Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wicd ...WEP, WAP can works on Ubuntu.

N.B This article was translated mostly with Google Translate, so some sentences may not be clear. Feel free to correct me if necessary.

After several weeks of installation and use (Tribe 1 to 5, beta, and RC and Final
Release ) of Ubuntu Gutsy, I decided to speak about a very small program, yet disregarded but so effective. It is an alternative to very unstable network-manager. While for some this is not the case there are others, and I am well-placed to know that, who complain of continually low reliability of this software which remind all the same, is still developing.

So, I will therefore tell you about wicd under this name also evokes another CD player, an application dedicated to the management, configuration and monitoring of your WiFi connection. All this and a friendliness which would pale jealousy a user of MAC OS X. But that's not all! Indeed, until a few more weeks, I used network-manager included in Feisty and Gutsy betas to connect my laptop to my WiFi network.

But then, probably because the chipset, so I thought, it would not be me I log in WPA, but only with no safety WEP. However, I knew that I can use Windows drivers with ndiswrapper, but I knew also I couldn't use WPA without DHCP, or the particular configuration of my network does not allow me. In short, I could not to butter somebody up. So I looked at the problem and does not mean that there is someone (sorry I do not remember who) my intention to try wicd. I will therefore propose that we do the same in the following lines, quietly, step by step and according to your level.

The good news is wicd although is not included in Ubuntu repositories but it is possible to install it with a third-party repository. So we will see how to add a new third-party repository. This article will therefore also be tutorials for beginners all agree that we have with this new version of Ubuntu. For others go directly to the method No. 2 or 3.
Ralink cards users : Please note that wireless cards based on Ralink chipsets are not yet supported but are already in the SVN version and will be in the next version.

Method # 1: absolute beginners.

Go to System-> Administration> Synaptic package manager. A password, the same as in your opening session, you will be asked.
Then go to Configuration> Repository. A window titled Software Sources you will emerge with a choice of several tabs.
Select Software from third parties.
You will see a button at the bottom left marked Add. Click on this button and add this following line (you can copy and paste, it's faster) :

 deb gutsy extras Deb gutsy extras 

The entry by click on Add a source of updated. And oh, miracle! It appears at the bottom of the list of repositories and is already checked (if this is not the case then check).
We can now click on Close button to .... close this window.
You would probably, if this is the first time you do this, a very small window of information with the following message:

"Information repositories has been changed. Please click "Reload" for changes take into your account. "

What we are going to do so immediately by clicking the Reload button at the top left of Synaptic.
Let's update process repositories be done, once finished just click on Search button and type wicd in the box reserved for this purpose. And 2nd miracle of the day, we can see in Synaptic a new program entitled wicd which did not exist prior to the addition of our third filing.
Simply double-click on it, you will see a notification, and this is the whole interest of a package manager, you that this program will automatically remove network-manager and its dependencies (in our case he there was a dependency, network-manager-gnome) to avoid any conflict.

Note that you can uninstall at any time wicd network-manager to resettle without any trace of his installation resides on your hard drive. (Go to bottom on this article).

We shall therefore proceed to the installation to click on Add to the selection. Because we can, but you probably guessed, add as many programs as you want in a kind of queue that will install all programs added by clicking on a single button Apply. Do it now!

Once install complete, you can close Synaptic and use your program. So? You see, that even a beginner can easily add a repository to its distribution. Switch now to the stage configuration, a little lower just after the two other methods.

Method # 2: Inform Beginners .

Open a terminal, and add this repository in your /etc/apt/sources.list:

 sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list 

and add the following line:

 deb gutsy extras 

Perform update and install the program:

 sudo apt-get update && apt-get install wicd

Method # 3: Beginners with use Firefox.

Add this repository in your /etc/apt/sources.list:

 deb gutsy extras 

Update the repositories and click here to install the program.

Warning: If you use an another version of Ubuntu, change simply by dapper gutsy, edgy or feisty in all cases above.


Voila! For me it was an opportunity to evaluate the situation with some beginners about different ways to use the package managers available in Ubuntu.

Go to System> Preferences> Sessions. In the Startup Programs tab, click Add and in the Name field with:


In the field Command put:


In the Comment field with:

 Wireless Connection Manager 

For Kubuntu users, put this in a terminal :

 sudo ln -s /opt/wicd/ ~/.kde/Autostart/ 

Click Apply and restart your session - but read this first :

/! \ Be careful when you restart your session, it's seem likely you lost your Internet connection. So, to be able to follow the rest of the tutorial, make sure you have saved this page before proceeding or plug an Ethernet cable.

After login your Gnome session, go to the Applications menu> Internet> Wicd to start it (if not already done), but basically you should have an icon in the top left the dock at the old place of network-mananger.

Just add your connection settings, test WEP first, and after WPA. The interface is enough intuitive to get along without me. Here's an example with my settings:

Avoid to change default values in Preferences menu if you do not know what you do:

What can I do if it doesn’t work and I would back to network-manager?
In a terminal type:

 sudo apt-get remove wicd && apt-get install network-manager 

Restart your session.

So far, I have been able to test five wicd on machines equipped with wireless like Dell and Toshiba laptops, I had no problem, the connection is very stable and works properly.

I hope that could be fix the problem with those who might have with network-manager and with the opportunity for beginners to better appreciate the flexibility and diversity of an environment for GNU / Linux.


Anonymous said...

Hi thanks for your exelent page. I stumbeled into this after hours of frustrating searching trying to get my Buffalo wlan card to work with wpa.

I did write a little howto to ubuntu forums about this.

Chandra Shekar said...

hi thanks a lot,,, I was really struggling to get my E1505 connecting to wireless network.. just followed your steps and it worked fine..thanks..