Is Your Linux Network Wicd (Wicked)? 03/27/08

Earlier this month I posted about the lack of a simple network management interface for Ubuntu Linux, where I suggested Ubuntu Needs to Improve the Network Management GUI! At that time several readers sent input and others provided helpful comments. Among them was Wicd. Well.. I’ve finally installed it. Wow, was I missing out on a good suggestion. I feel like such a goof for not installing it sooner. :)

For those not familiar:

…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…“, as stated in their sourceforge profile.

Among some of the features I think especially nice are backward compatibility with some of the command line tools (ifconfig for example), the ability to automatically connect at boot to accessible wifi networks and WPA support. As a side note… if some of you don’t think WPA is pertinent, please read: Don’t WEP Me! Ubuntu (and Others) Are Safer With WPA. or Using Ubuntu to Crack WEP.

The install instructions are VERY simple to follow. Here’s a snipet from their site:

Installing Wicd in Ubuntu is very simple. You just have to add the Wicd repository to the Ubuntu package manager. To open the package manager in Gnome, go to Administration > Synaptic Package Manager. When it appears, go to Settings > Repositories > Third Party Software > Add…, and enter the following line:

deb feisty extras

where feisty is your version of Ubuntu in lowercase (dapper, edgy, feisty, gutsy, hardy). Then, click Reload, and wait while the package lists are downloaded. Now, search for “Wicd”, and right click on it. Select Install, then press Apply, and Wicd will automatically be downloaded and installed for you. This will also keep you automatically up to date with the latest and greatest version of Wicd.

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/”.”

Visit “Installing Wicd in Ubuntu” to see the remainder of the instructions and complete the installation. You’ll be happy you did! :)

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9 Responses to this article

Greg March 28, 2008 Reply

One thing I do like is that you (this blog) listen to the readers and actually communicate. That’s way cool!

UbuntuLinuxHelp March 28, 2008 Reply

@Greg – Thanks! That is nice to hear. I often receive VERY good comments and email input from readers. Now if only I could get some of you to write the odd post here and there (smiling here), that would be awesome! ;):)
Anyone? :)

David Castle July 30, 2008 Reply

Tried it but it did not install correctly and crashed my network. Had to reinstall Ubuntu. Tried several times with the same result.

Using Ubuntu 8.04.

UbuntuLinuxHelp July 31, 2008 Reply

@David Castle – Ugh! That’s not good. I’ve not tried this on 8.04 yet, so I think it’s great that you’re giving many of us a “heads-up”. Thanks.
Before I do, I’ll create an image of the drive.

Marcus Adam August 15, 2008 Reply

Using Ubuntu 8.04. Works great and fixed my troubles with connecting to WAP1 with unconventional gateway address.

Andrew J October 13, 2008 Reply

I was having problems with the stock Ubuntu 8.04 network manager “forgetting” my wireless profiles after reboot, requiring me to re-enter the credentials for the wireless network. I installed wicd (following the instructions on the wicd webpage) and it works perfectly.

Stan Fisher January 13, 2009 Reply

Is there any updated information regarding the use of Wicd with Intrepid Ibix Ubuntu (8.10). I have an Acer Aspire one with 8.10 installed and I am having very inconsistent wireless connection with “Network Manager”.
Do you have any experience or suggestions regarding Wicd in that context?

UbuntuLinuxHelp January 14, 2009 Reply

@Stan Fisher – Have you tried the Wicd forum? What error messages do you get? (I never had any such issues myself).

Bolder February 2, 2009 Reply

Well, its pretty sort of true; Wicd works by luck. It crashed my gnome totally at the time I guess when it removed NetworkManager.
Have to switch back..
/me finding my tar backups 😛

Bolder Bashukhan

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