Using NetworkManager for wireless networking

Finally, after much searching, trying and agonising wireless networking/internet connection is working!

Installed network-manager-gnome and wpasupplicant (or was that already installed?) through synaptic.

Created a /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf file as described here.
…but had no luck when it came to the step “Testing the configuration”. There seemed to be fewer error messages when using “wext” driver instead of “ipw” even though I have the Intel Pro/Wireless 2200BG. During testing I could tell that some things are working because different SSIDs from nearby networks were picked up, but authentication seemed to always fail (I checked and re-checked the SSID, passphrase (HEX), MAC address, etc.).

The whole time NetworkManager itself seemed to not be aware of my network adapter (i.e. clicking on the applet would only show “Wired Network”, nothing wireless).
Finally, I found this little gem of information:

“Debian and Ubuntu modified NetworkManager so that it would not manage any devices listed in /etc/network/interfaces. If you open this file and comment out the lines for the interfaces you want to manage and reboot NetworkManager will see them.”

…so, I commented out the two lines about eth1 and a reboot later NetworkManager worked just fine! Just had to select the network and enter the passphrase.

(the next day, I suddenly could no longer connect to my wireless network. After trying many things I went back to the aforementioned /etc/network/interfaces and sure enough a new line (I think it was “eth1 auto”) had appeared. After commenting that one out as well and rebooting, everything worked again.)

Note: eth1 is my wireless adapter and eth0 is the wired one.

Next: not having to enter the keyring at every log in.
I followed Part 1 of this explanation: http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=316927
but only up to point 3. After that just a reboot, followed by one more input of the passphrase did the trick.

Now NetworkManager connects to the wireless network upon login without asking for any password again!🙂

Note: some of these steps may be unnecessary for someone who uses no or only weak (WEP) encryption. The above setup is for a WPA encrypted wireless network.

3 responses to “Using NetworkManager for wireless networking

  1. Although your post helped me get network-manager-gnome working… I oddly enough had to do the opposite of what you did.

    In my /etc/network/interfaces file, there were no lines about eth1 (wireless), so instead I ADDED them, reboot… and it worked! There is something else happening here which is not being understood completely.

  2. Thanks for the comment. Strange that it is the other way round for you (it would make some sense if you’re using a distro other than ubuntu or debian). A lot of this seems to still rely on trial and error.

  3. Thanks – I had the same problem. In debugging a problem with my wireless router I temporarily changed to static IP using System-Admin-Networking. After that didn’t fix the problem I changed it back. Since then I’d been unable to get the wireless network to show up in network manager applet – until I found your post. I commented it out and now things are back working.
    Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s