Wireless Tools-29

Introduction to Wireless Tools

The Wireless Extension (WE) is a generic API in the Linux kernel allowing a driver to expose configuration and statistics specific to common Wireless LANs to userspace. A single set of tools can support all the variations of Wireless LANs, regardless of their type, as long as the driver supports Wireless Extensions. WE parameters may also be changed on the fly without restarting the driver (or Linux).

The Wireless Tools (WT) package is a set of tools allowing manipulation of the Wireless Extensions. They use a textual interface to support the full Wireless Extension.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS 12.1 platform.

Package Information

Additional Downloads

Wireless Tools Dependencies

Required (Runtime)

Configuring the Linux Kernel for Wireless

Kernel Configuration

To use Wireless Tools, the kernel must have the appropriate drivers and other support available. Besides the configurations mentioned by Configuring the Linux Kernel for Wireless, it's also needed to enable the following options in the kernel configuration:

[*] Networking support --->                                                [NET]
  [*] Wireless --->                                                   [WIRELESS]
    <*/M> cfg80211 - wireless configuration API                       [CFG80211]
    [*]     cfg80211 wireless extensions compatibility           [CFG80211_WEXT]

Installation of Wireless Tools

First, apply a patch that fixes a problem when numerous networks are available:

patch -Np1 -i ../wireless_tools-29-fix_iwlist_scanning-1.patch

To install Wireless Tools, use the following commands:


This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make PREFIX=/usr INSTALL_MAN=/usr/share/man install

Command Explanations

INSTALL_MAN=/usr/share/man: Install manual pages in /usr/share/man instead of /usr/man.


Installed Programs: ifrename, iwconfig, iwevent, iwgetid, iwlist, iwpriv, and iwspy
Installed Library: libiw.so
Installed Directories: None

Short Descriptions


renames network interfaces based on various static criteria


configures a wireless network interface


displays wireless events generated by drivers and setting changes


reports ESSID, NWID or AP/Cell Address of wireless networks


gets detailed wireless information from a wireless interface


configures optional (private) parameters of a wireless network interface


gets wireless statistics from specific node


contains functions required by the wireless programs and provides an API for other programs