I'd like to get a list of all possible wifis I can connect to. I've been using nmcli with nmcli dev wifi to do so. On my Linux Mint machine this works fine, but on raspbian I don't get any results. I don't know why or what I have to do.

I already set my country code in the wpa_supplicant.conf and wifi isn't blocked by rfkill.

$ iwlist wlan0 scan returns wlan0 No scan results.

$ ifup wlan0 returns ifup: unknown interface wlan0.

  • I don't think ifup is what you want - that deals with interfaces configured in /etc/network/interfaces ... which you don't want to mess with May 5, 2021 at 8:18
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    you probably want sudo iwlist wlan0 scan or sudo iwlist wlan0 scan | grep ESSID to get just the SSID's - note the sudo May 5, 2021 at 8:27
  • @JaromandaX On my Pi this works fine without the sudo May 5, 2021 at 11:38
  • @DmitryGrigoryev - doesn't on any one of my 7 pi's with wifi - without sudo, shows current connection only, with sudo shows all available May 5, 2021 at 12:25

1 Answer 1


ifup will not work with wireless, you should rather use iwconfig wlan0.

On my system, sudo rfkill unblock 0 followed by iwlist wlan0 scan works fine. There's no need for sudo in the second command. It could be that you have installed several network managers at the same time, or using the wireless interface in AP mode.

  • so, without sudo, you get a list of all available SSID's? May 5, 2021 at 12:26
  • @JaromandaX Yes, I do. You don't? May 8, 2021 at 13:56
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    No - that's why I suggested it in the comment to the question! May 9, 2021 at 0:40

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