifi connect MyNetworkNameB
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Depends , what wireless security ? This is covered in detail here -… – bodhi.zazen May 6 '14 at 15:27

2 Answers 2

up vote 27 down vote accepted

I think you want to keep using managed interface (by NetworkManager). nmcli is a command‐line tool for controlling NetworkManager.

  • Disconnect:

    nmcli d disconnect iface wlan0
  • Connect:

    nmcli d wifi connect WiFiSSID password WiFiPassword iface wlan0

Just change wlan0, WiFiSSID, WiFiPassword to reflect your setup.

  • If WiFi info already saved, more easy way:

    nmcli c down id WiFiConn


    nmcli c up id WiFiConn

    WiFiConn name of connection as it was save in NetworkManager (Check nmcli c).

Reference: man nmcli

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Works like a charm! And, as suspected, the command line responds immediately, while the GUI can be sluggish, uncooperative, and unresponsive sometimes. – cmo May 6 '14 at 15:55
And thank you for distilling it down to the few basic commands! – cmo May 6 '14 at 15:56
Saved my day when I lost my Unity dash and taskbar, and the Network Settings dialog kept on crashing upon any kind of network connection establishment. – Janaka Bandara Nov 27 '14 at 1:21

If your wi-fi access point is saved, it will auto-connect. Turn wireless on or off with a simpler command:

nmcli nm wifi on
nmcli nm wifi off

For reference, see man nmcli.

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Yep, this the best (simpler then mine :) ) when working with single WiFi network. – Sneetsher Apr 13 at 8:27
How do you make NM enable wifi automatically during boot? Every time I reboot, Network Manager starts with wifi disabled. – Cerin Jul 25 at 21:46

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