Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Connect to a Specific BSSID on Ubuntu Using nmcli

Ubuntu 4

In this article, we will delve into the process of connecting to a specific Basic Service Set Identifier (BSSID) on Ubuntu, using the Network Manager Command-Line Interface (nmcli). This command-line tool is a powerful and versatile way to manage your network connections directly from the terminal.

Quick Answer

To connect to a specific BSSID on Ubuntu using nmcli, you can use the command "nmcli d wifi connect XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX" where "XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX" is the desired BSSID. If the network requires a password, you can enter it in the command or a GUI prompt will appear. Alternatively, you can try using the GUI method or manual connection method if the above command doesn’t work.

What is BSSID?

Before we proceed, let’s understand what BSSID is. A BSSID (Basic Service Set Identifier) is the MAC address of a wireless access point (AP), which is a unique identifier that differentiates one AP from another on the same network. This is particularly useful in environments with multiple APs, allowing you to connect to a specific one.

What is nmcli?

nmcli is a command-line client for NetworkManager. It is used to create, display, edit, delete, activate, and deactivate network connections, as well as control and display network device status.

Checking Available BSSIDs

To start, you need to check the available BSSIDs. Open your terminal and run the following command:

nmcli -f in-use,ssid,bssid,signal,bars dev wifi

This command displays a list of SSIDs (Service Set Identifiers) along with their corresponding BSSIDs. The -f option specifies the fields to be displayed in the output.

Connecting to a Specific BSSID

Once you’ve identified the BSSID you want to connect to, use the following command:

nmcli d wifi connect XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX

Replace XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX with your desired BSSID. The connect command tells nmcli to establish a connection to the specified BSSID.

If the network requires a password, a GUI prompt will appear for you to enter it. Alternatively, you can specify the password directly in the command:

nmcli d wifi connect XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX password "mypassword"

Please note that entering the password on the command line may pose a security risk as it could potentially be read from the command history.

Additional Options

If you’re experiencing issues with the above method, you can also try the following options:

GUI Method

Open the network icon in the top panel and choose “Edit Connections”. Locate the wireless connection profile for the desired SSID, open it for editing, and go to the BSSID field. Here, you can either select the desired BSSID from the available options or manually enter the BSSID.

Manual Connection

This method involves manually connecting to the desired AP. First, turn off Network Manager by running sudo service network-manager stop. Then, identify the BSSID of the AP you wish to join using the command sudo iw dev wlan0 scan. Once you have the BSSID, free your interface of any previous IP addresses by running the following commands:

sudo ip link set wlan0 down
sudo ip addr flush dev wlan0
sudo ip link set wlan0 up

Finally, specify the connection to the specific AP using the command:

sudo iwconfig wlan0 essid MySSID_NAME ap XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX

Replace MySSID_NAME with the desired SSID and XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX with the BSSID. You can then start wpa_supplicant and run dhclient to obtain an IP address.

Conclusion

Connecting to a specific BSSID on Ubuntu using nmcli is a straightforward process. However, the effectiveness of these methods may vary depending on your specific network setup and the version of Network Manager you are using. Always ensure to check for any updates or consult the official documentation for your distribution if you encounter any issues.

Remember to use these commands responsibly and ensure you have the necessary permissions to avoid any potential network disruptions or security issues. Happy networking!

How can I find the BSSID of a wireless access point?

To find the BSSID of a wireless access point, you can use the command nmcli -f in-use,bssid dev wifi. This will display a list of currently connected access points along with their corresponding BSSIDs.

Can I connect to a specific BSSID without using nmcli?

Yes, you can connect to a specific BSSID without using nmcli. One method is to use the network manager GUI, where you can manually select or enter the BSSID for the desired wireless connection. Another method is to manually connect using commands such as iwconfig and wpa_supplicant, as mentioned in the article.

Is it safe to enter the password on the command line when connecting to a specific BSSID?

Entering the password on the command line can pose a security risk as it may be visible in the command history. It is generally recommended to use the GUI prompt for entering passwords, or if necessary, use a secure method such as storing the password in a file with restricted permissions and referencing it in the command.

Are there any limitations or compatibility issues with connecting to a specific BSSID using nmcli?

The effectiveness of connecting to a specific BSSID using nmcli may vary depending on your specific network setup and the version of Network Manager you are using. It is always a good idea to check for any updates or consult the official documentation for your distribution if you encounter any issues.

How can I check the available BSSIDs in a graphical interface?

In a graphical interface, you can open the network icon in the top panel and choose "Edit Connections". From there, locate the wireless connection profile for the desired SSID, open it for editing, and go to the BSSID field. Here, you can either select the desired BSSID from the available options or manually enter the BSSID.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *