Linux Find Wireless Wifi Driver Chipset Information nixCraft Updated Tutorials/Posts

How do I find out Wireless driver chipset information under a Linux operating system? How do I get wireless card chipeset information without opening my systems or laptop using a Linux? How can I find out which Wi-Fi driver is installed on my Linux laptop? How do I see the information of currently installed WiFi drivers on my Ubuntu or Debian Linux laptop?

The simplest command to get this information is to use the lspci command. This utility show information about PCI buses in the system and devices connected to them. The PCI configuration space is restricted to root user. So you need to run the following commands as root user to get all possible information about your wifi card chipset and Linux driver.

You may need to run update-pciids command to get the current version of the pci.ids file from the Internet and install it to get accurate results.

Linux Find Wireless Wifi Driver Chipset Information

The syntax is as follows for the lspci command and grep command:

lspci
lspci -k | more
lspci | less
lspci | grep -i intel
lspci | grep -i broadcom
lspci | grep -i wireless

Sample outputs:

0c:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 5300 AGN [Shiloh] Network Connection

Note down 0c:00.0 and enter the following command:
lspci -vv -s 0c:00.0
Sample outputs:

0c:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 5300 AGN [Shiloh] Network Connection Subsystem: Intel Corporation Device 1121 Control: I/O- Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR+ FastB2B- DisINTx- Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B- ParErr- DEVSEL=fast >TAbort- SERR- Kernel driver in use: iwlagn Kernel modules: iwlagn

So I am using iwlagn driver. To get driver information type the following modinfo command:
$ modinfo iwlagn
Sample outputs:

filename: /lib/modules/2.6.32-23-generic-pae/kernel/drivers/net/wireless/iwlwifi/iwlagn.ko
alias: iwl4965
license: GPL
author: Copyright(c) 2003-2009 Intel Corporation version: 1.3.27k
description: Intel(R) Wireless WiFi Link AGN driver for Linux
firmware: iwlwifi-4965-2.ucode
firmware: iwlwifi-5150-2.ucode
firmware: iwlwifi-5000-2.ucode
firmware: iwlwifi-6050-4.ucode
firmware: iwlwifi-6000-4.ucode
srcversion: BB501FCC68D0C8213107D3B
alias: pci:v00008086d00000084sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias: pci:v00008086d00000083sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias: pci:v00008086d00000089sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias: pci:v00008086d00000088sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias: pci:v00008086d00000087sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias: pci:v00008086d00000086sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias: pci:v00008086d00004239sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias: pci:v00008086d00004238sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias: pci:v00008086d0000422Csv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias: pci:v00008086d0000422Bsv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias: pci:v00008086d0000008Esv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias: pci:v00008086d0000008Dsv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias: pci:v00008086d0000423Dsv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias: pci:v00008086d0000423Csv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias: pci:v00008086d0000423Bsv*sd00001011bc*sc*i*
alias: pci:v00008086d0000423Asv*sd00001021bc*sc*i*
alias: pci:v00008086d0000423Asv*sd00001001bc*sc*i*
alias: pci:v00008086d00004237sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias: pci:v00008086d00004236sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias: pci:v00008086d00004235sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias: pci:v00008086d00004232sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias: pci:v00008086d00004237sv*sd00001216bc*sc*i*
alias: pci:v00008086d00004232sv*sd00001326bc*sc*i*
alias: pci:v00008086d00004232sv*sd00001306bc*sc*i*
alias: pci:v00008086d00004232sv*sd00001206bc*sc*i*
alias: pci:v00008086d00004232sv*sd00001305bc*sc*i*
alias: pci:v00008086d00004232sv*sd00001205bc*sc*i*
alias: pci:v00008086d00004230sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
alias: pci:v00008086d00004229sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
depends: iwlcore,mac80211,cfg80211
vermagic: 2.6.32-23-generic-pae SMP mod_unload modversions 586TSC parm: swcrypto50:using software crypto engine (default 0 [hardware]) (bool)
parm: queues_num50:number of hw queues in 50xx series (int)
parm: 11n_disable50:disable 50XX 11n functionality (int)
parm: amsdu_size_8K50:enable 8K amsdu size in 50XX series (int)
parm: fw_restart50:restart firmware in case of error (int)
parm: antenna:select antenna (1=Main, 2=Aux, default 0 [both]) (int)
parm: swcrypto:using crypto in software (default 0 [hardware]) (int)
parm: disable_hw_scan:disable hardware scanning (default 0) (int)
parm: queues_num:number of hw queues. (int)
parm: 11n_disable:disable 11n functionality (int)
parm: amsdu_size_8K:enable 8K amsdu size (int)
parm: fw_restart4965:restart firmware in case of error (int)

Finally, you can run the following to get info about vendor & product code:
lspci -n -s 0c:00.0
Sample outputs:

0c:00.0 0280: 8086:4235

Where,

  • 0280 – Network controller:
  • 8086:4235 – Intel Corporation Ultimate N WiFi Link 5300

Or the all in one following option:
$ lspci -nn -s 0c:00.0
Sample outputs:

0c:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Intel Corporation Ultimate N WiFi Link 5300 [8086:4235]

Tip: Update pci database on Linux to get accurate infomation about the wireless / wifi chipset

Type the following update-pciids command to download new version of the PCI ID list to get accurate info from lspci:

sudo update-pciids
lspci | more
lspci | egrep -i 'wifi|wireless|intel|broadcom|realtek'

Sample outputs:

Fig.01: Running update-pciids and lspci commands on a Linux
Fig.01: Running update-pciids and lspci commands on a Linux

Once updated just pass the -k to the lspci command:
$ lspci -k
Sample outputs:

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 3rd Gen Core processor DRAM Controller (rev 09) Subsystem: Lenovo 3rd Gen Core processor DRAM Controller Kernel driver in use: ivb_uncore
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics Controller (rev 09) Subsystem: Lenovo 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics Controller Kernel driver in use: i915 Kernel modules: i915
00:14.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family USB xHCI Host Controller (rev 04) Subsystem: Lenovo 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family USB xHCI Host Controller Kernel driver in use: xhci_hcd
00:16.0 Communication controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C216 Chipset Family MEI Controller #1 (rev 04) Subsystem: Lenovo 7 Series/C216 Chipset Family MEI Controller Kernel driver in use: mei_me Kernel modules: mei_me
00:19.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation 82579LM Gigabit Network Connection (rev 04) Subsystem: Lenovo 82579LM Gigabit Network Connection (Lewisville) Kernel driver in use: e1000e Kernel modules: e1000e
00:1a.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C216 Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller #2 (rev 04) Subsystem: Lenovo 7 Series/C216 Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller Kernel driver in use: ehci-pci
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C216 Chipset Family High Definition Audio Controller (rev 04) Subsystem: Lenovo 7 Series/C216 Chipset Family High Definition Audio Controller Kernel driver in use: snd_hda_intel Kernel modules: snd_hda_intel
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C216 Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 1 (rev c4) Kernel driver in use: pcieport Kernel modules: shpchp
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 2 (rev c4) Kernel driver in use: pcieport Kernel modules: shpchp
00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 3 (rev c4) Kernel driver in use: pcieport Kernel modules: shpchp
00:1d.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C216 Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller #1 (rev 04) Subsystem: Lenovo 7 Series/C216 Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller Kernel driver in use: ehci-pci
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation QM77 Express Chipset LPC Controller (rev 04) Subsystem: Lenovo QM77 Express Chipset LPC Controller Kernel driver in use: lpc_ich Kernel modules: lpc_ich
00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series Chipset Family 6-port SATA Controller [AHCI mode] (rev 04) Subsystem: Lenovo 7 Series Chipset Family 6-port SATA Controller [AHCI mode] Kernel driver in use: ahci Kernel modules: ahci
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C216 Chipset Family SMBus Controller (rev 04) Subsystem: Lenovo 7 Series/C216 Chipset Family SMBus Controller Kernel modules: i2c_i801
02:00.0 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd MMC/SD Host Controller (rev 07) Subsystem: Lenovo MMC/SD Host Controller Kernel driver in use: sdhci-pci Kernel modules: sdhci_pci
03:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Centrino Advanced-N 6205 [Taylor Peak] (rev 34) Subsystem: Intel Corporation Centrino Advanced-N 6205 AGN Kernel driver in use: iwlwifi Kernel modules: iwlwifi

Using lshw command

One can use the lshw command as follows
$ lshw -C network
$ lshw -C network | more

Look for “Wireless interface”. Here is a sample outputs:

Fig.02: Linux Find Wireless Wifi Driver Chipset Information
Fig.02: Finding WiFi chipset and driver information on Linux

The following grep command extract only needed info such as driver name and other stuff:
$ lshw -C network | grep -B 1 -A 12 'Wireless interface'

A note about USB WiFi device

You need to use the lsusb command:
$ lsusb
Try to look a wireless or network device in the list.

A note about lsmod command

To see the status or list of all drivers (modules) loaded in the Linux Kernel, run the lsmod command:
$ lsmod
$ lsmod | more

OR use the grep command/egrep command to filter outputs:
$ lsmod | grep -i wifi
Sample outputs:

iwlwifi 249856 1 iwldvm
cfg80211 610304 3 iwlwifi,mac80211,iwldvm

Look like I am using iwlwifi. Verify it with the following modinfo command:
$ modinfo iwlwifi
See the following tutorials for more info on Linux wifi drivers and commands:

Conclusion

You just learned how to find Wifi driver and chipset information on Linux based systems. I suggest you visit the main source of Documentation for the Linux wireless (IEEE-802.11) subsystem here. It features information for end-users, developers and vendors. Also read the man pages for the following command using the man command:
$ man lspci

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

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