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Okay, so I have an interesting setup going on.

Far away from me, is a headless (no monitor) Ubuntu box hooked up to an ethernet cable.
This computer is intended to be a public internet station at a hostel, it's just waitinig for me to finish the wifi configuration, and then the owner will put it in place, hook up a monitor, and that's it.

The computer HAS a wireless card, which seems to work (i.e., I can give it commands through iwlist).

  1. I have ssh access with X forwarding enabled.
  2. When I log in, and run ps -e | grep nm-applet I see it isn't running.
  3. I checked gnome-session-properties and nm-applet is listed there to start.

So my questions are:

What can I do to get nm-applet running? Maybe it's running and I can't see it? Otherwise, what can I do to set it to connect to WiFi automatically?

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It might be easier to use iwconfig. Here's a tutorial.

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Well if its a wpa secured wireless network, you would probably start up wpa_supplicant, and then dhclient. you could prolly set up the box to start it at each reboot. there's NO reason to use nmapplet on a headless box

On one of my boxes, i have a script that starts both, - the commands for wpa_supplicant vary depending on the box, and you would need to set up a conf file, but this is the most straightforward way to do it.

this question might help - its solutions to a similar issue

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ah, but it's not meant to be a headless box. As soon as it's on the wireless, it will be moved to another room, and have a monitor attached. – Jono Jan 13 '10 at 20:25
if you don't need to roam, or its a cli box, its still the most straightwardward way. if you're running gnome, or kde, then well go for the nmapplet method – Journeyman Geek Jan 14 '10 at 1:18

Recently I have managed to setup wifi for my slackware and blogged about it
In short, at the point that all the settings seemed to be done (while I still cannot connect), I just needed a command

dhcpcd wlan0

Hope that can help

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Do you mean dhclient? That's not working. iwconfig tells me I'm on the network, but no IP address. – Jono Jan 13 '10 at 20:37
you can look at my question here… it's dhcpcd, not dhclient, don't you have it? – phunehehe Jan 14 '10 at 3:17
I don't have dhcpd running on the ubuntu box, because it's supposed to acquire an address, not assign it. – Jono Jan 15 '10 at 9:48

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