I am confident this is a great piece of software. I am confident that this piece of software works great on some machines.
But something inside me wishes it would demonstrate both qualities on my machines. Each time I try it, I fiddle with it for a few minutes, and give up in disgust and go back to system-config-network, or manual configuration.
This time around, though, claims of it being properly fixed/rewritten/hugely improved drew me to trying it again – because I’m sitting at my parent’s place in Belgium where there is one wired and two wireless networks (for this house alone), as well as a slew of other open networks in the street that all seem to have NETGEAR as the ESS-ID. So, why not give it another try ? I’m on FC 4, the instructions explain how to install this wonderful new version on FC4, this should be easy!
The first thing that always bothers me about NetworkManager is the name. Some people feel that programs with capitals in them are cute. Those people live on the other side of the fence from where I live.
The second thing is that I don’t know what to start after installing it. I can’t find anything in the menus that brings up NetworkManager. I just checked again – there is Desktop>System Settings>Network which brings up system-config-network, and there’s two things I never noticed before, but only just now noticed because I tried to look really hard for NetworkManager – Applications>System Tools>Internet Configuration Wizard, which brings up internet-druid, and Applications>System Tools>Network Device Control.
Ok, let’s try Net[tab] again. Start up NetworkManager.
[thomas@thomas ~]$ NetworkManager You must be root to run NetworkManager!
Oh, excuse ME! There’s no real NEED to use exclamation marks to get your point across!
Run as root. It doesn’t say anything, nothing happens. What else does Net[tab] give me ?
Let’s try NetworkManagerInfo. Pops up a notification area. Shows me one network. Can’t find the one I know is there.
/var/log/messages gives me
Oct 21 11:11:53 thomas NetworkManager: process_scan_results: assertion `res_buf_len > 0' failed Oct 21 11:11:53 thomas NetworkManager:
(): nm_device_wireless_process_scan_results(eth1): process_scan_results() returned an error. Oct 21 11:12:13 thomas NetworkManager: process_scan_results: assertion `res_buf_len > 0' failed Oct 21 11:12:13 thomas NetworkManager: (): nm_device_wireless_process_scan_results(eth1): process_scan_results() returned an error. Oct 21 11:12:18 thomas dhcdbd: dbus_svc_init: dbus_bus_request_name failed: org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.AccessDenied Connection ":1.11" is not allowed to own the service "com.redhat.dhcp" due to security policies in the configuration file Oct 21 11:12:18 thomas dhcdbd: Failed to initialise D-Bus service.
Switching to the network it discovers doesn’t work, and of course that means I’m left without a network connection again.
Sigh, It’s like February, 2004, and 2003 all over again.
I know I shouldn’t complain, and help by bug reporting or bug fixing, but on a stock FC4 system I should be able to expect it to get some simple basics right, no ?
Oh, and btw, the service script is also called NetworkManager. In a directory of 78 files that, in good tradition, are named in lowercase, NetworkManager had dropped two scripts called NetworkManager and NetworkManagerDispatcher. I’m sure people will say I’m nitpicking and this is a trivial thing. For me it’s just a sign of how NetworkManager has, as goal number 1, to be “different” enough from everything else. A goal in which it succeeds admirably by being even less functional, for even more time, than the tools that I’ve grown to work with in Fedora.
I am sure I can be convinced, six months from now, to try it again, when someone praises it highly enough. Until then.