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Old 12-21-2008, 10:09 AM   #1
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Amsterdam
Distribution: Mandrake 10.1/2006
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The NetworkManager in Ubuntu 8.10


I don't know about you but I had quite a few problems with my network connections after the Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) due to the new gnome network-manager that comes with this release. I better share this with you.

With this network-manager, quite a few around the network management is changed:
1. it looks like, on boot, your network connections (as listed in /etc/network/interface), are not automatically activited. Running 'sudo ifup' still works but you have to do this by hand. Also, I think ifplugd is removed during the upgrade so this wil not help.

2. it is very important to know, but no manual/document ever mentions this, that interfaces that are listed in /etc/network/interfaces are IGNORED by the network-manager. And thus, if no other network-interfaces remain, your nm-applet will never show in your 'task bar'!!!

3. the network-manager can only be managed by 1 user at the same time. So if you are using multiple user-sessions (through 'Switch user') only the first session will show the nm-applet in the task bar.

4. I think that network-setup is stored 'per user' and not 'system wide'. This is somewhat strange due to the nature of a network connection (which is system wide). So if you share your machine with your partner, or what ever, all users must enter the network details seperate. This is really annoying and not necessary, I think.

Btw, the official wiki on this is here:

Hope this will help soem of you.

Cheers, Ronald
Old 12-21-2008, 12:58 PM   #2
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Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: CentOS, OS X
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I've noticed some of those things too, but not all (it might be just me, in which case I must have done something accidentally to get things working). If you have upgraded and not done a fresh install (and thus managed all connections with the new nm right from the start), and want to use the new network manager, then you should let it manage all your connections (if this is not ok, you may of course manage them any way you like); this basically means that you should clear any existing configuration and then let nm configure your connections, as this way your only concern is to hold the nm configuration in place (no need to edit config files that way, as nm-applet is graphical). If a connection does not work well, simply remove its configuration trough nm controls and re-create it. In short network manager is supposed to be an automatic, graphical tool easy to use without lots of manuals and things to remember, so you should forget any command line games if using it. You asked about these things at the Ubuntu irc channel, right?

To the latter things you mentioned, one of us has made something odd. I have Ubuntu 8.10 on several machines, some of which are multi-user systems, and I'm pretty sure I've configured nm myself with more than one user logged in, trough "switch user" and all that - and it has worked. Can't remember if I had to configure wireless networks (i.e. click on the name in the list) for every user separately, but the only "configuration" in that would be typing in the wireless network password, which should be done separately for every user anyway, because not everybody is necessarily entitled to using a specified network just because one user is (and it is possible to make the system remember the password on a per-user basis anyway, so no problem there).

- if you upgraded, clear any previous configuration, including old configuration files
- if you have trouble with a connection, delete and re-create it
- wired connections without password protection should work automatically; at least this is how it works for me
- passwords should in any case be typed in (at least once) by every separate user instead of just one
- if network manager is a pain, one can get rid of it and use something else instead, like wpa_supplicant

I recommend you visit the network manager settings, delete every saved configuration and re-try. If the problems persist, you should of course ask how to fix them, and be specific on what sort of connection it is and what the problem is. It's not a problem if user B needs to input password that user A already gave, it's just a level of security

EDIT: I created a "mobile internet" connection (a mobile modem) yesterday, but the automatic style did not work; dhcp did not get the right dns server addresses, because network manager handled a wireless connection at the same time (which was trough LAN to internet) and for some reason it always tried to use a dns server from the LAN, which wasn't available if the wireless lan was not on. Solution was to clear both connections (this was an upgrade; on a clear install it would have been so right from the start), then create them again, then set the dns servers manually for the mobile connection. And guess what - worked like a charm so yes, network manager is easy, but "old" configuration seems to trip it pretty easily..

Last edited by b0uncer; 12-21-2008 at 01:07 PM.


intrepid, network manager, ubuntu

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