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Ubuntu Network Configuration

Ubuntu Screenshot

Ubuntu has always been well known for simplified networking solutions and not much has changed in recent years. But for all of the users that are unfamiliar with the networking procedures on Ubuntu systems maybe this basic networking guide will help.

Take Control Of Your Network

Here you can find out how to get more information about your network connections, learn how to connect to the internet and different networks, and where to find all of your settings.


Finding Your Settings

Although things are generally quite simple when using Ubuntu new users might need a head start. All of your internet and network information can be found inside your network manager applet that sits on the right hand side of your top Gnome panel.

Connecting To The Internet


Wired LAN

When you plug in your network cable Ubuntu should connect automatically, but you may have to enter the settings manually. To configure a static connections first right click on the network manager icon in your main panel, then click edit connections. Inside the wired tab you can select the connection you want and click edit. Click IPv4 settings from the tabs at the top of the new window. Then you can click add an enter all of your connection information including your IP address and DNS server. When finished click apply and the network should connect.


When connecting to a wireless network first make sure your wireless device is turned on. Then left click on the network manager icon inside your panel. From the pop-up menu click on the network that you want to connect to from the wireless networks section. If you have already previously connected to a wireless network Ubuntu will automatically reattempt to make that connection upon login. In some cases you may be required to enter security information to connect to a wireless network, a pop-up window will open to inform you. You can add security information manually if needed.

Mobile Broadband

The mobile broadband connection wizard will open when you connect a mobile device. You simply have to click forward and enter your details, when finished click apply. You can also right click on the network manager icon, and click edit connections. Then look at the mobile broadband tab of the connections window and click add.

VPN Connections

There are a variety of different VPN connection types that you can set up. To start a VPN connection first right click on your network manager icon and click edit connections from the popup menu. Then select the VPN tab from the top of the window and click add. Then you can select your connection type. Cisco, PPTP, or OpenVPN connections are available. After you select your connection you can add your additional information and authentication, then click apply.


DSL connections are quite easy to establish. First right click on the network manager icon in your panel again and click edit from the pop-up window. Then select the DSL tab from the top of the new window, and click add.

Additional Packages

For VPNC connections install the following packages.

$ sudo apt-get install network-manager-vpnc
$ sudo apt-get install network-manager-vpnc-gnome

For OpenVPN use the following commands instead.

$ sudo apt-get install network-manager-openvpn
$ sudo apt-get install network-manager-openvpn-gnome

For PPTP VPN connections install the following packages.

$ sudo apt-get install network-manager-pptp
$ sudo apt-get install network-manager-pptp-gnome


Connecting To A Server

You can also look in your places menu in your Gnome panel for the connect to server button. From here you can connect to FTP servers, windows shares, SSH servers, or HTTP servers. Just select the connection you want and enter the necessary information, then hit the connect button. If the server you are connecting to requires a username and password you will be asked for one in a pop-up window. If you want to browse other computers on your network you can also look in your places menu for the network button. Inside the network window you can add your username, password and domain information for the computer you are trying to connect to. Normally if you don't have the domain name it is best to leave that section empty.

Other Options

You can use this to see info about currently active connections.

$ sudo lshw -C network

With this command you can see information about available network devices and IP addresses.

$ ifconfig

This will give you information about your connection to the router.

$ iwconfig

Use this to test your outside connection.

$ ping