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 http://apt.wicd.net 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/tray.py”.”
Visit “Installing Wicd in Ubuntu” to see the remainder of the instructions and complete the installation. You’ll be happy you did!