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I am on LXDE + Minimal Ubuntu for sometime. I am lost at how to troubleshoot or connect to Wireless networks. So I am looking for a GUI tool, perhaps light-weight & relatively easy to use, that works with LXDE. It should handle listing of Wireless Networks & allow me to connect to them easily.

It should also allow me to default to a Wireless network when I startup my PC too.

UPDATE: network-manager-gnome & nm-applet

this seems to be one way. But I can't seem to have nm-applet start on boot.

I tried

sudo cp /etc/xdg/autostart/nm-applet.desktop ~/.config/autostart/

Then reading another article, edited /etc/xdg/autostart/nm-applet.desktop


Since I am using LXDE. But it still wont start ...

share|improve this question
It do not require sudo to copy and do not require to be modified to start. To diagnose it edit the Exec= line to read Exec=sh -c 'date >> ~/log; echo "Starting nm-applet" >>~/log; nm-applet --sm-disable', then go and read what you find in the file ~/log. – enzotib May 27 '11 at 15:36
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Why not use network-manager and network-manager-gnome. The latter provide the nm-applet that goes in the system tray and allow to configure connections.

It used to work also with LXDE.

To start it at login, copy it to the personal autostart directory:

cp /etc/xdg/autostart/nm-applet.desktop ~/.config/autostart/
share|improve this answer
Ok, it works great. Except, how can I auto start it? I updated my question – Jiew Meng May 27 '11 at 14:37
I updated my answer. – enzotib May 27 '11 at 15:26
hmm, isnt that same as what I did in my updated answer? – Jiew Meng May 28 '11 at 1:32
Yes, and it should work, unless you made something wrong. I also commented on your question to give an help to diagnose the problem. – enzotib May 28 '11 at 6:01
@enzotib, there is nothing in the log... what does this mean? – Jiew Meng May 29 '11 at 11:51

If you'd like to avoid pulling in a bunch of Gnome dependencies (if you don't already have them), wicd is another option. For bonus points, there's also a curses-based client (wicd-curses) that's really nice on a minimal install.

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OK, only problem is how do I know what Encryption type to use? I know I am using WEP, I selected WEP Hex then it was stuck at obtaining IP address ... until I started nm-applet – Jiew Meng May 27 '11 at 14:39
It automatically picked the correct encryption type for me, I just had to supply the key. Also, you probably don't want to have network-manager and wicd installed at the same time. I'm still getting reacquainted with Linux, but I think they would conflict if both are trying to manage your network. If it wasn't working until you started nm-applet, then wicd wasn't configured correctly. – afrazier May 27 '11 at 14:47
I suppose with my connection active, I will be able to find out what kind of encryption I am using? Specifically, what kind of WEP. Also, I notice that wicd and nm-applet shows different signal strength. Do they use different metrics? I know I should remove 1 ... but for now, I'm curious – Jiew Meng May 27 '11 at 14:54
They might use different metrics, but signal strength can change so rapidly from varying conditions that just sampling at different intervals can yield different results. Unfortunately, I'm not home with my Ubuntu-laptop and WiFi, so I can't be of more use in determining exactly what else you need to do right now. Sorry. One thing that swung me away from network-manager and towards wicd: I'm not smart enough to get n-m connected to a WPA-based WiFi from a command prompt, but wicd was really easy. – afrazier May 27 '11 at 15:13
Also, any idea how to identify the type of WEP used? Hex, passphrase or something else. I think its hex. But wicd got stuck at Obtaining IP – Jiew Meng May 28 '11 at 1:34

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