If you are like me and could use a better network manager, say goodbye to Gnome network manager and say HI! to Wicd.
WICD is an opensource network manager that will make your life easier and hopefully get rid of some of your networking frustrations.
For Ubuntu users (versions 9.04 and above), you can get it from the repositories. For previous versions of Ubuntu, check the Wicd DOWNLOAD PAGE.
You can install Wicd using the package manager of your choice, but if you want to install it from the command line, type the following:
sudo apt-get install wicd
Once you install it and set it up, it will look something like this:
Note that the installation will remove the Gnome network applet!!!
Once the installation finishes, you will need to get Wicd configured, which is done via a very simple and intuitive interface. Before you do that, though, you may need to reboot your machine to get Wicd to properly start up.
So there you go, hope you enjoy using Wicd.
EDIT (29/01/2010): If you use Wicd on a USB drive installation and you boot from it on different PCs, as I do, you will need to change the interfaces used by Wicd to connect each time you switch to a different machine.
In other words, when you install Wicd, it will pick up the ethernet and wireless interfaces on that particular machine (e.g. eth1 and wlan1), but if you then run it in a different machine, those interfaces will change. Therefore, in order for it to work on that other machine, you will need to find out what those interfaces are labeled as and adjust the corresponding settings under the "preferences" menu in Wicd.
In order to find out which interfaces you should adjust Wicd to use, open a terminal and run the following command:
That will list the current interfaces in your computer, even those which are in disabled status. That command returns quite some information, but we are only looking for the ethernet and wireless labels, which will look along these lines:
eth3 Link encap:Ethernet direcciónHW...
wlan3 Link encap:Ethernet direcciónHW...
Then you would open the Wicd preferences menu and update the interfaces being used by the application, in this case eth3 and wlan3.
I am trying to figure out a way to do this automatically on startup, but haven't found where Wicd stores that interface information yet... Any ideas welcome!