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I'd like to write my own widget that display wireless signal strength. nm-applet displays the strength on its icon (here it's between zero and four bars, but I believe that's dependant on the GTK theme). Where does it get its data from?

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Most anything like this will be found in /proc/ - its a nice little place to poke your head in if you're feeling curious. – new123456 Apr 19 '11 at 23:56

It'll be getting it from the same place as iwconfig:

$ iwconfig wlan0
wlan0     802.11bgn  ESSID:"Jencorp Intersplice"  Nickname:"rtl8191SEVA2"
          Mode:Managed  Frequency=2.422 GHz  Access Point: 62:91:F5:71:27:E7   
          Bit Rate=21.5 Mb/s   
          Retry:on   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Power Management period:0us  mode:All packets received
          Link Quality=74/100  Signal level=-61 dBm  Noise level=-107 dBm
          Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:0   Missed beacon:0

See the Link Quality and Signal level line?

If you want to do it lower level than calling iwconfig and parsing the output then I suggest you look at the source code to iwconfig.

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