NetworkManager and the Ubuntu Upgrade

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screenshot of KNetworkManager

Some time back I upgraded hepcat, a Dell Inspiron 600m laptop, from Ubuntu Dapper to Ubuntu Feisty, skipping over the Ubuntu Execrable release. I've been pleased with how Feisty runs on my laptop with one exception: I didn't understand the big deal about NetworkManager. Seems like DoNothingManager might be a better name.

Then based on a comment I saw over at the Ubuntu Forums site, I edited the /etc/group and manually added myself to the netdev group. (Also powerdev for good measure.)

Once I did, I was amazed. The NetworkManager is awesome. Not only does it make it easy to lock onto and log into the wireless network of your choice, it even switches over to the wired network when you dock. This facility runs rings around the Windows network managers I've seen.

I don't know if this group file change is documented anywhere, but it's really important. Without it you could be missing out on one of the best parts of the Feisty upgrade.