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I upgraded a Ubuntu system from 11.04 to 11.10 via do-release-uprade.

Now some things does not work as before.

For example now, my user needs to be part of the scanner group to be able to use xsane etc. - with < 11.10 this apparently was not necessary.

To be able to use nm-applet again (for wired networking) I needed to add the user to the group netdev after the upgrade.

But WLAN management still does not work via NetworkManager - nm-applet just does not display any wireless devices.

In the logs there is:

NetworkManager wlan0 deactivating device reason managed

(inter-punctuation removed)

But why it is suddenly managed?

I checked /etc/network/interfaces and it does not contain any wlan0 entries.

And /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf just contains:



Is there some other group the user needs to be part of? Or what else could be messed up after an upgrade?

Manually connecting to a WLAN-AP via wpasupplicant and dhclient (after stopping NetworkManager) works perfectly fine.

Edit: Btw, this Ubuntu system is a little bit non-standard:

  • wdm is configured as display manger instead of lightdm
  • as window manager I use awesomewm
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Please backup before you use the commands below, I don't know if you will have internet afterwards.

Connect using ethernet cable.

  1. Download the packages so you have a way to reinstall them even without internet:

    apt-get download network-manager-gnome network-manager
  2. Then I'd suggest to purge your network manager configuration:

    sudo apt-get purge network-manager-gnome network-manager
    sudo rm -rf /etc/NetworkManager
    sudo rm -rf /usr/lib/NetworkManager
    sudo rm -rf /var/lib/NetworkManager
  3. And reinstall network manager:

    sudo apt-get install network-manager-gnome network-manager

    If you don't have internet anymore try installing the local packages we downloaded with the first command:

    sudo dpkg -i network-manager*.deb
  4. Restart the computer.

If the above commands did not fix the internet, we need more info:

  1. Run these commands and provide the output (edit your question):

    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
    cat /etc/network/interfaces
    lspci -nn
    sudo lshw -C network
    rfkill list all
  2. Check that you have all the dependencies installed correctly, reinstall the ubuntu meta-packages:

    sudo dpkg -P --force-all ubuntu-desktop ubuntu-standard ubuntu-minimal
    sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop ubuntu-standard ubuntu-minimal
  3. You never mentioned which Ubuntu version you used before you upgraded to 11.10.

Note: By the way, AFAIK the do-release-uprade command should be used when upgrading server installations, not desktop. You should prefer downloading the alternate cd of the through update-manager.

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Nice write up - I will try it after a proper backup - I upgraded from the previous version (i.e. Natty, which is 11.04) – maxschlepzig Dec 28 '11 at 16:20
Ok, removing those NM directories and reinstalling did not help, looked at the output of nm-applet and there seems to be a dbus permission problem: _nm_object_get_property: Error getting 'ActiveConnections' for /org/freedesktop/NetworkManager: (9) Rejected send message - I'll post a new question for this – maxschlepzig Jan 5 '12 at 20:59
See also my other answer. – maxschlepzig Jan 5 '12 at 22:39

The log message

NetworkManager wlan0 deactivating device reason managed

sent me on a wrong route. Managed or unmanaged devices are not the problem.

Another thing that can go wrong (besides not being part of the right group or managed device issues) is a DBus permission problem.

One can check this via starting nm-applet from a xterm, in case there is a permission problem you get a lot of Rejected send messages like this:

$ nm-applet
** (nm-applet:25178): WARNING **: _nm_object_get_property: Error getting 'WirelessHardwareEnabled' for /org/freedesktop/NetworkManager: (9) Rejected send message, 2 matched rules; type="method_call", sender=":1.1698" (uid=SOMEUID pid=SOMEPID comm="nm-applet ") interface="org.freedesktop.DBus.Properties" member="Get" error name="(unset)" requested_reply="0" destination="org.freedesktop.NetworkManager" (uid=0 pid=OTHERPID comm="NetworkManager ")

Well, nm-applet seems to be really great at reporting such errors to the user ... via it'ts GUI ... NOT!

(Ok, nm-applet also fails to report that a user is not part of the netdev group ...)

It seems to have something to do with ConsoleKit. It seems that nm-applet needs an ConsoleKit-Session that has active = TRUE.

You can check your ConsoleKit-session via:

$ ck-list-sessions

On my system the output was:

$ ck-list-sessions | grep active
    active = FALSE
    active = FALSE
    active = FALSE

To test if this really the problem you can call nm-applet like this from a xterm:

$ ck-launch-session nm-applet

Then you should not get Rejected send 'Warning' messages any more and nm-applet should work as expected.

This workaround probably breaks other ConsoleKit related stuff - the real fix probably would be to fix ConsoleKit-session-setup via the display manager or something like that.

Note that ConsoleKit is also kind of unmaintained and is probably replaced in the near future by a Systemd based solution ...

Edit: See also my answer to a related console kit setup problem. Depending on your X11 startup method you need to workaround ConsoleKit changes such that you get an active session - depending on your ConsoleKit version and system just calling ck-launch-session might not be enough.

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