Command line utilities

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Here are some useful commands that can be used in the Konsole. Some commands will only be useful when run as super user.


  • dmesg - show kernel messages since startup [to see if drivers are logging any issues]

To see the most recent activity, for instance if you have just plugged in a device, type

dmesg | tail


  • ifconfig - main configuration utility for network interfaces. Please read man ifconfig for full documentation.
  • ifup interface - bring up the specified interface. For example:
ifup eth0 - command that brings up the ethernet port
ifup wlan0 - command that brings up the wireless port
  • ifdown interface - the opposite of 'ifup' it brings down the interface.
  • iwconfig - wireless network connection utility. In Konqueror, type: man:iwconfig for full documentation. Here are a few useful iwconfig commands (NOTE: your wireless card could be referred to by one of several names on your system. eth0, ath0, and wlan0 are common. Wherever you see one of those, substitute your adapter's name):
iwconfig - by itself, iwconfig will display your wireless status
iwconfig eth0 essid any - this command connects eth0 to any AP in range
iwconfig wlan0 essid foo - connects wlan0 to AP with essid "foo"
iwconfig eth0 key off - clears out the WEP key
iwconfig ath0 key 12345678901 - sets ath0's WEP key to 12345678901
  • iwlist - another wireless ethernet utility. In Konqueror, type: man:iwlist for complete information. Some useful commands:
iwlist wlan0 scanning - shows properties of all wireless networks within range of wlan0.
iwlist ath0 bitrate - shows the current speed of communications on ath0
  • dhclient - provides a means for configuring one or more network interfaces
dhclient eth0 - command attempts to secure an ip address for the interface eth0


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