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I run shell command to tell my wireless interface to connect to a specified network.

I have a hard time finding information about how to get the status of the wireless network.

One thing I'd like to do is to check the status of the actual connection attempt.

Another thing I'd like to do is to read any errors reported by the connection attempt such as wrong passphrase.

Is there any general purpose package that can be installed to get such information or is there maybe any log files that can be read?

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To get information of the current connection: iwconfig The place of logfiles are depend on what distro you're using and what software for connecting wifi. I think all of them have a debug mode, where you can get verbose logs. For example gnome's network-manager: https://wiki.gnome.org/Projects/NetworkManager/Debugging

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