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I think I have an issue with gnome-network-manager, I used to have a lot of connections configured, Wireless, Wired and VPN. After upgrading to 12.04 (from 11.10) I lost every configuration.

I realized that the configs that used to be saved in $HOME/.gconf/system/networking/connections now are being saved in /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/.

I don't know how to migrate my settings to the new config file format

Can anybody help me?

jorge@thinky:~$ sudo lshw -C network


   description: Ethernet interface
   product: 82566MM Gigabit Network Connection
   vendor: Intel Corporation
   physical id: 19
   bus info: pci@0000:00:19.0
   logical name: eth0
   version: 03
   serial: 00:1f:e2:14:5a:9b
   capacity: 1Gbit/s
   width: 32 bits
   clock: 33MHz
   capabilities: pm msi bus_master cap_list ethernet physical tp 10bt 10bt-fd 100bt 100bt-fd 1000bt-fd autonegotiation
   configuration: autonegotiation=on broadcast=yes driver=e1000e driverversion=1.5.1-k firmware=0.3-0 latency=0 link=no multicast=yes port=twisted pair
   resources: irq:46 memory:fe000000-fe01ffff memory:fe025000-fe025fff ioport:1840(size=32)


   description: Wireless interface
   product: PRO/Wireless 4965 AG or AGN [Kedron] Network Connection
   vendor: Intel Corporation
   physical id: 0
   bus info: pci@0000:03:00.0
   logical name: wlan0
   version: 61
   serial: 00:21:5c:32:c2:e5
   width: 64 bits
   clock: 33MHz
   capabilities: pm msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list ethernet physical wireless
   configuration: broadcast=yes driver=iwl4965 driverversion=3.2.0-23-generic-pae firmware= ip= latency=0 link=yes multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11abgn
   resources: irq:47 memory:df3fe000-df3fffff

jorge@thinky:~$ lsb_release -a

No LSB modules are available.

Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description:    Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
Release:    12.04
Codename:   precise

jorge@thinky:~$ uname -a
Linux thinky 3.2.0-23-generic-pae #36-Ubuntu SMP Tue Apr 10 22:19:09 UTC 2012 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux

jorge@thinky:~$ dpkg -l  | grep -i firm

ii  linux-firmware                                              1.79                                    Firmware for Linux kernel drivers
share|improve this question
can you give me the output of sudo lshw -C network; lsb_release -a; uname -a; dpkg -l | grep -i firm? – ashutosh May 1 '12 at 19:16
Added, It's a ThinkPad T61.thanks for the rapid response – Jorge May 1 '12 at 19:54
so do you want old settings to be saved at new place at where the new files are being saved? – ashutosh May 1 '12 at 19:58
The place is the same, what really matters is to have my configs working again, /home or /etc is the same for me... – Jorge May 1 '12 at 20:12
hm... I think it has nothing to do with wi-fi, it is the gnome-network-manager, and it is not only the place... look, another difference is that in /etc, configs are arranged in a file per connection and in /home you have a folder per connection and an xml as a database of connections... – Jorge May 1 '12 at 20:45
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The migration is usally done by "nm-applet", meaning it reads the old user config via GConf and writes them in the new format under "/etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/"

One problem is that this only done once, but you can trigger "nm-applet" to rerun the migration by "gconftool-2 -s /apps/nm-applet/stamp --type=int 2", so on the next start it will rescan GConf. Double entries will get a UUID attached.

But as "nm-applet" search for old config via GConf you should make sure that ".gconf/system/networking/connections" is really listed in it. So verify it with "gconftool-2 --dump /system/networking/connections", that should list all your connections.

In my case ".gconf/system/networking/connections" wasn't available via GConf and therefore "nm-applet" could not migrate it. Therefore i created a new user on the system and copied my ".gconf/system/networking/connections" to the new user's home and migrated it from this new login. To correct the wrong permission i used "sudo sed -i "s/permissions=user:NEWUSER/permissions=user:REALUSER/g" /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/*" where REALUSER is obviously your real user and NEWUSER is the temporary migration user.

After all while it's nice to finally have everything migrated to "/etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/", there are quite a few problems with the new storage location, you should be aware of:

  • for reinstallations and backup cases you always need to save/move the new location, where formerly your /home was enough
  • your user only connections are no longer secured by your encrypted home directory
  • the are some security flaws, where passwords for user only connections are stored in clear text under /etc instead of being stored securely in the encrypted keyring
share|improve this answer
I thought I'd never solve this, you became a hero! thank you very much... I'd like to know the reason for moving a user's configs to /etc... Thanks again. – Jorge May 6 '12 at 16:50
You saved my day! +1 – rpax Nov 5 '14 at 15:10

It should be possible to recreate the gconf configuration on a new install.

mkdir -p ~/.gconf/system/networking/connections

Re-instate all the files from the old system. Remember to create empty %gconf.xml files in each directory. Restart gconfd. Then test by dumping the configuration using gconftool-2.

Once I'd done this, nm-applet could find and migrate the settings.

share|improve this answer

You need to convert your settings in network-manager gui as a system connection, which is available to all users. In this case you will get your settings in /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/ . After that just copy the contents of that directory to new system and restart network-manager or reboot your system.

share|improve this answer
Sorry, I can't understand, or maybe I'm not explaining my problem correctly... I have my old connections in /home, after installing Precise, Network Manager seems to read connections from /etc. what I want to do is to recover my connections by migrating them to /etc or re point the new Net Manager to /home. Sorry for my english... I'm doing my best! – Jorge May 2 '12 at 19:54

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