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I'm using Ubuntu 9.10 on a Lenovo T61 (in case that matters). Network Manager connects just fine to my hidden SSID, every time. Sometimes, though, it can take upwards of a minute or more to do it. When you're sitting there, staring at the screen, that can seem interminable. Any hints on how I can fix this or manually force a connection?

Thanks!

EDIT:

The bug in MT's answer led me to another bug which led me to this:

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/network-manager/+bug/468741/comments/29

and I wrote this small shell script:

#!/bin/bash
ESSID="${1:-FooBar-Baz}"
sudo iwlist wlan0 scan essid "$ESSID" | grep "$ESSID"

Which will trigger the scan I so desperately need on occasion.

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@Joe: Good find, I think I'll add such a script to my panel. Thanks! –  MT. Mar 19 '10 at 5:43
    
@Someone-more-experienced-than-me:I just clicked to vote this question up, but the number decreased to zero instead. When I tried to vote it up a second time, it said my vote was too old to be changed. Bug? –  MT. Mar 19 '10 at 5:49
    
@MT: you can file a bug report at meta.stackoverflow.com –  Joe Casadonte Mar 19 '10 at 17:01
    
A late addition to this thread. Although my script above works, I eventually stopped needing it because I eventually stopped the hidden SSID altogether, thanks to articles like this one, that convinced me that hidden SSIDs were a waste of time: howtogeek.com/howto/28653/… –  Joe Casadonte Jun 28 '11 at 12:49
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1 Answer

up vote 1 down vote accepted
+100

I've found a few things help me connect quickly.

  1. If you don't use multiple connections, make sure there are no other connections listed on the 'Wireless' tab of the 'Network Connections' dialog box (right-click on the applet and choose 'edit connections').

  2. Make sure you have 'Connect Automatically' checked on your connection. I assume you already have this (I don't believe it will connect automatically at all without it).

  3. I can connect when using 'Open System' type authentication (wireless security tab), however I connect much, much faster when using 'Shared key' authentication.

Through trial and error I've found that sometimes right-clicking the network applet and disabling wireless and then re-enabling it causes it to connect right away (although admittedly this is less than ideal).

You can also force a connection by choosing 'Connect to Hidden Wireless Network' from the applet, selecting your wireless connection from the 'Connection' drop down list, and then clicking the 'Connect' button.

If the 'Connect' button is greyed out, you're likely experiencing Bug# 446394 still present in 9.10 (Karmic). This is a Network Manager bug. There is a newer (not yet supported) release directly from the Network Manger team PPA which fixes this and allow you to click the 'Connect' button.

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