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Netapplet Makes Connecting to Your Network a Breeze!

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Jason Jones

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Posted: 8 Nov 2004

In Linux, there are some wonderful commands to start and stop your network interface called ifup and ifdown. You can also get the status of an interface by entering ifstatus. This works great for most people who don't deal with multiple network interface cards and who don't mind doing everything by text in the console. But what if you've got a laptop that uses a wired interface for school, a wireless network at work, and yet a different network at home? It could get quite cumbersome doing all that ifup and ifdown for different interfaces and different networks all day long. What is to be done?

Enter the wonderful utility called netapplet.

The netapplet utility can easily be installed through YAST and allows complete control of all your networks and all your network interface cards. Here's a simple rundown of how to install it and get it running on SUSE 9.2 and the Novell Linux Desktop (NLD).

For NLD users, life couldn't be easier. Gnome on NLD most likely already has it installed and running. For KDE users on NLD, it's already installed, but you'll have to run it by pressing ALT-F2 and then entering netapplet. You'll see the little icon appear in your system tray. ?What little icon???, you ask? Well, let me show you. There are a variety of icons which could appear depending on your network cards or settings. To check, look for a little icon on your desktop toolbar that looks like one of these:

If you see any of those in your tool bar, then you're already good to go. The configuration options are quite intuitive and allow for configuration of almost any type of networks. If you click on the icon, you should see the following menu:

Using these options, you can easily switch between networks and set up additional networks or network options.

If you're on SUSE 9.2, you're not too far off from the land of ease, either. You simply have to download and install the program, and then follow the instructions above. To download, follow these instructions:

  1. Load up YAST and do a search for netapplet.
  2. Install the resulting package.
  3. Go into the runlevel editor inside the administrative settings and scroll down to the netdaemon listing. This needs to be running in order for the netapplet to run. In order to turn it on, simply click the enable button and then continue when it asks you to start the network service also. Click ok on the next window, and you're set. Click Finish on YAST and say yes to save the changes.
  4. Go ahead and get out of YAST. You'll not be needing it anymore.
  5. press ALT-F2 and enter netapplet. Press enter. You should see the icons previously mentioned appear in your KDE system tray, or your Gnome notification area.
  6. Have fun with your tool!

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