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NetworkManager is a software utility aimed at simplifying the use of computer networks on Linux-based and other Unix-like operating systems.


Red Hat initiated a NetworkManager project in 2004 with the goal of enabling Linux users to deal more easily with modern networking needs, particularly wireless networking. NetworkManager takes an opportunistic approach to network selection, attempting to use the best available connection as outages occur, or as the user roams between wireless networks. It prefers Ethernet connections over “known” wireless networks, which are preferred over wireless networks with SSIDs to which the user has never connected. The user is prompted for WEP or WPA keys as needed.

The NetworkManager project was among the first major Linux desktop components to utilize D-Bus and HAL extensively. Since June 2009, however, NetworkManager no longer depends on HAL.

NetworkManager has two components:

  • a service which manages connections and reports network changes
  • a graphical desktop applet which allows the user to manipulate network connections. The nmcli applet provides similar functionality on the command line.

Both components are intended by the developers to be reasonably portable, and the applet is available to desktop environments which implement the System Tray Protocol, including GNOME, KDE Plasma Workspaces, Enlightenment (window manager) and Xfce. As the components communicate via D-Bus, applications can be written to be “link-aware”, or to replace the provided applet entirely. One example is KNetworkManager, a KDE 3 frontend to NetworkManager developed by Novell for SUSE Linux.

Mobile broadband configuration assistant

Antti Kaijanmäki announced the development of a mobile broadband configuration assistant for NetworkManager in April 2008 it became available in NetworkManager version 0.7.0. Together with the package mobile-broadband-provider-info the connection is easily configured.

User interfaces

  • NetworkManagement: NetworkManager back-end for KDE SC 4, provides a plasma widget frontend.
  • KNetworkManager: the K Desktop Environment 3 frontend developed by Novell.
  • nm-applet: is the GNOME applet for NetworkManager.
  • nmcli: built-in command line interface (added in 2010[citation needed] e.g. in Fedora 13 Alpha, which was released in late May 2010).
  • cnetworkmanager: command line interface for NetworkManager.

Mobile broadband tested devices

Developers have successfully tested the following cards, dongles or phones with NetworkManager:

   Sony Ericsson F3507g (aka Dell 5530)
   Sony Ericsson MD300
   Sony Ericsson TM-506 (via USB cable)
   Sony Ericsson G502 (via USB cable, and bluetooth using blueman)
   LG PM325 (via USB cable)
   BUSlink SCWi275u
   Option iCON 225
   Option ICON 7.2
   Option GT MAX 3.6 (aka Option GT Ultra)
   Option Nozomi
   Sierra Wireless AirCard 580 (Sprint)
   Sierra Wireless AirCard 881 (use latest AT&T firmware)
   Sierra Wireless AirCard 860
   Sierra Wireless AirCard 595U (Sprint/Verizon)
   Sierra Wireless MC8775
   Sierra Wireless AC875
   Sierra Wireless 885U
   Huawei E122
   Huawei E156G (tested on Ubuntu 10.10 with pre-installed usbmodeswitch)
   Huawei E160G
   Huawei E160E
   Huawei E220
   Huawei E169
   Huawei E1692 (TIM Italia)
   Huawei E1750C
   Huawei EC121 (Reliance India)
   Huawei EC168 (Reliance India)
   Huawei EC1260 (Reliance India)
   Nokia E51
   Nokia E71
   Nokia N900
   Novatel Merlin S720 (Sprint/Verizon)
   Novatel Merlin XU870 (aka Dell 5510)
   Novatel Ovation U727 (Sprint/Verizon)
   Novatel Merlin S620 (Sprint)
   Novatel Ovation MC930D
   Qualcomm Gobi (GSM firmware)
   Kyocera KPC650 (Verizon)
   Verizon Wireless PC5750
   Verizon Wireless UM175
   Verizon Wireless KPC680
   Nokia E72
   Nokia 7210 Supernova
   Nokia 7230

See also

External links