WiFimgr Logo  
WiFimgr FreeBSD Logo

About

wifimgr is a GUI-based tool to manage WiFi network configuration.

wifimgr supports open networks, and secured networks using WEP, WPA-PSK and WPA-EAP with manual password or encryption key configuration. Automatic configuration for WPS is not supported, but passwords for WPS networks can be entered manually as for WPA-PSK networks.

wifimgr acts merely as an editor of the wpa_supplicant.conf(5) file. Actual network interface configuration and management is still done by the wpa_supplicant(8) program. Networks in the configuration file, together with new networks found by a scan of the WiFi interface are displayed to the user. The user may enable/disable networks as needed, enter either passwords or EAP configuration together with a short comment, and set a connection priority. When the "Save" button is clicked, the enabled networks are written back out to the wpa_supplicant.conf(5) file and the network interface is restarted.

wifimgr was originally written for users of the XFce4 window manager but it will work in any environment with the GTK+ libraries installed.

Screenshot

WiFimgr Screenshot

WiFi Security

WiFi networks can operate with several security methods.

Security can be off. This is known as an open, plaintext or insecure network. All packets broadcast over the network can be intercepted by others and their contents examined. Networks in public places such as airports and hotels are often open networks. Such networks can still be used securely, but it is up to each application to provide its own security and it is up to the user to confirm, before each network use, that application security is in use. ssh, https and PGP email are examples of applications offering security themselves.

Early WiFi security was done using WEP, Wired Equivalent Privacy. WEP uses a shared password to encrypt all data transmissions. Unfortunately, the encryption technique used by WEP was easily cracked and software to do this is widely available.

A replacement to WEP known as WPA, or WiFi Protected Access, has become more widely used today. However, due to the urgency with which it was needed, some vendors implemented it before the standards were completely approved. This has led to there being several variants of WPA. Early implementations are known as WPA networks. Once the standard was approved, it was renamed to RSN, or Robust Secure Network sometimes referred to as WPA2.

Both WPA and RSN offer several security models. Home users and small businesses might use a shared access key, known as a pre-shared key (PSK). Depending on the access point's capabilities, there can be a single PSK for all users or a separate PSK for each user. Larger enterprises might use more complex key management schemes by means of RSN/WPA's extensible authentication protocol (EAP). EAP typically requires large keys and certificates stored in files and some EAP variants require more extensive configuration.

All WiFi security was developed by the IEEE 802.11 Working Group. WEP was the original IEEE 802.11 standard. WPA was the later IEEE 802.11i draft 3 standard. RSN is the finalized IEEE 802.11i standard.

The security being used on a network is set in the access point configuration. wifimgr detects what security is available on a network and prompts the user for suitable configuration to use it.

Installation

wifimgr was written for the FreeBSD operating system. It should work on NetBSD and OpenBSD too, but this is not yet tested. It is not designed for users of Linux systems or other operating systems.

On FreeBSD, wifimgr can be installed from the ports system either as a binary package or by compiling the source. To install from binary package, do this:

    # pkg_add -rv wifimgr

To deinstall:

    # pkg_delete wifimgr-*
To install from the port, do this:
    # cd /usr/ports
    # portsnap extract net-mgmt/wifimgr
    # cd net-mgmt/wifimgr
    # make
    # make install

To deinstall:

    # cd /usr/ports/net-mgmt/wifimgr
    # make deinstall

Note: After a new port version is submitted to FreeBSD, it will take some days before it is committed and then some more days before the binary packages of that version become available. If the packages are not yet available, you must compile it using the port. Alternatively, you can download the tarball below, and compile and install it manually.

Configuration

A network interface must be configured for WiFi use in /etc/rc.conf. This is best done using a configuration entry such as:

FreeBSD 8.x, 9.x, 10-current:

    wlans_ath0=wlan0
    ifconfig_wlan0="WPA DHCP"
FreeBSD 7.2:
    ifconfig_ath0="WPA DHCP"
using your appropriate interface name instead of ath0 above.

NLS Support

wifimgr supports the use of NLS to display the program's messages in the user's native language. Anyone wishing to provide a translation is encouraged to do so.

The translation files are in the wifimgr/po directory. Simply copy the wifimgr.pot template and edit it with translations of all messages. Then send it to me at the email address below.

Use of UTF-8 encoding is strongly preferred and requested.

For more information, see the GNU gettext manual.

Source Distributions and Version History

If building using the FreeBSD port, the port framework will fetch the source tarball automatically.

Use these links if you are building by hand...

STABLE VERSIONS

wifimgr-1.10.tar.bz2 2012 February 11

wifimgr-1.9.tar.bz2 2011 November 15

wifimgr-1.8.tar.bz2 2011 August 15

wifimgr-1.7.tar.bz2 2011 February 1

wifimgr-1.6.tar.bz2 2010 August 31

wifimgr-1.5.tar.bz2 2009 December 29

wifimgr-1.4.tar.bz2 2009 December 18

wifimgr-1.3.tar.bz2 2009 December 13

wifimgr-1.2.tar.bz2 2009 December 3

wifimgr-1.1.tar.bz2 2009 November 24

wifimgr-1.0.2.tar.bz2 2009 November 23

wifimgr-1.0.1.tar.bz2 2009 November 15

wifimgr-1.0.tar.bz2 2009 November 11

Contacting the Author and Port Maintainer

If you have comments or suggestions for changes please get in touch with fbsd@opal.com.

Links