Ubuntu Server 18.04 now uses netplan to manage ethernet and wifi devices.

I’d like to be able to discover wifi networks via nmcli, as I’d like to use php-wifi in one projects.

Is it somehow possible to set up nmcli to only discover wifi networks but not the somehow interfere with netplan and networkd?

$ nmcli radio wifi
$ nmcli dev status
wlp2s0  wifi      unavailable  --
eno1    ethernet  unmanaged    --
lo      loopback  unmanaged    --
  • Have yout tried nmcli dev wifi rescan? – danzel Oct 21 at 11:15
  • $ nmcli dev wifi rescan results in Error: Scanning not allowed while unavailable or activating. – fooness Oct 21 at 14:30
  • Are you sure wifi is working? I use nmcli device wifi list – nobody Oct 21 at 18:34
  • Wi-Fi is working. But it’s using netplan/networkd as described above. $ nmcli device wifi list results in IN-USE SSID MODE CHAN RATE SIGNAL BARS SECURITY – fooness Oct 22 at 9:27

If you want to use the NetworkManager tools for managing your wifi, you can configure netplan to use the NetworkManager backend instead of the networkd backend for those devices:

  version: 2
  renderer: NetworkManager
      dhcp4: true
          password: "**********"

Alternatively, if you don't want to switch to using NetworkManager to manage the devices, you can use the lower-level iwlist tool for viewing available networks:

iwlist wlp2s0b1 scanning

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