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The return of Simple Network Setup

September 20, 2023 — BarryK

For the last 4-5 years, in Quirky Linux and EasyOS, have used NetworkManager, which is a daemon that handles network connection pretty much automatically. Also, network-manager-applet, which is a tray applet.

Prior to that, the network connection tools were "Network Wizard", "Frisbee", "pgprs", "pupdial" and "Simple Network Setup" (SNS). There was a manager to choose between them, named "Connection Wizard".

I wrote Network Wizard circa-2004, PupDial circa-2007 and SNS circa-2010. Jemimah wrote Frisbee. Lloyd Standish wrote pgprs in 2008. A few people had input to improving them, and about 2012 (I think), Richard (rerwin in the forum) got involved, and pretty much took over maintaining them.

NetworkManager is great if it works; if it doesn't, that is a pain. I had a problem with Easy built with Debian Bookworm packages; wifi wouldn't work. I forget the message in the applet; might have been "Device not ready".
Well, testing easyVoid got that same problem, no wifi.

This failure with wifi is frequently reported, and fixes have been very ad-hock. Like roll some packages back to earlier version, or install 'wicd' then go back to NetworkManager and miraculously wifi works. In the case of Debian, I did manage to fix it, by substituting some packages for EasyOS Kirkstone-series, but have no idea how it got fixed.

I tried everything I could think of; NetworkManager in easyVoid refused to recognise wifi. Then I remembered the old Puppy network tools. I knew that Richard had been steadily improving them for years, so decided to give them a go. Installed SNS, as well as a tray applet that works with these Puppy network tools -- and so nice! Here it is is:


Richard has completely overhauled the code. There was a bug, reported on page three of this thread on the forum (with a fix):

SNS is all that 99% of users need. It is for situations where a DHCP server runs in the network, which is just about everybody. If your network requires manual setting of IP addresses, Network Wizard can handle that.

Those old Pup tools have remained in EasyOS, though very old and disfunctional. They are now updated with Richards latest code, and I have made some code changes to suit the EasyOS environment.

For example, /usr/local/simple_network_setup/rc.snsnetwork, that starts and stops SNS connections, only starts when X has started, to give plenty of time for network drivers to load. This is achieved by the enhanced "pup_event" mechanism, whereby /etc/ init.d/ will be delayed until X has started, then it will call the default network tool to activate the network interface.

I really don't see any reason to keep NetworkManager -- it can still be installed from the package repository of course.

I have left out PupDial and Frisbee. Network Wizard and pgprs have been updated, but not yet tested.   

Tags: easy