horst: Not at all colorless, for your wireless

It’s been a while since I found a pure wireless monitor — in fact, I think the last one was WiFiScanner back in October, although you could say wifite had some scanning features, even if its purpose was a little different.

I’d like to say that horst is a monitor that ranks among the best, but I should probably tone that down just a little, and say that it’s among the best I’ve seen.

2015-01-11-6m47421-horst-01 2015-01-11-6m47421-horst-02 2015-01-11-6m47421-horst-03 2015-01-11-6m47421-horst-04 2015-01-11-6m47421-horst-05

After all, I tend to be a bit of a dunce when it comes to all the nitty gritty points about networking issues, and to complicate that, I am easily dazzled by flashy colors or bouncing ASCII graphs. Which makes me the least qualified judge of software, now that I think about it. … :\

In any case, horst does a lot of things right — a lot. Plenty of color, menu-driven, a thousand options controlled through pop-up menus, on-screen keyboard help, clean and efficient use of screen space … I could go on for a while.

In fact, I don’t know if I prefer horst or wavemon, the gold-standard tool for wireless monitoring and the utility I’ve been using to measure up just about everything wireless-ish since the beginning of 2013. šŸ˜Æ

So yes, horst is that good … to me at least. It may be that you have more knowledge about wireless technology and how it works, and therefore have another tool you prefer. In that case, I can only admit my shortcomings and endorse it as a well-designed, attractive and fully functional wireless monitor. Which is not empty praise.

horst is in Debian and AUR, but will take a little nudging to get working. The AUR package tries to assign horst to the group “horst,” which will cause the build to fail; edit out the group assignment and you can run it as root without difficulty.

Both versions will balk if your wireless interface isn’t set to monitor mode, so you’ll need to bring down your interface and set that with iwconfig (deviceid) mode monitor. I should mention that not all devices are created equal, so it may be that your physical hardware refuses to switch to that mode, in which case I think horst is not going to work for you.

Once that’s set, you should be able to run horst just with horst -i (deviceid) and enjoy all the text-based glitter. šŸ˜€ When you’re done, don’t forget to re-set your interface (probably to “managed”) so you can reconnect to your network. (I’m mentioning all these details for my benefit as well as yours; I’ll probably be scratching my head at some time in the future, wondering how I got horst running.)

Now that my daily dose of splashy color is out of the way, I can focus long enough to give out the first gold star of 2015: ā­ Enjoy! šŸ˜€

2 thoughts on “horst: Not at all colorless, for your wireless

  1. Pingback: Bonus: 2015 in review … and a farewell | Inconsolation

  2. Pingback: Bonus: 2015 in review ā€¦ and a farewell | Linux Admins

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