Rescan Wireless Networks on Ubuntu

Sometimes I can’t find wireless networks which I know exist (on Ubuntu 16.04). Forcing the wireless interface to rescan fixes the problem. 

This is really simple. Just find out the name of your wireless interface:

$ ifconfig

You should have a few options, probably something like ‘eth’ or ‘enp’ (ethernet), a ‘lo’ (local loopback) and a wireless interface (mine is ‘wlp2s0’). The command to force the rescan is then:

$ sudo iwlist wlp2s0 scan

Replacing the ‘wlp2s0’ with your interface name. Of course, I can never remember this, so I usually add an alias to my bashrc file:

$ vi ~/.bashrc
  alias rescan="sudo iwlist wlp2s0 scan"
$ source ~/.bashrc

Then simply typing “rescan” into a terminal asks for root password and then rescans the network.

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