Wicd – Wired and Wireless Network manager for Ubuntu

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Wicd is an open source wired and wireless network manager for Linux which aims to provide a simple interface to connect to networks with a wide variety of settings.

Wicd's features

  • No Gnome dependencies (although it does require GTK), so it is easy to use in XFCE, Fluxbox, Openbox, Enlightenment, etc.
  • Ability to connect to wired and wireless networks
  • Profiles for each wireless network and wired network
  • Many encryption schemes, some of which include WEP/WPA/WPA2
  • Remains compatible with wireless-tools
  • Tray icon showing network activity and signal strength

Installing Wicd in Ubuntu

First you need to edit the /etc/apt/sources.list file

sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Add the following line for gutsy user

deb http://apt.wicd.net gutsy extras

Add the following line for hardy user

deb http://apt.wicd.net hardy extras

Save and exit the file

where gutsy is your version of Ubuntu in lowercase (dapper, edgy, feisty, gutsy, hardy).

Now you need to update the source list using the following command

sudo aptitude update

Install wicd using the following command

sudo aptitude install wicd

Please note that this will remove network-manager, which is the default GNOME network manager and may cause loss of network connection temporarily.

In GNOME, to get the tray icon to automatically appear at boot, go to System > Preferences > Sessions. In the "Startup Programs" tab, click the "New" button. Give it a name ("Wicd" works fine). For the command, enter "/opt/wicd/tray.py".

Using Wicd

To use wicd, launch it from the Application menu; for example, Applications -> Internet -> wicd in GNOME.

In the wicd program window you'll see a list of the wireless networks that the software has detected. Wicd doesn't always pick up all of the networks that are in range when it starts; click the Refresh icon on tool bar to get a full list.

From there, click the Connect link beneath the name of the network that you want to use. After a few seconds, you should be connected the network.

If the network is encrypted, you need to do a little more work. Wicd supports the following encryption schemes: WPA, WEP, LEAP, TTLS, EAP, and PEAP.

Click the arrow beside the name of the encrypted network to which you want to connect, then click Advanced Settings. From there, click the Use Encryption checkbox, select an encryption method from the dropdown list, and enter the required password in the Key field.

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36 Responses

  1. Phil says:

    wicd was working fine until I upgraded to Jaunty and now it won’t connect to anything. Any ideas?

  2. Visible Spirit says:


    Just a note to say “wicd” didn’t work at all after installing it on Intrepid-(v8.10). I had absolutely no Internet access; wired or wireless. It asked for my password each and every boot-up which was extremely annoying as well. I removed it via a third party filter I setup in synaptic and reinstalled NM. I now have my wired connection re-established and writing this via my laptop-(IBM ThinkPad T-30).

    Still trying to get a “TRENDnet TEW-421PC wireless PCMCIA 32-bit type 2 CardBus” to light up and connect. No Linux driver support I’m aware of, and ndisWrapper doesn’t do the trick either. To-date, the only OS/distro to light it up and connect has been wattOS v1.0-beta3; out-of-the-box I might add! wattOS is based on Ubuntu v9.10, which I’m dwnldg currently to see if that works for this wireless card. It’s frustrating to be tied to a hardwire considering this is a laptop.

    Any help/suggestions will be appreciated. 😉

    Visible Spirit

  3. Trinity says:

    Bug with network manager in ubuntu 10.04 alpha 2. tried many solutions and couldnt make it work. the solution found is very basic:) remove NM download and install WiCd and problem sorted. everything is working perfect.

  4. abds says:

    I have problem with network manger applet 0.8
    how I install this program

  5. Floid says:

    As always, linux assumes you are already connected to the internet. We wouldn’t be searching out wicd if networkmanager worked flawlessly in all wifi drivers or secure connections like wpa. What would be helpful is telling us where to download a complete (ALL INCLUDED DEPENDENCIES NEEDEDED/REQUIRED), single wicd-*-all.deb file compatible with our kernel, so we can save it to a usb, and take it back to the NON-connected computer to make linux work, allowing us to get on with our lives.

    I have a question for all past Windows users: Did you ever say to yourself, “Self, even though you have a great internet connection right now, wouldn’t it be awesome to download another program that crashes the current working internet connection to see if the new one works too?” Didn’t think so. Hmmm.

  6. Rosario Osbourn says:

    I had been planning exactly the same thing whilst encountering this short article as well as wondered in cases where anyone else had exactly the same issues?

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