How does Fedora want "ordinary people" to manage mobile network computing?

Ed Greshko Ed.Greshko at
Tue Apr 25 04:40:37 UTC 2006

Paul Johnson wrote:
> I'm an "old hand" at Linux, and am able to make my wired & wireless
> connections work, but only with some difficulty.  Yesterday I helped a
> young lady install linux on a laptop and found it darned-near
> impossible to explain to her how she is supposed to handle the problem
> of going for place-to-place, using different wired and wireless
> networks.  So I wondered if the Gnome or KDE folks had worked this
> out.

Only have worked with wired networks...but in that case the key was
"Network Profiles".  Couldn't find you any "Fedora" documentation on
this but have a look at

and the rest of that manual.


> Just for example, I need to have these devices configured
> 1. Wired home router: dhcp
> 2. Wired for office 1: static ip, gateway & /etc/resolv.conf
> 3. Wired for office 2: static ip, gateway & /etc/resolv.conf
> 4. Wireless for home router, SSID="home1" and 24 digit WEP key
> 5. Wireless in pizza restaurant, SSID="fred's pizza", but no WEP key
> 6. Wireless at school, SSID="JAYHAWK", no WEP key
> 7. Wireless at George's house, SSID="casa", 10 digit WEP key
> It is a bit of a pain to set all these up. system-config-network
> creates funny looking names for these like eth1:1 and if I turn on one
> wireless device, all of them of the same type say they are active.  I
> have never figured out how "profiles" are supposed to simplify this.
> At home, sometimes I need the wire, sometimes I need one of the two
> wireless routers.  Sometimes I cannot get system-config-network to
> work at all, and instead I have to hand edit one of the working files
> in /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts.  Generally can make this work.
> There are 3 gotchas that kill me now and then.
> 1. DHCP will replace the dns setting in /etc/resolv.conf and when I go
> to a static IP, that value does not get reset and I have no internet
> unless I manually set the ip value.
> 2. The value of the "Gateway" is set by the wireled IP settings, and
> if I go to a place with dhcp,  it DOES reset the dns values in
> /etc/resolv.conf, but sometimes the gateway is not reset.
> 3. If both eth0 (wire) and eth1 (wireless) happen to be active--as
> happens on her system by default after a suspend to RAM--then NEITHER
> ethernet interface works. THere is no wireless service until you type
> "/sbin/ifdown eth0" and there is no wire unless you type "/sbin/ifdown
> eth1".
> While trying to describe this to the new linux user, I was struck by
> how crappy it is.  Just resetting the DNS number when going to a
> static IP seems like a strange thing to do.  And in the end, we
> compromised and agree she will only be able to use her computer on one
> network, because it is too damn complicated to make it work in various
> places, all with different SSIDs and WEP keys.
> And don't even get started on the problem of scanning for available
> servers.  But if a person cannot open a terminal and type
> "/sbin/iwlist scan", then he/she is likely to be totally screwed,
> because if you don't put in an SSID explicitly, it almost never finds
> a network.  In fact, if you don't have the right channel, it often
> does not work.
> So, in conclusion, I can make this work but I am baffled to figure out
> what the Gnome people think these users new ought to do.  Surely they
> are not expected to open a terminal, are they?  I find that hard to
> believe in light of the fact that new Fedora/Gnome has disappeared the
> "open terminal here" from its default right-click menu and hidden that
> function away in the "nautilus-open-terminal" package.
> --
> Paul E. Johnson
> Professor, Political Science
> 1541 Lilac Lane, Room 504
> University of Kansas

The next person to mention spaghetti stacks to me is going to have
his head knocked off.
		-- Bill Conrad

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