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So here's my problem: I have some netbooks (ASUS eee, and ACER Aspire Ones) that I've been tasked to set up as kiosk machines, locked up tight for normal users. I am a command-line, server man, so this gnome malarkey is all a bit new to me. I found a lovely 9.04 kiosk livecd that installs and runs exactly as I want it to, but I can't get the wireless working. So I dropped on a full 10.4 distro, and wireless works straight out of the box (so hardware is good) - all I needed to do was right-click on the network connection icon, enter my SSID and password (WPA/WPA2) and away it went, perfect. Further investigation on 10.4 distro shows that /etc/networking/interfaces is virtually empty (just

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

in it), even after I have set up the wireless thru the gnome taskbar applet (is that the right word?). So where does gnome / ubuntu store the network settings to bring the blasted wireless connection up, and what do I need to do on the kiosk version to get wireless running?

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Network Manager

Network Manager has been redesigned for Ubuntu and now works quite well. You should not require other network managers, and, in fact, more than one network manager can cause conflicts. It can be accessed from the tray icon.

Manual configuration from the command-line

3 steps for WEP:

sudo iwconfig eth[N] essid [SSID]
sudo iwconfig eth[N] key restricted s:[PASSWORD]
sudo dhclient

WPA is more complicated:

mkdir /etc/wpa_supplicant
cd /etc/wpa_supplicant
echo network = { > wpa_supplicant.conf
echo ssid="SSID" >> wpa_supplicant.conf
echo key_mgmt=WPA-PSK >> wpa_supplicant.conf
echo psk="PRESHAREDKEY" >> wpa_supplicant.conf
echo } >> wpa_supplicant.conf
cd /etc/network
vim interfaces

Now add after "auto eth[N] ..." & "iface eth[N] .." (press 'i'):

wpa-driver wext # or whatever driver your network card needs
wpa-conf /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

Save the file ('Esc', ':x', 'Enter') and restart your system.

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But what I don't understand is how it is working on my Lucid setup: /etc/network.interfaces has no wpa lines, and no /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf - /etc/wpa_supplicant contains only, and, and yet, wireless works! iwlist scanning shows details for wpa for wlan0. Still confused! – David Shields May 20 '10 at 7:51
Network Manager stores system connections in /etc/Network Manager/system-connections/. I'm not sure where it stores user connections, but that shouldn't matter for your use case. – Marius Gedminas Aug 29 '10 at 18:22

Install the cnetworkmanager package. It'll let you interface with Network Manager right from the command line.

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