11 Jun 2009: This file is now completely out of date - please ignore

Please see this file (about wicd) for more up to date information about connecting to the Birmingham University UOBWLAN network.

This file was part of Aaron Sloman's linux on a Dell Laptop site here
which includes more detailed information on using wpa_supplicant here.
Please see the disclaimer.

The instructions given here have been tested on Ubuntu, but may work
on other recent versions of linux that include network-manager-gnome
or network-manager-kde and the nm-applet (which shows as a little icon
indicating wireless signal strength on your task bar).

Using network-manager and nm-applet (and since June 2009 'wicd')
to access the Bham Campus Wireless Network
and the 'eduroam' service

(Information provided by Martin Escardo)

NEWS 3 Jun 2009 (Use 'wicd' instead of NetworkManager.)

It seems that many people have found that in very recent versions of linux (including Fedora 10 and recent versions of Ubuntu), NetworkManager no longer works as expected. In that case 'wicd' provides a good alternative. I have added information about how to install and use it with the secure bham campus wireless network, at least on my machine running Fedora 10, here. I suspect the instructions work as well on Ubuntu and other versions of Linux.

NEWS 13 Nov 2007

Zeth Green has also provided instructions, for Ubuntu linux users, here

NEWS 19 Dec 2006

There is a new 'Authenticated Wireless Network Certificate' for Windows users to download from the campus web site here. Thanks to Nik Hodges I have installed a linux version of this here

Update: 30 Nov 2006
Network-manager can also be used for vpn. See this file.

Update: 14 Nov 2006
Added more information for Ubuntu users, and added a section on using eduroam, and a section on hibernate/suspend also provided by Martin.


From: Martin Escardo

I would like to share some information that might be useful for linux
users wishing to connect easily to the university wireless network.

Please feel free to use/modify/distribute the information enclosed
below. I tried to make this as concise as I could.

Best regards,

How to connect to UOBWLAN using network-manager under linux.

(Slightly edited by A.S.)

This works for linux under the gnome and kde desktop managers. I have
tested it under ubuntu/debian linux using gnome in a Dell D410 laptop,
but it should work for other linux distributions and machines, and
other desktop managers.

1. First make sure you have a university login name and password.

2. Download the file

   to your machine. This file is needed in step 6 below.

3. Make sure you have suitable wireless hardware.

4. Make sure you have either "network-manager-gnome" or
   "network-manager-kde" installed.

   To install it in debian systems, including ubuntu, run from a

       $ sudo apt-get update
       $ sudo apt-get install network-manager-gnome

   If you are a kde user, replace "-gnome" by "-kde".

   This will install any drivers needed for your wireless hardware
   automatically, if it is not already installed.

   For more information on using NetworkManager on Ubuntu see

   Information relevant to other distributions of linux, can be found here:
     (though this is yet another web site that is not designed
     for users who wish to increase font size: [A.S])

5. After this, the "nm-applet" should be running in your taskbar. If
   not, run "nm-applet &" from a terminal (without su).

6. Last step: enter the correct information in the nm-applet.

   * Left-click the applet.

   * Select "Connect to Other Wireless Network...".

   * Enter network name "UOBWLAN"

   * Select Wireless Security "WPA enterprise".

   * Select Key Type "TKIP".

   * Select identity (enter your university user name).

   * Enter your password.

   * Click "CA Certificate file", and then navigate your file
   system to find "bhamuni.der" that you downloaded in step (2).

   * Leave all other fields unchanged, including the blank ones.

   * Click connect.

That's it; after a minute or so you should be connected provided you
are in a hotspot.

Using the 'eduroam' service (e.g. when visiting another UK University)

You can also, with your uni bham credentials

    (a) connect to other universities in the UK, Europe and other
        countries when you are travelling,

    (b) have guests from these universities to connect to our network.
        (Provided that the guests already have accounts at a
        participating university: they must use their own credentials
        when connecting to eduroam while visiting here.)

For linux users, just follow the previous instructions with the
following modification:

    (i) Use network name "eduroam" (instead of "uobwlan")

    (ii) Your user name should be "user@realm" where "realm" depends
    on your institution. For us, it is "", so that your full
    user name happens to coincide with your university email address,
    but this is not always the case for other institutions, and so
    guests should check in advance with their institutions. So you
    should warn your guests before they visit you.

The list of universities is available at

I have checked that I can connect to our university wireless using
this instead. The security and the speed are the same, and so I don't
see why not to use always use "eduroam" and the full user name, but
there may be reasons I don't know.

For more information, see

Once you have logged to the network, all the information provided to
the nm-applet gets remembered, so that you don't need to supply it
again when you connect next time here or outside.

However, I haven't yet tested it in other universities.

Using the nm-applet with 'hibernate' or 'suspend'

Another thing: when you hibernate or suspend to ram and then wake up,
it takes a while for the nm-applet to start working again, but it
eventually connects again in an available network. Once the nm-applet
is up and running, if you left click it you'll see a list of available
networks, provided these networks broadcast their names or you have
already connected to them at least once.

Maintained by Aaron Sloman
School of Computer Science
The University of Birmingham