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I was wondering if there are any GUI alternatives to the Network Manager. It seems, I always run into problems with it (unstable connections, wrong icon shown, wrong notifications, etc.).

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could you tell us which ubuntu version you are using? – chris Jan 26 '11 at 6:05

I know of wicd, but it feels ugly.

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Yep, this is pretty much the only alternative I can recommend. – chris Jan 26 '11 at 6:05
wicd is quite nice, I use it though the applet is ugly :) – sagarchalise Jan 26 '11 at 7:57
wicd is a usability nightmare and doesn't even respect the theme icons – Manish Sinha Jan 26 '11 at 8:14
Wicd does not support multiple connections at the same time which basically makes it useless as handling connections is what a network manager is supposed to do. While a server (fixed ip) would not need anything like this, a laptop which connects to different networks depending on its current location does need a proper network manager. A program which can't connect to a WiFi because I'm connected to some wired company network does not qualify as a proper network manager. Just a heads-up. – basic6 Nov 18 '14 at 11:33

The alternative being investigated by Canonical is called ConMan, or the Intel/Moblin Connection Manager:

It's got a couple of great features that can recommend it above network manager, but it's also got some integration issues with the normal FreeDesktop setup. I believe people are working on the ubuntu packages and integration:

You can see why the two are still being worked on here:

Why are two indicator-network versions being worked on?

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I wrote a very simple python script to manage network, vsnm -- Very Simple Network Manager. I have described how it works here and source code is here.

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Wicd works but as other mentioned is ugly and clunky. If you need VPN support, you will also need to setup KVpnc which is just as ugly.

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I had to switch to WICD a year ago because of a specific issue on my network card. Its a little clunky, but not that bad. You can switch to WICD in 2 minutes, try it, and then make a decision. Also, for VPN you can also use vpnc, which is what I used.

Details are here: Switching to WICD

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I am using nmcli from time to time, which is (I guess) a Fedora/Redhat CLI interface to NM. It allows listing wireless networks and existing connection and connecting to them, if the connection was already created (and, in my case, is available to all users - for some reason it didn't shows non-system connections in list).

It worked when I bricked the configs so nm-applet was unable to connect to NM via dbus.. however lack of ability of adding new connections is a problem, maybe will write a hack for this and finally rule the GUIsh part of NM out for good.

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