Setting Up WiFi Connection Using WiCD

WiCD Logo

Often times Linux users find themselves wanting more from the network manager, especially laptop users on the move find it difficult to manage all the different networks they have access to. WiCD is one of the best tools for people wanting more. It’s gtk based network configuration tool, especially meant for wireless networks written in python. Apart from being dependent on gtk, it does not require any of gnome components to work. Rejoice all the openbox and fluxbox users.

Here’s what WiCD can do (taken from the official documentation),

Compatible with standard *nix networking commands (iwconfig, ifconfig, etc)
Once configured, will connect even if the X display does not start
Can be managed and configured via the command line using wicd-curses
Support for wired networks, as well as named profiles to save multiple wired configurations.
Supports configuring static IP addresses and DHCP on a per network basis
Store different static IPs, gateways, subnet masks, DNS server addresses per network
Automatically connect at boot – no user intervention required, even for encrypted networks
Keeps network keys in root accesible only (600) files (unencrypted, however)
Encryption (template based)

WPA 1/2

Automatically connects at resume from suspend
Displays information about the network
Ability to run scripts before/after connecting/disconnecting

All this and it’s really easy to use. Let’s start by installing WiCD, if you are an Ubuntu user, you can install WiCD very easily. All you need to do is open a terminal and issue following command,

sudo apt-get install wicd

This will install both WiCD with all the required dependencies. It will then ask you for the users you want to configure WiCD for. WiCD also comes with a tray icon. You can add it by right clicking a panel and choosing add to panel option then choose custom application launcher. Give it any name you want and in the command box type,


and you will have a tray icon now. Open WiCD and you will be greeted with a screen showing all the wireless networks in the range. You can then chose to connect to any network you want. If the network is protected by any security then you would have to chose the method of security in place and enter the correct key to connect to the network.

WiCD Networks

WiCD Networks

You, of course, also get the option to chose whether to use DHCP or static IPs, which DNS you want to use, which secondary DNS you want to use. gateways, subnet masks. You can also use it to manage wired networks.

WiCD Advanced

WiCD Advanced

And there’s more…

WiCD Advanced 2.0

WiCD Advanced 2.0

I for one have never had any problems with WiCD., although there are people who report certain incidents, it’s free from most major bugs and is a very solid program. One of my favourite distributions, Zenwalk, comes with WiCD pre-installed. Rest assured, this is a great tool to manage all your moving connection needs.

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Communicate in Style With the New Synapse Instant Messenger!

There is a new IM app on the block, its called Synapse, it is a new alpha application which means its not nearly finished yet, from the screenshot at the side it looks amazing!

Here is some of Synapse’s Key Features that already stand out from all the others:
Grid View – A Compact way to see/browse your friends!
Activity Feed – Unified View for friends activity ie; Twitter, IM Status, Music playing & More!
Photo Sharing – Flickr Integration, Drag & Drop images to chat window!
Web Preview – Get a glance of a webpage or video behind a link right in your chat window when you send/share a link!
Code Sharing – Syntax Highlighted code blocks for easiy collaboration
Highly Extensible – Plugins are added with extreme ease, and the architecture wont hold developers back in creating new plugins/addons

Howto Install on Ubuntu

Please note that Synapse is only supported on Ubuntu version 8.10 (Intrepid) or later. If you are running an older version, you’ll need to upgrade first.

Save this key file to your desktop.
At the top of your screen, select System → Administration → Software Sources.
On the Ubuntu Software tab, make sure that both main and universe are checked.
On the Authentication tab, click the Import Key File button and select the key file you saved in step 1.
On the Third-Party Software tab, click the Add button, and paste the appropriate APT line for your version of Ubuntu:

Intrepid 8.10:
deb intrepid main
Jaunty 9.04:
deb jaunty main
After adding the source, press the the Close button at the bottom of the Software Sources window. When asked, click Refresh.
Back at the top of your screen, select Applications → Add/Remove. Search for synapse, then in the results check the box next to Synapse Instant Messenger, then click Apply Changes.
NOTE: Some users have reported Synapse does not show up under Add/Remove. If you are unable to find Synapse using Add/Remove or Synaptic, Select Applications → Accessories → Terminal, and then type sudo apt-get install synapse. We hope to have a solution to this problem soon. If you have any problems, please see the Support page.
If you’re a GNOME user, you may want to enable the GTK theme for Qt using qtconfig-qt4. If on Intrepid, install the qgtkstyle package.

You can learn more about adding repositories and installing software in the ubuntu documentation.

Other (Source Code)

For information on how to build Synapse from source, see the Contribute page.

Developers Site
Other Os Download Locations/Install Documentation

Category: Ubuntu | Comments Off on Communicate in Style With the New Synapse Instant Messenger!

Howto: Install Google Chrome Alpha in Ubuntu!

For the past couple of years I have been waiting and waiting for the possibility for a Google Browser, there has been rumors over the years and finally Google came out with Chrome. Unfortunately Google Chrome was only released for windows, only until now there is a semi working gui that is actually usable!! Yea I just logged into my gmail account 5 minutes ago with Chromium for Linux! Im impressed, I thought it would never get to this stage, but it has, currently there is allot of issues to be resolved like the sandboxing for example There is also quite a few issues that you can follow here

If you would like to help with its porting efforts you can go here

FAQ: no native 64bit debs planed for now. The amd64 package is using ia32-libs.

Anyways let me show you how easy it is to install and start browsing!

First lets add the chromium ppa, head over to here

Select your Ubuntu version in the drop down where you see:
Display sources.list entries for:

Then input those apt sources into System->Administration->Software Sources-> Click Third-Party Software Tab, then click +Add to add the apt sources

Now press ALT-F2 and enter gedit, paste this into gedit(its the ppa key for security)
Version: SKS 1.0.10

Now save the file and click +Import Keyfile on the Authentication tab of Software Sources, then click close. Then refresh your sources.

Click these packages to install them

Once installed Execute Chromium via Applications->Internet->Chromium Web Browser

Now enjoy using Google Chrome in linux, and watch it progress!

Category: Ubuntu | Comments Off on Howto: Install Google Chrome Alpha in Ubuntu!

Howto: Easily Get free newsgroup access over ipv6 in Ubuntu!

Did you know you could get almost anything off of usenet/newsgroups? Yea you can get 0day movies, music, games, apps, linux distro’s and anything else you could imagine right off of newsgroup servers. I have been using newsgroups for years to get what I need, torrents are too resource intensive and sometimes crash routers and modems. So here I will share how you can setup Sabnzbd with a few newsgroup providers that offer 100+days retention at a completely free price 🙂

First you’ll need to grab Sabnzbd, I currently use a premade deb from here

The latest version is version 0.4.7 which can be directly downloaded here, be sure to check the above url for an updated version if this post gets old.

Once installed run sabnzbd from the command line and open a browser window to http://localhost:8080/sabnzbd/config/server/

Now enter one of these free servers for ipv6 access:
If I didnt specify a port its 119

password: anything
Username: anything
threads : 8

threads : 3
speed : 50 per thread

3. readnews
Threads: 8
Speed: 5 kb per thread
Retention:40?? days

4. (I use this one)
Retention 120 days. Unlimited speed.

Retention: around 100 days too, Unlimited???
Signup for Xsnews here and enter your email address, they’ll send u a username/password

Free Trials:
Threads: 1
Username & password: see
Speed: 60 kB/s

Port: 23
Threads: 4
Username & password: make something up, more than 6 characters.
Retention: 25 days
Speed: 25/30 kB/s per thread

Ok Now input one or all the servers in sabnzbd

You can get free IPv6 access through Freenet6. Visit Freenet6 and register yourself to obtain username and password.

Now lets set up ipv6

Click Here to install tspc or:
sudo apt-get install tspc

Press Alt-F2 then do:
gksudo gedit /etc/tsp/tspc.conf

Find the userid line and enter your useid for freenet6, then find the passwd line and enter your password you set, then set the server as
Like this:

Save the file and exit, then open a terminal:
sudo /etc/init.d/tspc restart

Now lets check if tspc created a new ipv6 interface:
You should see something like:
sit1 Link encap:IPv6-in-IPv4

Lets use ping6 to ping google to make sure its working…
defcon@pc:~$ ping6
PING 56 data bytes
64 bytes from 2001:4860:b002::68: icmp_seq=1 ttl=57 time=117 ms

Category: Ubuntu | Comments Off on Howto: Easily Get free newsgroup access over ipv6 in Ubuntu!