How To: Restart Apple Mac OS X Airport Networking From the Bash Terminal

Posted on in Categories , , , last updated August 30, 2015

How do I enable and/or disable networking (AirPort) Ethernet and Wireless from the bash command Line in Apple Mac OS X? How can I restart Wi-Fi via command Line in OS X?

You can use ifconfig command to to assign an address to a network interface and/or configure network interface parameters including restarting interface.

Procedure: How to restart Wifi (en0) using the terminal

  1. Open the terminal.
  2. Type the following command to shutdown en0 interface:
    sudo ifconfig en0 down
  3. Type the following command to bring it back en0 interface:
    sudo ifconfig en0 up
  4. Verify that interface is back online again:
    ifconfig -u en0

Sample session:

Fig.01: Enable and Disable OSX Wi-Fi
Fig.01: Enable and Disable OSX Wi-Fi

You can create an alias as follows in your ~/.bashrc file:

alias restart_en0='sudo ifconfig en0 down && sudo ifconfig en0 up'

To restart simply type:


Say hello to networksetup command

The networksetup is a configuration tool for network settings in OS X.

Use networksetup restart (on and off) Mac OS X networking

Type the following command to turn it off en0:
networksetup -setairportpower en0 off
networksetup -setairportpower "Wi-Fi" off
Type the following command to turn it on en0:
networksetup -setairportpower en0 on
networksetup -setairportpower "Wi-Fi" on
Sample outputs:

Wi-Fi is not a Wi-Fi interface.
Turning on the only airport interface found: en0

Both commands have many more options. See the man page by typing the following command:
man ifconfig
man networksetup

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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