Kubuntu’s biggest problem: Network Management

k cards are One of the first things someone notices when working with Kubuntu or introducing Kubuntu to someone is networking and how wireless works.  Or based on what I’ve been working with, the lack of working.  I now that everyone who reads this post is going to comment its the drivers stupid, network drivers are mostly closed source, if there were better drivers then the problems wouldn’t occur.

I disagree, once I get the drivers installed, whether they are restricted or free, the problems are just beginning.  I’ve had the same frustrations running Kubuntu 9.04, Kubuntu 9.10, or Kubuntu 10.04 beta 2.  For some reason the network mismanagement program always has problems.  These problems range from not saving settings of hidden networks, to not accepting the password I’m typing in, to not working when I’m trying to setup a VPN for work, etc.  All in all a large failure.

While networking isn’t sexy and doesn’t get the press that windows button movement does, it absolutely  has to work out of the box.  If there are free drivers available, they should be enabled, then the management tool has to work.

Think through the following  scenario:

I’m introducing some friends to Kubuntu, however they are unable to connect to their networks, will they switch?  How about if I tell them, the problem is solved, but first we need to reference a wiki page to figure out how to correct this for the specific drivers they are using.  Will they switch?

There needs to be some focus in Maverick on improving the network experience the end use has

5 thoughts on “Kubuntu’s biggest problem: Network Management

  1. The lack of “just works” networking management really turned me off of Kubuntu when I was seriously looking at it. That was a while ago and I try it ever release hoping something has changed. The good news is it seems to be getting better, but then again Ubuntu’s network management has been “just works” for me since like Fiesty.

  2. I’ve never understood why nm-applet or whatever it is currently called just works in Ubuntu but doesn’t work in Kubuntu. I’ve filed some bugs on the problem but haven’t seen a lot change for the better yet, still crosing fingers.

    It’s a shame when you see so many people recommding to use alternate programs then the default to get this to work

  3. From ScottK on IRC an Kubuntu Developer:

    jjesse: Part of the reason nm-applet just works with NM is that it’s developed by the same people that develop NM in conjunction with it. KNM, OTOH, is developed seperately, so it’s harder to keep in sync.
    (your blog requires a login to comment, so you get IRC comments)
    ScottK: i’ll add them to the comments
    jjesse: Also, except for the lack of hidden network support, it’s worked pretty well for me in Karmic and Lucid both.

  4. I completely agree with you Jonathan.
    I’m a kubuntu fan that is obligated to use Linux Mint KDE to use the network. Mint KDE have out of the box network-manager-gnome. I installed on it network-manager-kde too to observe the progress, but for now the choice made by the Mint teem is better.

    network-manager-kde (karmic) isn’t able to share my internet connection and isn’t able to let me modify the DNS servers for a mobile connection. network-manager-gnome simply CAN.

    network-manager-kde (lucid) now can share the connection without issue, but still lack on the DNS configuration tab.

    Personally I use a Mobile Broadband connection on a laptop. I have no issue with each gnome & kde version. I see the kde like more stable when the quality of the signal is weak.

  5. Pingback: Links 12/4/2010: Awn 0.4.0, VP8 Becoming Free Software | Techrights

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