27 February 2012

82. Getting rid of network-manager (and trying wicd) on Debian Testing

Network-manager is a fine program, but it interferes with the 'linux' way of doing things by using text files for configuration.

While network-manager makes it easy to do easy things,  /etc/network/interfaces makes it easy to do everything since it makes every setting transparent.

The main problem with remove network-manager is that gnome-core depends on it. Remove network-manager, everything in gnome goes. No good, and completely unnecessary.

I'm still a bit hesitant about configuring WPA on the command line, so I want to have wicd as a backup once network manager is gone.

sudo apt-get install wicd-cli wicd-curses wicd-gtk wpasupplicant

Turn off network-manager (temporarily) and restart your network
sudo service networking restart && sudo service network-manager stop

Start wicd-gtk and configure your wireless network (if that's what you need) to make sure that everything is in working order and you can live without network-manager.

sudo apt-get install rcconf

sudo rcconf

Uncheck network-manager and exit.
update-rc.d: using dependency based boot sequencing
update-rc.d: warning: network-manager start runlevel arguments (none) do not match LSB Default-Start values (2 3 4 5)
update-rc.d: warning: network-manager stop runlevel arguments (0 1 2 3 4 5 6) do not match LSB Default-Stop values (0 1 6)
You can use sysv-rc-conf instead.  Don't worry about the warning about the LSB default -start values -- (2 3 4 5) just means that by default network-manager should be running at runlevels 2-5 (i.e. normal operation). 0 would be halt, 1 would effectively be rescue mode ('single-user mode') and 6 is system reboot. Anyway, here's sysv-rc-conf:

After your next reboot you can check whether network-manager has started:

sudo service network-manager status
[sudo] password for me:
NetworkManager is not running ... failed!

You can make wicd-gtk autostart on starting gnome:
start gnome-sessions-manager and add wicd-gtk if it isn't /already/ there.

The wicd network manager icon will show up in the notification area in gnome (lower right) instead of top right (see picture above). You can supposedly use this to move it: http://blog.norida.me/blog/2011/12/05/move-wicds-icon-to-gnome-shells-status-bar-top-bar/

Given that I use Faenza I also use this: http://gnome-look.org/content/show.php/Faenza+Wicd+Iconset?content=133821
(unzip it, go to the directory and do sh install )

Anyway, the real advantage of wicd is hat there are cli and curses versions available e.g. wicd-curses:

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  1. thank you! that helped a lot! yippie yay!

  2. Thank you! Network Manager is a crap on Wheezy with Gnome.