I think I’ve finally done it — achieved my ultimate goal of combining the awesome powers of the Debian /etc/network/interfaces file with guessnet, wpa_supplicant, ifplugd and now also with netapplet!

I’ve been looking for a way to just point-and-click to select a different access point, both at home and at work. To that end I have a pretty advanced interfaces file that automatically detects where I am, what I am connected with (cable/wireless) and then, like magic, sets it all up.

Several times now I have tried, really hard, to get used to and live my life with Network Manager, but it’s just plain impossible. It still doesn’t integrate well with Debian ifupdown et consortes and until now I’ve been using ifup to select different wireless mappings:

$ sudo ifdown eth2; sudo ifup eth2=WLAN
Password: ***********
[Use crappy work AP to access VPN tunnel]
$ sudo ifdown eth2; sudo ifup eth2=NETLET
Password: ***********
[Use family WRT54GL access point]

For the last couple of days I’ve been looking into getting the old (obsoleted?) Netapplet from Novell. Since I’m a Ubuntu user I’m using the Debian patched-up version by Matthew Garrett (thanks!). I remember using it a couple of years back, at that time I think it worked but now it didn’t — not well at least. I found several bugs and quirks that I have now fixed and published in my own “repository”.

I have published everything as a Bazaar branch, one changeset per patch (small patches), at http://vmlinux.org/jocke/bzr/netapplet-1.0.8, which can be viewed here using bzrweb.