What do you use for network configuration

September 25, 2008 at 9:21 pm | Posted in KDevelop | 21 Comments

I just removed kdeadmin because knetworkconf wasn’t working “out of the box” and had basically no documentation.

Unfortunately that leaves me with no network-configuration possibility right now – except manually editing /etc/network/interfaces. Which sucks a lot if you’re changing your wireless network twice a day – which I do currently.

I’m right now building network-manager from svn because apparently the only network-management software for KDE4 in our svn is a plasma applet that needs something newer than the released version 0.6.6 of network-manager.

Am I missing something? Or is the network-configuration situation really that bad? How do you configure your network devices with KDE4?

[EDIT] And immediately the problem with software relying on non-released svn-versions of other software showed as well: the network-manager plasma applet didn’t build against current network-manager svn. I’ve been able to fix it, as apparently the nm-people just renamed a define, but its not always so easy.


  1. I use Kubuntu Intrepid which comes with network-manager-kde though, it’s a kde3 app, it works, and is using network-manager 7.

  2. In Fedora the KDE 4 desktop install includes the gnome applet – I’m not sure the package name but the application is nm-applet. It works ok but is a bit odd (from my mainly KDE-using perspective) and of course stores it’s passwords in gnome keyring so I have to unlock that in addition to kwallet. Seems to be using NM 0.7 though (a pre-release I guess, grom your edit?) so maybe that plasmoid might be interesting for me at some point?

  3. Neither a gnome nor a kde3 applet is an option here because I’ve got pretty tight size-constraints on the kde4 install. So installing a second DE (even if just its base libs) doesn’t work. I need something that uses Qt4, GTK2 (got that already for network-manager) or plain X11 – or KDE4 of course, but that seems to be non-existant yet.

  4. As far as I’m aware, you don’t actually need the entirety of GTK2 for network-manager. You just need glib (though that’s more than nuisance enough as it is), and glib-dbus.

  5. Installing NM/kde3 is going to be a lot smaller than pulling in all the gnome libs/ gnome keyring etc…

    But I too would welcome NM/Kde4 working.. What are your experiences with the NM plasma applet??

  6. You should have a look at wicd — http://wicd.sourceforge.net/ — a simple network manager done right. Now, someone ougth to rewrite the daemon in c =)

  7. I have been using wicd for a couple of days, and it’s been very nice: http://www.google.com/search?q=wicd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

  8. you may want to give wicd a shot. right now it has no qt/kde gui, but it exposes all its functionality via dbus. it also has a gtk2 gui. it is completely written in python and easy to hack.
    at least it made the network thing less bad for me, hope this helps you out.

  9. > How do you configure your network devices with KDE4?

    The rude way.:/

    I’ve got a small script in my suspend script that kills wpa_supplicant, then unloads the iwl driver, modprobes it again, starts wpa_supplicant and after some seconds dhclient. Not nice, involves some hackery, but mostly sets up network connections automatically. (Provided there’s dhcp.)

    I need this script also simply because networkmanager doesn’t really work for me (not perfectly stable wireless drivers :/) so a GUI only solves part of the problem. On the other machine, knetworkmanager (from KDE3) works quite OK.

    On the KDE4 side, I think Will is working towards getting knetworkmanager in KDE4 working so it can be shipped in opensuse 11.1 in december — that might explain why we rely on a rather new networkmanager (it’ll be released with 4.2 then, which is in January).

  10. Hi !

    What about using wicd ??
    I am using wicd since I am on Kubuntu and I have to say I am very happy with it !

  11. I’m using netcfg2 in arch… which is really just one step away from iwconfig… but my wireless card is being tempermental, so until I get that sorted out I don’t think it’ll be worth it for me to use a gui.

    one thing I really like about netcfg, though, is that I set it to give me a list of networking options on boot.🙂 this would be slightly more useful if I rebooted more than once a week… or if it somehow magically gave me that menu in hte middle of un-hibernating. …except un-hibernating is when my wifi seems to have issues… so… hrm.

  12. With Mandriva there is a great network applet that solves all those problems. I have a KDE-4.1 debian here, and I was puzzled too to do not find a network manager either. So I use the gnome network manager tool, and experience ugly fonts and theme.

  13. You could use wicd (http://wicd.sourceforge.net/), seems very powerful although I never used it.

  14. The reason software is being developed for NM 0.7 SVN is because NM 0.6 is a dead end, and distributions are all in the process of switching to 0.7, released or not. Fedora has been shipping 0.7 since Fedora 8 already and we’ve suffered a lot from all the software being developed against 0.6, so from our point of view it’s great that 0.7 is being targeted, it was about time!

  15. Tried wicd, not suiting my needs. It has 0 documentation as far as I can see and its not obvious how to setup a WPA wireless connection.

    So I guess I’m back to my custom script that runs during boot to select the network environment.

    As far as using NM svn: I understand the need, I still think it would be better to have some released tarball as a base for development. This way you’ll have spend time on updating the code any time svn changes. Even a NM 0.7 beta/alpha would do, then you could do a final adjustment once the rc is out. Just found a blogpost from liquidat from almost 1 year ago which says “0.7 will be out soon”, that doesn’t sound very promising to me.

  16. I use a tool from my distro (archlinux) : netcfg. You have to edit some text files with a very nice syntax, and switching before profiles are done with “netcfg profilename”. But sure it has no gui and it’s distro-specific.

  17. I’m using plain wpa_supplicant. It works way better for me than all other managers do. Just make sure your init scripts run wpa_suplicant at boot time. If you come to a new location just add the network with wpa_passphrase to your wpa_supplicant.conf. Once you have added all your locations, it automatically connects to any known or open network in range without the need of entering passwords for wallets, selecting network profiles or restarting daemons.

    @jaune: Try ArchAssistant. It’s a Qt4 frontend for netcfg and some other arch-specific things.

  18. Ceni is very good, it’s command-line based but surprisingly user friendly. It’s used in Sidux and works very well. Unfortunately I can’t seem to find a downloadable package or a website for it.

  19. ceni source:

    prebuilt debs:

    I combine this with wpasupplicant + ifplugd for a nice set and forget config for daily use, add ceni and/or wpagui for travelling…

  20. grr – I tried to post a couple of times yesterday, NOW it decides to work:

    quick summary – there are some nice patches that have just been accepted into ifplugd (in debian) and wpagui



    The important distinction between these tools and networ-manager and wicd is that they use the standard debian networking stack, making them more reliable on a fast changing code base

  21. Mandriva is using net_applet which is using wpa_supplicant and ifplugd as backends.
    The tool is also using standr network configuration files and copy the wireless networks settings in /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf and /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/wireless.d

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