Ubuntu HowTo: Is there a program to see channels used by Wi-Fi networks (similar to Vistumbler or inSSIDer) in Ubuntu?

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I need to see the channels used by all Wi-Fi networks in range in order to improve my Wi-Fi connection by selecting the channel to be used by my modem (a procedure related to the ‘freebox’ modem).

In Windows there is Vistumbler (that I know of).

What would be the equivalent in Ubuntu?

Edits after answers/comments:

  • The name of my wireless is registered as eth1 (not as wlan#) – as confirmed after comments and chats

  • What I want is a program that would display all wireless networks in range (which any network app does) and the channel used by each of them, like Vistumbler does:


  • I have an answer that seems satisfactory for now (wicd)- but please post more if there are other similar apps.


You can use this Linssid:

sudo apt install linssid


It will show you ssid, mac, power signal, and graphic.

In addition to Rozza’s answer you can group the results and see how much each channel is used:

sudo iwlist wlan0 scan | grep Frequency | sort | uniq -c | sort -n

Example output would be like this:

  1                     Frequency:2.422 GHz (Channel 3)
  1                     Frequency:2.432 GHz (Channel 5)
  1                     Frequency:5.26 GHz (Channel 52)
  1                     Frequency:5.5 GHz (Channel 100)
  2                     Frequency:2.452 GHz (Channel 9)
  2                     Frequency:2.472 GHz (Channel 13)
  3                     Frequency:2.447 GHz (Channel 8)
  6                     Frequency:2.437 GHz (Channel 6)
  6                     Frequency:2.462 GHz (Channel 11)
  7                     Frequency:5.18 GHz (Channel 36)
  8                     Frequency:2.412 GHz (Channel 1)

If you get something like wlan0 Interface doesn't support scanning, you have to replace wlan0 with the interface specified after running ifconfig (e.g. wlp2s0 etc).

I’m guessing you’re looking to set to a channel that is not being used locally – so you want to see a summary of what is being used. Try the following from the command line:

sudo iwlist wlan0 scanning | grep -i Channel

If Kismet fails to work with your wireless card, I’ve used wicd in the past;

A network connection manager that aims to simplify wired and wireless networking in Linux.


It is in Ubuntu repositories – can be easily installed from Synaptic.

Lists all networks & channels.

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Yes , There is Alternative to Vistumbler

  • Kismet : Network detector for 802.11 wireless LANs , Work Under Linux..

You can Download it from Kismet

or Open Terminal

          sudo apt-get install kismet

Another Way To Monitoring Wireless but via Terminal :

  • Open Terminal
  • su
  • iwlist wlan0 scanning

wlan0 its your wifi interface, to get name of your wifi interface see ifconfig in terminal

There’s also Wifi Radar, not mentioned here yet.

It’s in the Ubuntu repositories (as wifi-radar):

sudo apt-get install wifi-radar

Wifi Radar screenshot

You can also use nm-tool on the command line (this is the default network manager for Ubuntu, normally you use its GUI). Somewhere in the output of nm-tool, it contains the following section of found access points:

  Wireless Access Points (* = current AP)
    Neighbors:       Infra, 00:XX:XX:XX:XX:04, Freq 2437 MHz, Rate 54 Mb/s, Strength 44 WPA WPA2
    *network-2C5A6:  Infra, 00:XX:XX:XX:XX:79, Freq 2437 MHz, Rate 54 Mb/s, Strength 100 WPA
    bbox2-8afd:      Infra, 00:XX:XX:XX:XX:0F, Freq 2412 MHz, Rate 54 Mb/s, Strength 42 WPA WPA2

To convert the frequencies to channel numbers, use the command iwlist frequency:

wlan0     32 channels in total; available frequencies :
          Channel 01 : 2.412 GHz
          Channel 02 : 2.417 GHz
          Channel 140 : 5.7 GHz
          Current Frequency:2.437 GHz (Channel 6)


wavemon is an ncurses-based monitoring application for wireless network devices



sudo apt install wavemon

wavemon is a wireless device monitoring application that allows you to watch signal and noise levels, packet statistics, device configuration and network parameters of your wireless network hardware. It should work (though with varying features) with all devices supported by the Linux kernel.

If you wouldn’t mind using the command line you can use wpa_supplicant to help you see the channels in use in the neigbourhood.

first Enter the wpa_cli interactive shell

sudo wpa_cli -i wlan0

when you are presented with the interactive shell, start a scan

> scan

finally to get the channels being used do

> scan_results

when done you can exit with quit


Next-Gen GUI-based WiFi and Bluetooth Analyzer for Linux



git clone https://github.com/ghostop14/sparrow-wifi
cd sparrow-wifi
pip3 install gps3 python-dateutil requests pyqt5 pyqtchart numpy matplotlib
sudo python3 sparrow-wifi.py

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