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nmcli is a tool that allows NetworkManager management from command line.

NetworkManager status

Display overall status of NetworkManager

nmcli general status

Display active connections

nmcli connection show --active

Display all configured connections

nmcli connection show configured

Connect/disconnect to an already configured connection

Connect to a configured connection by name

nmcli connection up id <connection name>

Disconnection by name

nmcli connection down id <connection name>


Get Wifi status

nmcli radio wifi

Turn wifi on or off

nmcli radio wifi <on|off>

List available access points(AP) to connect to

nmcli device wifi list

Refresh previous list

nmcli device wifi rescan

Create a new connection to an open AP

nmcli device wifi connect <SSID|BSSID>

Create a new connection to a password protected AP

nmcli device wifi connect <SSID|BSSID> password <password>

Network interfaces

List available devices and their status

nmcli device status

Disconnect an interface

nmcli device disconnect iface <interface>

Create or modify a connection

To create a new connection using an interactive editor

nmcli connection edit con-name <name of new connection>

To edit an already existing connection using an interactive editor

nmcli connection edit <connection name>


Let's create a new connection

nmcli connection edit con-name <name of new connection>

It will ask us to define a connection type

Valid connection types: 802-3-ethernet (ethernet), 802-11-wireless (wifi), wimax, gsm, cdma, infiniband, adsl, bluetooth, vpn, 802-11-olpc-mesh (olpc-mesh), vlan, bond, team, bridge, bond-slave, team-slave, bridge-slave
Enter connection type: 

In this example we will use ethernet

Enter connection type: ethernet

Next this will appear, note that "nmcli>" is a prompt and that it lists the main settings available

===| nmcli interactive connection editor |===

Adding a new '802-3-ethernet' connection

Type 'help' or '?' for available commands.
Type 'describe [<setting>.<prop>]' for detailed property description.

You may edit the following settings: connection, 802-3-ethernet (ethernet), 802-1x, ipv4, ipv6

We will edit the setting "ipv4"

nmcli> goto ipv4

Note that after this our promt has changed to this to indicate that we are currently editing the "ipv4" setting

nmcli ipv4>

List available properties under the setting "ipv4" and describe the property "method"

nmcli ipv4> describe
Available properties: method, dns, dns-search, addresses, routes, ignore-auto-routes, ignore-auto-dns, dhcp-client-id, dhcp-send-hostname, dhcp-hostname, never-default, may-fail
Property name?
Property name? method

Let's set property "method" to "auto"

nmcli ipv4> set method auto

Now that we have finished editing the "ipv4" setting let's go back to the main level. Execute the following command until the prompt looks like this "nmcli>"

nmcli> back

If you need to list again the main settings use the "goto" command without any arguments. After that just press enter and ignore the error.

nmcli> goto
Available settings: connection, 802-3-ethernet (ethernet), 802-1x, ipv4, ipv6
Setting name?

It is possible to set a value for a property directly from the main level

nmcli> set <setting>.<property> <value>

For example

nmcli> set connection.autoconnect TRUE
nmcli> set connection.interface-name <interface name this connection is bound to>
nmcli> set ethernet.cloned-mac-address <Spoofed MAC address>

Finally check the connection details, save and exit

nmcli> print
nmcli> save
nmcli> quit

Manually editing

To manually edit a ifcfg connection configuration open or create with a text editor the configuration file of the connection located in "/etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-<connection name>"

A description of most common configuration options is available at:

To modify a connection password open with a text editor and edit the file "keys-<connection id>" located in "/etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/". The password is stored in plain text. For example

$ cat /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/keys-<connection name>

Or if using keyfile, simply edit the connection file located inside "/etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/"

Finally save the files and to apply changes to an already active connection execute

nmcli connection up id <connection name>

Delete a connection configuration

Delete the connection

nmcli connection delete id <connection name>

Please note this also deactivates the connection.

Documentation for NetworkManager Command Line Interface nmcli

The primary reference for nmcli are the manual pages nmcli(1) and nmcli-examples(5). For a quick reference, the user can type `nmcli [help]` to print the supported options and commands. The help parameter can also be used to obtain a more detailed description for the individual commands. For example `nmcli connection help` and `nmcli connection add help` show a description for the possible connection operations and for how to add connections, respectively.

The newest version of the manual page can be found on nmcli(1) and nmcli-examples(7).


nmcli maybe contain some bugs and lack some features graphical tools for NetworkManager have.

To see all available options for your version of nmcli

info nmcli