Getting around the Gnome network manager

Know that problem? You are somewhere around and got special network settings like a wlan essid and static ip ressources. Your Gnome network manager which you really like as it finally brought easy wpa2/wpa/wep detection and setup to you prefers dhcp and skips around the networks like mad.

So this is the time to consider going back to the roots: Switch it off. Just disable the network manager by right clicking on it. Now open /etc/network/interfaces in an editor of your choice with sudo/root rights and add something like this:

iface mynetwork inet static
address 1.2.3.4
netmask 255.255.255.0
gateway 1.2.3.1
wireless-essid NAME-OF-WLAN

Fill this with your specific details and yes, just choose a name for the interface you like. Don’t edit an existing one, don’t think about connecting it to a real interface right now.

After you have done this, open a terminal and do something like:

$sudo ifdown eth1
$sudo ifup eth1=mynetwork

What you just did was to manually bring up the network interface with a hint which network profile from /etc/network/interfaces it should use. As you have disabled the network manager you should stick with the network now.

See “man interfaces” and “man wireless” for more details.

7 Gedanken zu “Getting around the Gnome network manager

  1. Pingback: The Linux Index » Caspar Clemens Mierau: Getting around the Gnome network manager

  2. load synaptic

    - remove network manager
    - add the following repo -> deb http://apt.wicd.net feisty extras
    -reload packages
    -install wicd

    Sit back and wonder why gnome chose network manager when wicd is obviously best of breed…

    Any interface where you have to use a command-line to get things done just ain’t right!

  3. Hey Stuart,

    thanks for the hint, I’ll give a try. You are definitely right when saying that it is a bad sign when working around an application. In spite of that I just wanted to show a way of keeping the default software and having the ability to switch temporary.

    Thanks again, I’ll report back.

  4. I just had a look at wicd. The interface from the screenshots tab is totally insane. No wonder Ubuntu doesn’t include it by default (although they make some strange choices from time to time).

  5. Well, “insane” is maybe a bit strong but yes it shows the difficulty to get the balance between usability and feature richness. Though being one of those preferring to write mails on the console I really like the Ubuntu Gnome clicki thingies – especially as they allow beginners to start quite fast.

    About the strange choices: From some point of view every decision might look strange but thats the deal with compromises I guess.

  6. just _left_ click and do manual configuration, then turn off the roaming for whatever interfaces you got in there.

    in the end, save this as a ‘location’, so the next time you get there, you can just select it from the list (oh, you did save your original config, didn’t you? – to easily switch back & fort).

    i do this all the time with my laptop from work depending if i’m working from home or not.

    no command line needed.

  7. @dirk:

    Thank you for the explanation. This indeed solves the problem but it also shows that there is a grave issue in the user interface for this task. Actually it should be possible to select a wifi network and add settings in place like being able to right click in the network list. I hope this will be fixed in the future as disabling, saving (bad if you forgot it) is not that Ubuntu ease of use it could be. But really good to know that there is already a proper way.

    Best wishes for 2008!

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