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Just wondering if there is an application that can notify me of a new device on my wireless network (IE: home computer online, mobile phone online, home computer offline, etc) so I can easily take care of the family network and jump on problems before they appear. Is this possible with Ubuntu/wireless networks?

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you would need a program that sends out pings to a set of ips and then reports back to you when those ips join the network, there are options for windows and surely there is something for linux I would imagine but I don't know of anything off the top of my head... I use a program that does this at work (for windows) but I can't remember the name of it off the top of my head. – TheXed Nov 5 '10 at 1:13
I concur @TheX, I've come across a few of these in synaptic a few times >.< if only my memory could serve me better. A quick browse through the networking section might get some good results though I'm pretty certain. – RolandiXor Nov 5 '10 at 1:55

Not sure if that's what you need, but: Arpwatch is a monitoring software that looks for new activities on the network, based on broadcasts emitted by computers that connects to it. It basically logs each new computer activity, or when a computer changes its IP address. Logs are put on the system logs, but can be sent as email notifications. Arpwatch is included in Ubuntu's repositories, so you can install it from synatptic, or with sudo apt-get install arpwatch

To configure it, you need to edit /etc/arpwatch.conf and add a line of the form :

eth0 -a -n -m


  • eth0 is your network card location
  • -a : makes arpwatch notify you of every new IP
  • -n : specifies the address and subnet that are of interest to you
  • : is your network address and subnet mask (/24 actually means
  • -m : makes the report being sent to the specified email address (by default, notifications will be put in the syslog)

    Now the problem is that arpwatch just logs changing events (unknown computers connecting, or existing computers changing IP). It won't warn you every time your computers are connecting :-(

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You can install this applet: service discovery applet and add it to your panel, this will show you all devices which publish some information through avahi/Rendezvous/Bonjour/ZeroConf. You should see all Ubuntu devices.

But I am not sure if you will see Windows devices.

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