Frequently asked questions for Network Manager

General Questions

I don't see the tray icon, how do I enable it?

Under the Gnome desktop environment, the 'nm-applet' process should already be started when you log in. If you don't see it, verify that it's running by checking for a process called 'nm-applet'. If it is running, NetworkManager may not be started. The applet hides itself when NM is not running. Network manager doesn't show in tray. Besides making sure you have the nm-applet running, you want to enable the space it shows up in., (this was the problem I had, the advice I found in the forums is missing both pieces of the puzzle) So here is the other thing you need to do from elsewhere in the Ubuntu forums: RIGHT CLICK on the panel and select - ADD TO PANEL Scroll down to the Utilities area and select NOTIFICATION AREA ('Benachrichtigungsfeld' in German). This will enable the space on your toolbar that the wireless utility will appear. The same goes for the sound and battery icons.

(add KDE directions here)

How does NetworkManager select which wireless network to connect to?

NetworkManager only attempts to automatically connect to networks you have previously told it to connect to. If it finds multiple wireless networks that you have connected to in the past, NetworkManager selects the network one you connected to last. If NetworkManager isn't connecting to the network you want, try to force it to connect to the network you wish to be connected, and NetworkManager will remember that setting next time. In version 0.6.6 and later there is a profile editor that can be used to add/remove networks.

How can I make NetworkManager connect to a network before I login?

On version 0.7.1 or later edit the profile of the connection you with to start prior to login and select the box in the bottom left "Available to all users"

Why do I have to enter a password when NetworkManager connects to a WEP or WPA network?

Your login password is likely not in sync with your keyring password. Use the "Passwords and Encryption Keys" application under Accessories to change your password for your keyring to match your login password.

What card works best with NetworkManager?

Since NetworkManager only requires that a driver properly support the latest Linux Wireless Extensions (WEXT), any card with proper WEXT support should work fine. Some older cards may not support WPA. Wireless cards are in general well supported now but you should check with your distribution documentation to determine what cards work with your distribution based on the release you are running.

Where do I get help?

Since some distributions make distribution specific changes to NetworkManager a good start might be your distributions support forums. For example or

If you are unable to find help anywhere please post a message to the Network Manager Mailing list at


How do I remove networks I no longer wish to connect to?

Use the connections editor to remove unwanted networks. In Gnome right click on the applet and select "Edit Connections".

I don't see an option for WPA or WPA2. How do I use WPA with my card?

Make sure that the driver for your device fully supports the latest Linux Wireless Extensions (WEXT). Some older cards may only support WEP.

How do I setup a static IP address with NetworkManager?

Right click on the applet and select edit connections.

How do I set up VPN connections?

NetworkManager has support for three types of VPN connections; Cisco VPNs (via vpnc), OpenVPN, and PPTP VPNs. (Of these, the Cisco/vpnc is the most mature, possibly because it doesn't have so many configuration options to account for :) )

You must first install the VPN plugin, and then restart NetworkManager so that the plugin is recognized. You may then use the "Configure VPN..." menu item in the desktop applet to set your VPN connection up.


sudo yum install NetworkManager-vpnc or use the Software Updater application to install it

We plan to remove the requirement for restarting NetworkManager to recognize new VPN plugins with the 0.7 version. Also, make *sure* you use a VPN plugin that's compatible with your version of NetworkManager. The NM<->VPN interface was changed between NM 0.6 and NM 0.61, which may cause some plugins to fail. If this happens to you, try updating your VPN plugin.


Older versions of Ubuntu (6.10 or earlier) did not include any VPN Plugins, but all releases since 2007 have all the VPN plugins available. sudo apt-get install network-manager-openvpn network-manager-vpnc network-manager-pptp

How do I tell Network Manager to rescan for wireless networks?

If you click on the Applet Network Manager will initiate a scan request. In general there should be no need to do this since Network Manager scans automatically.


What wireless cards does NetworkManager support?

NetworkManager supports any card that supports the latest Linux Wireless Extensions (WEXT) standard. See this link for information on specific cards: NetworkManagerHardware

How do I test if my card will support WPA with Network-Manager?

This is not a perfect test, but if you are able to use wpa_supplicant with the -Dwext switch rather than a switch specific to your hardware then Network-Manager should support it. See your distro's documentation for more details on using wpa_supplicant.

My Card is not recognized by NetworkManager and I am running Debian or Ubuntu:

Debian and Ubuntu modified NetworkManager so that it would not manage any devices listed in /etc/network/interfaces. If you open this file and comment out the lines for the interfaces you want to manage and reboot; NetworkManager will see them. **Do not comment out lo**

DarrenAlbers/NetworkManagerFAQ (last edited 2015-03-13 23:24:33 by ReubenThomas)