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. Steffen says:

    Thanks for the tip. But as far as I can see, this has about exactly the same functionality as nm-applet. Is there any particular reason why I would want this, apart from “more choice” (which is always good, but not necessarily a good reason to switch)?

  2. minhtdvn says:

    with me, wicd supports WPA better than default nm-applet

  3. chris says:

    Hey! Cool introduction of this tool! I have a question concerning Wicd and static IP adresses.
    I have an Asus X51R with a Realtek RTL8139/810x Family Fast Ethernet NIC. In Windows I can use this card with the autonegotiation off, and a 10mbps speed. I set the same settings in Ubuntu but it doesn’t work. I doublechecked everything a million times. Do you know why it doesn’t work?

  4. grappler says:

    I just saw your question, Chris – so I may be too late in replying. I’ve found no problem with wicd and static IP addresses. I open the wicd applet from the gnome panel – it shows a list of wireless access points. I click on the small triangle next to the name of the access point I want to connect to – then on Advanced Settings. I enter the static IP address, netmask and gateway, and a DNS server (usually the gateway). Then I click on connect and I’m online.

    It seems to me that the wicd interface is better designed than the nm-applet.

  5. darkwing says:

    This program is great!! I have been struggling to get my wireless connection to work under ubuntu 8.04 but nothing seemed to work. I installed wicd and got it working in 5 minutes with no effort.

    So to me the standard network manager under Gnome is useless.

    Thanks for posting this. 🙂

  6. Foophaser says:

    Yes, same here, Dark. The gnome nm-applet has all the fields to fill in the right information, only I doubt it is written to disk in the proper way: it fails to work everytime. It just hangs for a minute, then leaving me with a wlan0 and a wlan0:avahi, the 1st unconfigured the second with a fantasy IP although I requested dhcp in nm-applet (just to give Steffen a bit more info why nm-applet is not an option).
    I manually set up my wireless with iwconfig, but I must admit this tool makes it alot easier. Any reason this isnt standard? Closed?

  7. fusspilz says:

    thanks a lot, it really helped me (due to networkmanagers dial-in bugs).

    why is it not in the standard repos yet ?

  8. Susan says:

    I had trouble getting Wireless with nm also using Ubuntu 8.04 because the internet connection is dropped after five minutes and then I need to re-enter the WEP key (though the computer remembers it just fine when I first boot up), which the computer never accepts.

    This is a great tutorial and I got wicd in just fine. However, though the wicd remembers the WEP key, but the connection is still getting dropped every two minutes. I can reconnect with no problem, but getting dropped every two minutes is still pretty annoying.

  9. Szurkesonka says:

    I had endless problems with Network Manager after upgrading from Gutsy to Hardy, until I took the plunge and replaced it with Wicd – now my wi-fi works beautifully.

  10. Funtime says:

    I recently saw no reason to switch to wicd from the nm-applet, until the other day I connected a crossover cable to my machine, manually configured it, did what I needed to do, and attempted to reconnect to my wireless. Wasn’t able to connect. My system was like that for two days before it finally stopped detecting wireless networks at all. I installed wicd, and within 3 minutes of it being installed, I was able to get connected to my wireless network with better signal strength than I ever had with nm-applet. I love this tool, and will be forever installing it on my systems…at least until something better comes along!! 🙂 Thanks for the intro into wicd.

  11. Don says:

    Ok, im kinda new to wirless, but I know our wireless network requires WPA Enterprise, PEAP and TKIP. I assume by selecting PEAP w/TKIP in the encryption options, it automatically assumes WPA Enterprise, but im not able to get connected. I have tried \ and just (I have also pointed to my personal/private certificate file that I exported from a Winblows box.)

    Any tips?

  12. Michael says:

    My nm-applet continued to try to connect me to someone else’s wireless network. I run a personal WPA encryption, and i could not find any way to tell the nm-applet about my preferred networks. And the nm-applet also keeps asking me for my network encryption code.

    Wicd seems not to have these deficiencies. ;o) Thanks!

    How do I remove dublicate entries in my network list? (I have entered a dublicate by mistake).

    Kind regards.

  13. Jon Pastore says:

    ipw no longer supported. I can’t get wicd to get my intel 3945 to work. have to go back to that lame nm-applet. /sigh

  14. JohnnyNitro says:

    Jon, that shouldn’t be a problem. Wicd is working quite well with my ipw 2200 using wext supplicant driver. I imagine it should work for you

  15. Monica says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. I’ve been having so many problems with nm-applet, and Wicd solved everything.

  16. Robin says:

    I have followed the directions to install this program and I get the following message. Is this the normal message? I am afraid removed kubuntu-desktop will take a lot of other programs with it.

    The following packages have unmet dependencies:
    network-manager-gnome: Depends: network-manager (>= 0.6.5) but it is not installable
    network-manager-kde: Depends: network-manager (>= 0.6.2) but it is not installable
    Resolving dependencies…
    The following actions will resolve these dependencies:

    Remove the following packages:

  17. Nay says:

    I have been having issues with my wireless card not connecting every time I reboot the computer.

    After installing wicd no more issue. This should be in the main repository.

  18. Peter says:

    Love Wicd, works great, the interface gives much better control than the flaky nm-appplet.

    Kind regards

  19. Bigwhiskie says:

    I really think program is better than network manager. The only issue I have had is after I installed the program my update manager now hangs up and will not process. I can still update via the command-line, but this still gives a question to what I uninstalled. Has anyone had the same issue?


  20. statmonkey says:

    Thanks for this. After many headaches from network manager I can put it where it belongs. In the .trash folder.

  21. Tony Morgan says:

    Great job. I’ve had a bunch of problems assigning a static IP on my wireless with my eee 1000 in ubuntu. About 30 seconds after wicd install and I was done alreay. Great job once again.

  22. Tom says:

    I’ve been playing with the Gnome network manager for days, read dozens of variations offered by well meaning people on reconfiguring the configuration files manualy to no avail. I’ve had a couple of close calls with regards to getting the thing to work with a static IP going down these routes, but as soon as I hard reboot the PC, all the config changes are fo nought! 5 mins iof getting Wicd up and running and my networking woes are a thing of the past. Not a clean install, I have to say; a few error messages popped up along the way, but now it’s in it works perfectly. Many thanks.

  23. Gerry says:

    Until the Ubuntu guys catch on and make Wicd the default manager it needs to be added to every noob startup guide for Ubuntu. This is absolutely essential for anybody who doesn’t want to waste hours/days on the currently buggy Network Mangler. You only have to take a quick look around to see that just about everybody eventually dumps nm for Wicd.


  24. biswarup says:

    I also lost a couple of days of my life(and few kilos I think) struggling with nm. I am using ubuntu as the only OS in my machine for more than three years and the experience has been fantastic, I just use my machine, without spending any time for maintaining it.The nm problem caused me to want to reinstall windows. I almost gave up and thought the linksys wmp54g adaptor won’t work with wpa under ubuntu.
    As a last chance I installed wicd(it’s not even in the repos) and within a couple of minutes everything was up and running perfectly!

  25. TootToot says:

    Just upgraded to Jaunty and this thing now sucks ass with Hidden Networks which is weird because it worked fine before. Back to nm. Anybody any ideas?

  26. Nick says:

    I’m new to Linux, Ubuntu and all, using 9.04. Tried wicd after not being able to use WPA/PSK with a Netgear WG311 card but it only works if the SSID is broadcast and I prefer to keep it hidden. TootToot says it used to work on earlier releases, is it worth going back to an older version.

  27. VA says:

    I replaces nm with wicd. I have dual boot Vista/Ubuntu on my Lenovo Y410 laptop. When I boot , I have to take my laptop close to the router for wicd to connect. The connection is displayed most times (not always) but will not connect. This is the same case if the computer goes to sleep also. On the Vista boot, I never has a problem ion connecting to the same wireless connection. Any idea what is going on or resoltuion? Thanks for your help in advance. I am on Ubuntu 9.04 and is a newbie to Ubuntu and loving it.

  28. modmadmike says:

    Weird – had the same problem with my friends computer (which is a Desktop) only it would connect till I was in the farthest room of the house (probably because I have a very powerful router and a high-gain card in the pc). Oh and this was with nm because I have had better experiences with it than wicd.

  29. Fintan says:

    Hello and thank you for your god reading,
    I have a toshiba M800 running kubuntu JJ 64 bit.
    I have been screwing ariund for a while and would like to know how to install wicd without any internet connection.
    I have the latest .deb but using:
    ~$ sudo dpkg -i wicd_1.5.9-2_all.deb
    gives a python depenacy error.
    Any Ideas?
    That would greatly appreciated.

  30. Live says:

    Yea, device DOESN’T work with HIDDEN SSID! Mine is HP dv2000 laptop with Belkin router and WPA2

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