They finally figured out how to make ubuntu rock on wifi…

They have a new laptop.  It came with Vista Ultimate, but even now, the bluetooth on windows never works as it should — not that they are surprised. Since they use bluetooth really often (to upload photos from the camera on the phone they have), this is a problem.

OK, not much of a problem.  They like linux, they run servers for a living, so they installed Ubuntu.  Nice!  Bluetooth works flawlessly! But, sadly, using wifi on Ubuntu is a pain.  Truly a sub-optimal solution.

Until they found wicd. Wicd supports browsing available networks, remembers WPA or WPA2 passphrases, and supports every other type of wifi encryption they have heard of (and a few they have not heard of).  It also automatically connects to available networks. For ubuntu, it is available for dapper, edgy, feisty, gutsy and hardy — that is to say, any decent version of ubuntu.

All they had to do was:

echo ‘deb hardy extras’ > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/wicd.list; apt-get install wicd

(I did that as root; you may need to ‘sudo /bin/sh’ first) followed by adding the ‘/opt/wicd/’ to the gnome startup session.

Now, they have both wifi and bluetooth, and rarely — if ever — boot into windows.

If you are running linux on a machine that moves between wireless networks regularly, wicd is definitely worth a look.  They are quite pleased, and recommend it highly.

And why are they going on about this?  Because google searches did not lead they to this solution without much searching.  Hopefully, this article will be found and help out more folks.