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6.2. Interacting with NetworkManager

Users do not interact with the NetworkManager system service directly. Instead, you can perform network configuration tasks via NetworkManager's Notification Area applet. The applet has multiple states that serve as visual indicators for the type of connection you are currently using.
NetworkManager applet states
A row of four icons representing NetworkManager applet states
Figure 6.1. NetworkManager applet states

If you do not see the NetworkManager applet in the GNOME panel, and assuming that the NetworkManager package is installed on your system, you can start the applet by running the following command as a normal user (not root):
~]$ nm-applet &
After running this command, the applet appears in your Notification Area.

6.2.1. Connecting to a Network

When you click on the applet icon, you are presented with:
  • a list of categorized networks you are currently connected to (such as Wired and Wireless);
  • a list of all Available Networks that NetworkManager has detected;
  • options for connecting to any configured Virtual Private Networks (VPNs); and,
  • options for connecting to hidden or new wireless networks.
If you are connected to a network, its name is presented first under its network type, such as Wired or Wireless with a bulletpoint to the left. When many networks are available, such as wireless access points, the More networks expandable menu entry appears.
The NetworkManager applet's drop-down menu, showing all available and connected-to networks
A screen shot of the NetworkManager applet's drop-down menu, showing all available and connected-to networks
Figure 6.2. The NetworkManager applet's drop-down menu, showing all available and connected-to networks