Sometimes when I start my ubuntu system the wireless menu bar item doesn't show up. This makes it impossible for me to connect to a wireless network as I don't know where the wireless menu item is hidden in the GNOME menu tree

How do I get my wireless menu item back again without restarting the system and why does this happen?

  • I'm guessing you're using nm-applet. This applet is notoriously buggy at times. Just last month or so people were complaining about it either not showing up or having a duplicate wireless icon showing up. I would look at the most recent bug reports on launchpad. It works fine for me, but there might be some interaction with a Gnome panel or something that is causing this. – Chan-Ho Suh Apr 14 '12 at 16:12
  • Forgot to mention this...Try pgrep nm-applet in the terminal. If you get a number, e.g. 2433, that means it is running but not showing up in the system tray. If you just get the prompt, then it's not running at all and you should try adding nm-applet to the startup apps, as someone suggests below. – Chan-Ho Suh Apr 16 '12 at 0:22

To get the Connection info applet to start if it doesn't on startup, press Alt+F2 and run nm-applet. I'm not too sure why it isn't starting up for you. I would recommend adding the command nm-applet to your startup commands. If this command doesn't work, let me know.

Also, to access the actual program without a bar menu item, run this in terminal: nm-connection-editor.

Edit: This is what I use to start the applet and program in Unity. I'm not too sure what it is in GNOME, but I assume it can't be too different. Also, I'm not sure if Alt+F2 works in GNOME, I've only used Unity. Alt+F2 runs a command.

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