I'm looking for a command line tool in Mac OS X that performs the equivalent of the iwconfig command in Linux.


kirkland@x220:~/src/byobu/byobu$ iwconfig wlan0
wlan0     IEEE 802.11abgn  ESSID:"serenity"  
          Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.462 GHz  Access Point: 00:11:22:33:44:55   
          Bit Rate=1 Mb/s   Tx-Power=15 dBm   
          Retry  long limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Power Management:off
          Link Quality=70/70  Signal level=-17 dBm  
          Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:70   Missed beacon:0

1 Answer 1


ifconfig gives information about all interfaces, including WLAN. The WLAN interface is usually en1.

$ ifconfig en1
        ether 20:c9:d0:97:22:e9 
        inet6 fe80::22c9:d0ff:fe97:22e9%en1 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x5 
        inet netmask 0xffffff00 broadcast
        media: autoselect
        status: active

airport -I gives information about WLAN interfaces (check out the man page for additional options)

$ /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/A/Resources/airport -I en1
     agrCtlRSSI: -68
     agrExtRSSI: 0
    agrCtlNoise: -85
    agrExtNoise: 0
          state: running
        op mode: station 
     lastTxRate: 54
        maxRate: 54
lastAssocStatus: 0
    802.11 auth: open
      link auth: wpa2-psk
          BSSID: 11:22:33:44:55:66
           SSID: serenity
            MCS: -1        channel: 6
  • iwconfig can turn off/on the adapter, can airport do that too? Also, is airport part of the default command set? I can see man airport, but airport on its own doesn't seem to exist on my system (Mac OSX 10.13.6).
    – crs1138
    Feb 14, 2019 at 18:28
  • 1
    @crs1138 Did you check /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/A/Resources/airport?
    – nohillside
    Feb 15, 2019 at 6:57
  • 1
    Both ifconfig en1 and airport -I (with the full path given in @nohillside's comment) work on OSX Feb 28, 2022 at 15:24

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