Sunday, December 23, 2007

Ubuntu Networking Resolved

This really shouldn't have taken so long. It wasn't even that difficult. But when you only spend a few minutes on something and only every few days or weeks, what do you expect! And the issues with Parallels and Leopard didn't help.

As Larry suggested, the "expert" solution was to edit /etc/network/interfaces and change:
#iface eth0 inet dhcp
iface eth0 inet dhcp
i.e. uncomment it.

As he also suggested, there is a way to do this from the GUI. When I went to System > Administration > Network I saw this:

[Notice the title bar says "Network Settings" although the menu option was just "Network". I always give my programmers heck for that kind of inconsistency.]

"Roaming mode" ??? I selected Wired Connection, clicked on properties, and changed it to:

[Yet more inconsistencies - I selected "Wired Connection" but I got "eth0".]

i.e. un-checked roaming mode and picked DHCP.

This has a similar effect to the "expert" method, adding a line to /etc/network/interface:
iface eth0 inet dhcp
I can see roaming mode might be a good choice for laptops, but it seems odd that it installed this way. Maybe something in Parallels makes Ubuntu think it doesn't have a regular wired connection. It would be nice if the network icon options at the top of the screen included an option to "save" your choice of wired networking (or just did it automatically).

Now when I reboot I still have a network connection. The tooltip on the network icon now says "Manual network configuration" which doesn't seem quite right to me - DHCP is pretty automatic. But I guess it's more "manual" than "roaming mode" (whatever that is).

I feel a little stupid at not having sorted this out myself right from the start but you can't win 'em all, I guess. Thanks Larry!

1 comment:

Larry Reid said...

I'm glad you found the place in the GUI to get your networking set up. What bizarre naming! It's bizarre stuff we ask our users to set up, so in a sense I can't blaim programmers for getting is so wrong. Still, it's frustrating.

It's also curious that Parallels behaves that way when VMWare Server (the free one) doesn't. Or maybe, as you say, the VM knew enough about the physical configuration that it thought it knew better how to set up the networking.