Have you ever wondered how to monitor your WiFi connection from the command line? While experimenting with an Edimax WiFi dongle on my Raspberry Pi I wanted an easy method to monitor the wireless signal strength as I moved around the house.
The Pi was running from a USB power bank and sometimes this can result in the WiFi dongle dropping the signal. It’s hard to trouble-shoot WiFi issues so I went looking for a simple utility that would constantly report the status of the connection.
Eventually I found a utility called Wavemon. It’s free, easy to install and does exactly what I needed.
To install Wavemon use the following command :
sudo apt-get install -y wavemon
You can run Wavemon from the command line after the Pi has booted or from within a LXTerminal window once you have launched LXDE using “startx” using :
This will present you with the main screen :
The toolbar along the bottom shows the pages available. Each one is associated with a function key.
F2 displays a graph of you signal levels. The graph below was created using the “random data” setting in the preferences to make it a bit more exciting.
F3 lists the wireless networks visible to your Pi as well as the signal strength and the channel they are using.
F7 displays the preferences page. These can be left at the default values but I changed the “override scale autodetect” to “on” and increased the signal level maximum to 30dBm. This allowed the graph on the “F2:lhist” to correctly display the signal level from my connection which was averaging 20dBm and initially off the top of the screen.
F8 displays the help screen. There isn’t much there at the moment!
F9 will display the author and licence details.
F10 (or the letter Q) will quit the utility and return you to the command line.
Alternative Method to Monitor Your WiFi
For a really quick snapshot of your WiFi performance you can use :
which will give you something like :
wlan0 IEEE 802.11bg ESSID:"TheMatrix" Nickname:"<WIFI@REALTEK>" Mode:Managed Freq:2.427 GHz Access Point: 00:18:4D:10:49:C6 Bit Rate:54 Mb/s Sensitivity:0/0 Retry:off RTS thr:off Fragment thr:off Power Management:off Link Quality=98/100 Signal level=83/100 Noise level=0/100 Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:0 Tx excessive retries:0 Invalid misc:0 Missed beacon:0
Wavemon Configuration File
The configuration file is located in :
and can be edited directly using :
sudo nano .wavemonrc
You don’t need to edit it manually. I include the information just in case you wanted to!