(This is a supplement my web site to on using Linux on laptops,
and to my web page on accessing the campus wireless system

Using 'wicd' to connect to the secure campus wireless service at
the University of Birmingham (UOBWLAN)
Aaron Sloman

20 Jun 2009: Problem with wicd and selinux on Fedora 10
After a recent kernel update I started having problems: wicd would no longer connect to wireless networks and I was getting error messages from dhclient in /var/log/messages.

I solved the problem by running system-config-selinux and setting permissive mode.

For a more complete discussion see:

It is possible to reset selinux to the secure mode after a connection has been made.

NOTE ADDED 26 Jun 2010: I now disable selinux completely in

by using

2 Jun 2009: Fedora 10, using wcid
For unknown reasons I started having difficulty connecting to wireless networks after upgrading my three and a half year old Dell latitude D610 from F9 to F10. My old scripts using wpa_supplicant did not connect as reliably as they used to, and I could not get NetworkManager to do anything useful. I had previously, when using Fedora 9, found that for connection to public services, e.g. at airports, 'wlassistant' worked well, but I found even that failing to connect after recent upgrades of the kernel.

However I have now discovered that 'wicd' (pronounced 'Wicked'?) works very well, although it means I have to stifle my dislike of graphical interfaces. I would much prefer to find a way to get my old scripts working. But for now 'wicd' works instead, as described below. My thanks to Damien Duff for advice when I first started it up.

NOTE ADDED 26 Jun 2010: need to run 'dhclient -r'
I later found a web site suggesting that there was a problem with dhclient not releasing connections properly.
I was then able to get my scripts working again, by doing the following after starting wpa supplicant (run either as root, or using 'sudo'):
    # release any previous dhcp lease
    dhclient -r

    # start up a new dhcp connection using eth1
    dhclient eth1 -v

    ###(also works with 'wlan0' instead of 'eth1' on Fedora 13)
The '-v' flag is not necessary but provides useful information about how the connection process is proceeding, and when it has succeeded.

Wicd on Ubuntu Intrepid
It seems that some users of Ubuntu Intrepid who were having trouble with NetworkManager find that 'wicd' works fine.
E.g. see
Entry for December 5th, 2008, 12:17 PM (Gaccm).

Installing wicd on Fedora 10
I fetched the latest stable version (wicd-1.5.9) from here:
and followed the instructions here:
(apart from changing the 'wget' command to fetch a more recent version, 1.5.9, selected from the sourceforge web site.) I did not have the problems with selinux mentioned in the moinmoin message.

Using wicd on Fedora 10
Wicd has two components, a server and a client. After installation I ran 'system-config-services'. I used that to disable NetworkManager, and to ensure that the 'wicd' service was running.

Then to get the client running I typed, in an xterm window:

    wicd-client -n
That brought up a panel showing available networks. See the image below (shown after connection was completed):


In some parts of the building it showed more options, including UOBGuest.

In principle it would be possible to invoke wicd via a mouse menu, or have it launched automatically when X11 starts up. For now I am happy to give the above command to start it up.

To configure a network (eg. UOBWLAN) click on the white right-pointing triangle next to the name. That brings in two more buttons labelled 'Scripts' and 'Advanced settings'.


I have found that once the connection has been made I can click on 'quit' to get rid of the wicd window, and the connection goes on working.

It also connects with my wireless access point at home using WPA-PSK+TKIP.

Installed: 2 Jun 2009
Last updated: 2 Jun 2009; 26 Jun 2010

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