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 user space. 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-8.3 platform.

Package Information

Additional Downloads

User Notes: http://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/wiki/WirelessTools

Kernel Configuration

To use Wireless Tools, the kernel must have the appropriate drivers and other support available. The appropriate bus must also be available. For many laptops, the PCMCIA bus (CONFIG_PCCARD) needs to be built. In some cases, this bus support will also need to be built for embedded wireless cards. The appropriate bridge support also needs to be built. For many modern laptops, the CardBus host bridge (CONFIG_YENTA) will be needed.

In addition to the bus, the actual driver for the specific wireless card must also be available. There are many wireless cards and they don't all work with Linux. The first place to look for card support is the kernel. The drivers are located in Device Drivers → Network Device Support → Wireless LAN (non-hamradio). There are also external drivers available for some very common cards. For more information, look at the user notes.

After the correct drivers are loaded, the interface will appear in /proc/net/wireless.

Installation of Wireless Tools

First, apply a patch that fixes a problem when numerous networks 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.

Last updated on 2018-08-23 13:54:05 -0700