GUI based network managers can make it easy to configure the IP, DNS, and routing settings for your Linux system, as well as manage the configured VPNs, known WiFi networks, etc. Users that join many different networks, have multiple VPNs configured, or need to frequently change their networking settings may find it easier to do so in a GUI application rather than fiddling with the command line and
ip commands. A network manager provides a centralized location that can keep track of all your settings and even build profiles to quickly change between various presets.
In this tutorial, we will go over a few different GUI based network managers that can be installed in Linux. This will serve as an introduction to some of the most popular network managers available, and give you enough information to determine which one you might want to try for your own needs.
In this tutorial you will learn:
- List of top GUI network managers for Linux
|Category||Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used|
|System||Any Linux distro|
|Software||Network Manager, Wicd, ConnMan, GNOME Network Manager|
|Other||Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the
# – requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of
$ – requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user
Installing one of these network managers may mean that you need to uninstall your system’s default network manager to make sure that they do not conflict with each other.
Network Manager is one of the most popular and widely used applications to manage network and comes by default on many of the most popular Linux distros like Ubuntu Linux and Fedora Linux. Network Manager has a very simple interface so it easy for any user to configure and manage all of their network connections. Network manager can be used from the command line with the
nmcli command, and uses the NetworkManager applet as the graphical frontend. This can be accessed in the system tray of your desktop environment or by using the
nm-connection-editor command in terminal.
Network Manager works with all of the most common connection types, like Ethernet, Wi-Fi, VPN, PPTP, mobile broadband, and much more. You can also use it to store information about the WiFi networks you frequently connect to, and it will login to them automatically. For those that connect to many different networks on a regular basis, Network Manager lets you manage your VPN connections, prioritize which network to connect to, and setup access controls for all networks.
Wicd is a straightforward and easy to use network manager that supports many different connection types and granular settings like route table flushing. It is a good choice for system administrators that may need to troubleshoot faulty connections.
Wicd supports all of the most common connection types and security protocols, so you can save your preferred networks in it for later use. It has various debugging settings and offers the most granularity and troubleshooting options from the other network managers on this list. This makes it a good choice for novices and power users alike.
ConnMan is a very simple and fast network manager that is mainly designed for embedded device and mobile. It can still be used on any system, but its lightweight design and simplicity make it more ideal for embedded devices. It has a simple text based interface and can also be used as a GUI thanks to the
ConnMan will work with all the most common connection types like Ethernet, Wifi, and Bluetooth. You can store network information in it so that it will automatically connect to networks when it detects them. You can also manage more complex settings like proxy, VPN, DNS, etc.
GNOME Network Manager
GNOME is one of the most popular desktop environments for Linux and comes with its own network manager installed by default. You can access it in the Settings menu. The interface of GNOME network manager is easy to use, and has the extra convenience of integrating directly with your desktop environment and system tray.
GNOME network manager allows us to configure netowk settings for Ethernet, WiFi, VPN, and other types. It supports all modern security protocols like WPA2, and can setup multiple network profiles to remember your settings for each network that you connect to.
In this tutorial, we learned about some of the most popular GUI based network managers that can be used on a Linux system. A network manager definitely makes it easier for someone that needs to configure multiple VPNs or network profiles because of frequently changing networks. All of the network managers covered here will provide unique features and different interfaces, so the one you choose will depend on personal preference or on what Linux distribution you are using.