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We're deploying application specific netbooks to users at a variety of sites. These are basically mobile kiosks that have very limited functionality. Since we can't predict everyone's connectivity situation, we need to provide some access to network manager.

Our application can tell when it's not connected to the internet. I'd like to show network-manager at those times via nm-applet. I can think of two possible solutions, but I haven't found any way to implement them.

  1. Keep the nm-applet on the top panel, but hide that panel. When connectivity is lost, show the panel.
  2. Remove the panel, and somehow show the nm-applet.

Any ideas?

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The network manager applet is not required for networking to work, at least when the connection is configured as a system connection (available for all users).

The applet is started at login for each user from /etc/xdg/autostart/nm-applet.desktop, but it only start successfully for the first user that login.

You can avoid to start the applet (removing the above file from autostart), and only start it when required, then kill it when done.

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