Novell is now a part of Micro Focus

Netapplet - The Network Interface Switching Utility

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Joe Harmon

Digg This - Slashdot This

Posted: 23 Nov 2004

 Instructions for GNOME are next to this icon
 Instructions for KDE are next to this icon

Applies to:

  • Novell Linux Desktop 9.0
  • SUSE Linux Professional 9.2

Due to problems that occurred from having more than one networking adapter configured at the same time, the netapplet module was created. It allows you to switch between interfaces with the click of a button.


  • First thing is you need to make sure that the netapplet is installed on your desktop. If you are using GNOME on NLD (Novell Linux Desktop), then it should be installed by default. Either way you can check by going in to the YAST2.


     SUSE 9.2:  SYSTEM | YAST

  • Under SOFTWARE | INSTALL AND REMOVE SOFTWARE. Make sure that the drop down is set to SEARCH, type in netapplet, and then hit ENTER. If it shows up checked then you have it installed. If not then check it and click ACCEPT to install the package.
  • ** SUSE 9.2 Users ** If you installed from the CD's then netapplet may not show up for you since it is only included on the DVD.

  • Once you have it installed you will need to verify that the daemon is running. If it is not running and you try and start the netapplet you will receive the following error:
  • To enable and start the netdaemon service within YAST2, go to SYSTEM | RUN LEVEL EDITOR and choose EXPERT MODE.
  • Then click on the SET/RESET drop down box and choose ENABLE THIS SERVICE. You will probably be prompted to enable the service on run level 3, 4, and 5. Just accept the defaults.

  • Now start the service by clicking on the START/STOP/REFRESH drop down and choose START NOW. You should get a message back that your service has been started.
  • Once the service has been started then click FINISH. You will then be prompted to save the run level changes. Choose YES.
  • ** Same process for those who prefer using the terminal ** To enable and start the netdaemon service within a terminal simply open a terminal and then su to root. Once in as root, type chkconfig netdaemon on to enable your service and /etc/init.d/netdaemon start to start the service.

Configuring the Netapplet to Launch with GNOME

** NLD GNOME Users ** The netapplet will automatically start for GNOME in NLD. Although the instructions are given below, it should not be necessary to configure the netapplet to start on NLD unless for some reason it failed to setup.

  • First we must get into the control center within GNOME.

  • Now select SESSIONS | STARTUP PROGRAMS and click ADD. When prompted for the command, simply type in netapplet. You shouldn't need to browse to it since it should already have an existing search path. Once finished click CLOSE. It should now start the next time you login. You can test this by pressing CNTL ALT BACKSPACE which will prompt you to login again.
  • Once you login the netapplet should appear in your notification area on your panel.

Configuring Netapplet to Launch with KDE

** NOTE ** The configuration for having netapplet launch with KDE is the same on both NLD 9.0 and SUSE 9.2

  • Copy the /opt/gnome/share/applications/netapplet.desktop file to /opt/kde3/share/autostart

  • Now edit the file as root and add X-KDE-autostart-after=panel to the end of the file.

  • After logging out and back in, you should now see the netapplet in the notification area on KDE.

Using the Netapplet

 Ethernet -- There are several useful settings to use. One is to quickly change from Ethernet to Wireless with the click of the button. Another is look at you Connection Information which shows you IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway. Last is the option to Configure Network Settings. This will take you directly into Yast2 and allow you configure your devices.

 Wireless -- The wireless setting allow you to perform the same tasks listed in the Ethernet section, with one add on. You can see your active ESSID that you have configured through Yast2, but you can also put in a temporary ESSID by clicking on the OTHER menu item. You will be prompted to put in a temporary ESSID. This is great for conferences like Brainshare and LinuxWorld, where the ESSID will only be used while the computer is on. Once you restart your computer, it resets back to your original configuration.

 Dialup -- The modem is typically an on or off status. You either connect or you don't connect. You have to have the interface configured before it will show as an available option.

Novell Cool Solutions (corporate web communities) are produced by WebWise Solutions.

© Copyright Micro Focus or one of its affiliates