What is WICD?
WICD (pronounced like wicked) 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. It can replace the standard Gnome NetworkManager.
The following instructions should work for most Ubuntu versions through 9.10 (Karmic) with the Gnome desktop manager. For KDE, please see this thread: "KDE WICD" WICD has been added to the Universe Repository starting with Jaunty (9.04), so the best way to install it is through Synaptic or apt. More up to date packages are available through the WICD project repository and are more up to date, so you can alternately add their repository to Synaptic too.
Optionally add the WICD Project Repository to Synaptic for Jaunty and later versions of Ubuntu. This may be required for versions older than Jaunty.
Open Synaptic Package Manager (System / Administration / Synaptic Package Manager)
Go to Settings / Repositories / Other Software (or Third Party Software) / Add...
Now enter the following line:
deb http://apt.wicd.net karmic extras
Change "karmic" in the above to the name of the version you are running (gutsy, hardy, intrepid, jaunty, etc).
Click on Add source, then close. You will need to install the Wicd gpg key before hitting reload. Open a terminal window and run:
wget -q http://apt.wicd.net/wicd.gpg -O- | sudo apt-key add -
Now click on the reload button. This should reload the lists with the new repository included.
Add the package
If you skipped adding the repository above, open Synaptic now. (System / Administration / Synaptic Package Manager) Now click on search and enter "wicd". Right click on the package, select "Mark for installation", then click on Apply. You will be prompted asking if you are happy to let it remove the gnome network manager. This is fine. WICD should offer all the same functionality plus extra under a more compatible setup.
Adding they tray icon
Log out and log in, or restart the system, and you should now have a tray icon.
You can access WICD either through Applications / Internet / WICD, or by clicking on the tray icon (see above). You should see a list of available networks. Clicking on "properties" next to the network you want to connect to, (or for older versions the arrow), will allow you to change the options such as setting a static IP or connection key. Clicking on the connect will connect to the network. If you get the message "This network requires encryption to be enabled" or "required encryption information is missing. (key)" when you hit the connect link, click "ok". On the menu that comes up, at the bottom there is a field to enter your WEP or WPA key.
- NetworkManager0.7 - the standard network manager applet