Sunday, April 12, 2009

Wicd - Wired and Wireless Network manager for Ubuntu

Wicd is an open source wired and wireless network manager for Linux which aims to provide a simple interface to connect to networks with a wide variety of settings.

Wicd’s features

* No Gnome dependencies (although it does require GTK), so it is easy to use in XFCE, Fluxbox, Openbox, Enlightenment, etc.

* Ability to connect to wired and wireless networks

* Profiles for each wireless network and wired network

* Many encryption schemes, some of which include WEP/WPA/WPA2

* Remains compatible with wireless-tools

* Tray icon showing network activity and signal strength

Installing Wicd in Ubuntu

First you need to edit the /etc/apt/sources.list file

sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Add the following line for gutsy user

deb gutsy extras

Add the following line for hardy user

deb hardy extras

Save and exit the file

where gutsy is your version of Ubuntu in lowercase (dapper, edgy, feisty, gutsy, hardy).

Now you need to update the source list using the following command

sudo aptitude update

Install wicd using the following command

sudo aptitude install wicd

Please note that this will remove network-manager, which is the default GNOME network manager and may cause loss of network connection temporarily.

In GNOME, to get the tray icon to automatically appear at boot, go to System > Preferences > Sessions. In the “Startup Programs” tab, click the “New” button. Give it a name (”Wicd” works fine). For the command, enter “/opt/wicd/”.

Using Wicd

To use wicd, launch it from the Application menu; for example, Applications -> Internet -> wicd in GNOME.

In the wicd program window you’ll see a list of the wireless networks that the software has detected. Wicd doesn’t always pick up all of the networks that are in range when it starts; click the Refresh icon on tool bar to get a full list.

From there, click the Connect link beneath the name of the network that you want to use. After a few seconds, you should be connected the network.

If the network is encrypted, you need to do a little more work. Wicd supports the following encryption schemes: WPA, WEP, LEAP, TTLS, EAP, and PEAP.

Click the arrow beside the name of the encrypted network to which you want to connect, then click Advanced Settings. From there, click the Use Encryption checkbox, select an encryption method from the dropdown list, and enter the required password in the Key field.

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