Networking

The main network connection manager is wpa_gui. The auxiliary connection manager is Network Setup.

wpa_gui

wpa_gui supports wireless and wired connections.

Click its icon in the system tray wpa_gui icon to set up connections.

Right click to restart the connection. wpa_gui icon menu

The entries in the File menu regard wireless connections only. Remember to click Save Configuration when you add or change connection parameters!

wpa_gui file menu

Connect to Wireless Networks (wpa_gui Wifi tab)

wpa_gui automatically connects to one of the enabled network profiles listed in the Manage Networks sub-tab.

Press the Scan button to discover which networks are available in your current location. Add new network profiles to the Manage Networks sub-tab as explained below.

wpa_gui wireless connection tab

To add a new profile and connect to the network:

  1. If your computer has multiple wireless adapters, wpa_gui can only connect using one wireless adapter at the time. Select which one from the Adapter pull-down. See also: Wireless Antenna Manager.
  2. Click Scan to open the Scan results window. Click the Scan button if needed to refresh results. You might have to wait several seconds for your network to show.
  3. Double click on the network you want to add and connect to.
  4. Fill in any password information needed. For WPA2-Personal authentication the password is the PSK field.
  5. Enable the DHCP field to receive an automatic network address. If you prefer to configure a static address disable the DHCP field and press Configure Static Address (see Configuring a Static Address for further instructions).
  6. Press Add to add the new profile into the Manage Networks sub-tab. Click Save Configuration in the File menu to save for the next reboot.
  7. On the Current Status sub-tab, you should see a connection being made to your newly added profile unless wpa_gui has already connected to another network. To manually select a network, use the Network pull-down and press Connect.

Tips:

  • To always connect to a specific network disable other networks in the Manage Networks sub-tab.
  • The Flags column (Scan results window) shows the authentication and encryption methods that the selected network supports.
  • If [WPS] is shown you may also use the WPS tab to connect with your network Access Point (AP) without a password. Refer to your AP manufacturer's documentation.
wpa_gui entry form

Configuring a Static Address

When you disable DHCP in the Wifi (or Wired) tab you come to this dialog to set a static address. The dialog guesses reasonable defaults for a simple home LAN setup. For more advanced configurations, and for troubleshooting issues, you will need to read up what each parameter really does. Getting static addressing right needs some experience.

  1. Enter IP address, Subnet Mask and Gateway.
  2. Enter DNS1 address and optionally DNS2. The default values set Google's DNS servers. You may want to replace these with your ISP's DNS server addresses.
  3. Select a save method for the new configuration. You can always change the save method later. Choose Interface to tie the static address to your interface name, like wlan0 or eth0. This is recommended if you run Fatdog64 on the same system all the time, like your notebook or desktop system. Choose Mac Address otherwise, for instance, if you carry Fatdog64 on a USB flash key, and boot several systems in different network environments with it.
wpa_gui entry form

Tips:

Connect to Wired Networks (wpa_gui Wired tab)

The Wired tab is new in Fatdog64-720 (as well as Static Address Configuration). A wired connection hooks up your computer to your home network router with an Ethernet cable.

  1. If your computer has multiple wired adapters, wpa_gui can only connect using one wired adapter at the time. Select which one from the Adapter pull-down.
  2. Enable the DHCP field to receive an automatic network address. If you need to configure a static address disable the DHCP field and press Configure Static Address (review Configuring a Static Address).
  3. Link Status should be "up". If it isn't either Fatdog64 is still busy starting network services, and should be done soon, or the adapter isn't properly installed or configured at boot time.
  4. Press Connect/Enable and watch red "Interface disabled during boot" line change to a green "Interface enabled during boot" line. This refers to the next time you will boot the system. Also, the current session is connected via the wired adapter.
wpa_gui entry form

Restarting the Connection

If you have problems connecting to a network, try right clicking on the wpa_gui icon and select Restart Connection. This action will restart wireless network services.

If wpa_gui manages your wired connection, this action will also restart wired network services. (The other way to manage wired connections is Network Setup).

When wpa_gui is left free to automatically select the best network, it will do so based on the order of network entries in the Manager Networks sub-tab, their network security level (WPA/WPA2 is preferred), and signal strength. Network entries are saved to the configuration file.

Configuration file: /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf.
Wireless services: wpa_supplicant, wpa_cli, dhcpcd.
Wired services: dhcpcd.

Wireless Antenna Manager

The Wireless Antenna Manager applet can be started from the Control Panel Network tab.

It can be used to temporarily enable/disable the antenna of a wireless adapter. This can help in troubleshooting network connections for computers equipped with multiple wireless adapters.

Fatdog64 Wireless Antenna Manager window

Network Setup

Network Setup can be used to connect wired and wireless networks in a way that is independent of wpa_gui.

For ease of use and breadth of features most users should prefer wpa_gui over Network Setup, which still provides some unique features. Most prominently, the ability to set up network connections without running Xorg. Network Setup uses text-based dialogs that work for both the system console (no Xorg), and a terminal window (Xorg).

For the system console, start Network Setup with command network-setup.sh. For Xorg start the Network Setup applet from the Control Panel Network tab.

To navigate the dialog use the Up and Down arrow keys to hightlight a menu entry, the Enter key to activate it, the Tab and Shift Tab keys to cycle across the input fields and the buttons, and the Esc key to go back one level.

Connect to Wireless Networks with Network Setup

You can configure a static or automatic (DHCP) address for your wireless (wlan0) adapter.

The concepts and actions that are involved are similar to those for wpa_gui, where they are explained in more detail.



To add a new profile and connect to the network:

Network Setup main window Network Setup choose wifi interface
  1. In the main window select Configure IP address then choose the interface adapter to configure, wlan0 in this example, but the actual name may be different for your computer.
  2. Select Auto-configure using DHCP, and acknowledge the confirmation window. If you prefer to configure a fixed IP address select instead Use static IP (see Configuring a Static Address with Network Setup for further instructions).
  3. Go Back to the main window.
Network Setup wifi with DHCP Network Setup wifi configured
  1. In the main window select Configure access profile then choose the same interface adapter, wlan0.
  2. Select New profile from existing networks. This will scan for available wireless networks.
  3. Select the name (SSID) of your wireless access point, "homewifi" in this example.
Network Setup new profile from wifi networks Network Setup wifi scanner window
  1. The SSID and Security fields are automatically filled in. Normally you don't need to change them.
  2. Fill in the password for "homewifi" and press OK.
  3. Go back to the main window.
Network Setup enter password
  1. In the main window select Activate settings now then choose the same interface adapter, wlan0.
  2. Select the name of the profile you want to activate. For wireless it is the SSID name.

Tips:

  • Network Setup saves configurations under directory /etc/network-setup
Network Setup activate wireless profile.

Configuring a Static Address with Network Setup

When you select "Use static IP" in step #2 above you come to this dialog to set a static address.

  1. Enter IP address, Netmask and Default Gateway.
  2. Enter DNS server 1 and optionally DNS server 2. The default values set Google's DNS servers. You may want to replace these with your ISP's DNS server addresses.
  3. Press OK to save the configuration for your interface name.

See also Configuring a Static Address for wireless networks for general information about static addresses.

Network Setup static IP window

Connect to Wired Networks with Network Setup

To add a new profile and connect to a wired network follow the instructions given for wireless networks, but select a wired interface (eth0). You will not need to scan for networks or to enter an access password.

Network Setup choose wired interface

Disable / Enable WpaGui

In the main window you can disable / enable wpa_gui services. This applies at the next reboot and every reboot after, until wpa_gui is enabled again from Network Setup.

Troubleshooting Menu

"Reset udev persistent net rules" clears the interface names that Linux automatically assigns to network adapters. Then Fatdog64 will restart wired adapter names from "eth0" and wireless adapters from "wlan0". If you use this entry you will need to configure all static IP addresses again.

Network Setup troubleshooting window