Monday, 29 August 2011

Kubuntu - Fixing WiFi

When I loaded Kubuntu on my Inspiron 1501 this week, I experienced the perennial WiFi problems that seem to plague every Ubuntu installation. Loading the correct driver was a piece of cake - I've done it so many times - but even though I could see all the available networks, I just couldn't connect!

Eventually, I abandoned the default application (the plasma-widget-networkmanagement) and installed the Gnome front-end for Network Manager - problem solved.

Well, sort of...

Despite being able to connect to my network, I kept receiving error messages about the system being unable to unlock the Gnome keyring. I'd also have to supply the wireless manager my network password every time I rebooted. This can get kind of tedious very quickly! Strangely, most of the solutions posted online recommend setting an empty value for the default keyring password - right, like that's going to happen!

Actually, there's a much simpler (and far more secure) way to allow the wireless applet access to the keyring.

  • Open the Autostart System Settings dialog (Menu > Computer > System Settings > Autostart > Advanced Tab).
  • Click the Add Program... button.
  • In the Choose Application search dialog, type Gnome Keyring.
  • Click the Application tab and in the Command: dialog, type - gnome-keyring-daemon
  • Click Ok.
  • Close the Autostart Settings dialog.

Next time you reboot, you'll be asked for your network password but, thereafter, your wireless should connect automatically. Moreover, with this solution there is no need to have blank passwords either, so it's a much more secure method of automating connection.

Sources & References:

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