I know how to find it out in Objective C, but I need to do this in a shell script.

(I could compile and install one of the example programs given in the link, but surely there is already a command line program installed that will give me this information?)

I have MacOS X Yosemite, 10.10.2.

/Sy*/L*/Priv*/Apple8*/V*/C*/R*/airport -I | grep SSID

This uses the airport CLI, with the -I flag to show information and grep for SSID shows the name of the network.


Great answer here by grg, but just wanted to add this option in case it is useful for someone to extract the SSID and only the SSID:

/Sy*/L*/Priv*/Apple8*/V*/C*/R*/airport -I | grep SSID | grep -v BSSID | awk '{print $2}'

and, airport is now in /usr/local/sbin/airport, which is likely in your $PATH, so this should be sufficient for most people:

airport -I | grep SSID | grep -v BSSID | awk '{print $2}'

  • 1
    I can confirm that the grep/awk pipeline works. But at least for me, on Mojave 10.14.2, airport is not in my /usr/local/sbin nor anywhere else on my $PATH. – dave4420 Jan 25 '19 at 8:04

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