Howto Configure Multiple Network Profiles on Linux
Freedom To Roam
Mobile Linux users face some interesting (OK, vexing) challenges when they want to plug into different networks. Any Linux system will easily support all manner of networking profiles--dialup, ISDN, Ethernet, wireless--the tricky bit is configuration. Manually re-configuring a PC for every connection is low on most users' lists of "fun things to do." You can be an ace scripting guru and fiddle up something yourself, or you can find a nice ready-made utility to do the work for you. Unfortunately, I have not found a universal utility to do this. However, there are a lot of utilities specific to various distributions, and an assortment of other utilities, like:
- Red Hat's Network Administration Tool
- KWiFiManager, the Wireless Lan Manager for KDE
- scpm for SUSE
- cardctl's scheme option
- Netenv, for Red Hat and any system that uses a Red Hat-type network configuration scheme, and Debian
- Whereami for Debian. This is more complex to understand, but it's versatile and tries to auto-detect and auto-configure. Whereami will have its own howto here someday.
- Mandrake users have Netprofile
This article will cover Red Hat's Network Administration Tool, because it also works on Fedora, and CentOS and other Red Hat clones; KWiFiManager, because it's a great little easy-to-use GUI app, and Netenv. Both Network Administration Tool and Netenv support all network devices: Ethernet, wireless, ISDN, dialup, whatever. KWiFiManager only supports wireless adapters, but it is useful and easy.
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