Wired Network Cards

If you use a wired network card to access a broadband connection, most likely Ubuntu automatically detected and configured it for you during the installation process. You can tell by looking for the Network Manager applet icon on the top panel of your desktop.

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Ubuntu provides drivers to automatically detect and install many types of wired network cards. If Ubuntu doesn't detect your network card, you'll have quite a bit of work ahead of you. The easy solution is to find a network card that Ubuntu supports. Otherwise, you'll need to find the Linux driver for your network card, install it in Ubuntu, then use the modprobe command to insert the network card drivers into the Linux kernel. After all that's done, Ubuntu should recognize your network card.

If for some reason Ubuntu didn't detect your network settings correctly (or if you have to manually set a static IP address), you can do that using the Network Manager interface. Just right-click on the Network Manager icon in the top panel and select Edit Connections. The Network Manager dialog box, previously shown in Figure 14-3, appears.

From here, follow these steps to configure your wired network connection:

1. Click on the wired network card in the list, then click the Edit button. If there is more than one wired network card in the workstation, Ubuntu will name them starting at eth0 for the first card, eth1 for the second card, and so on. After you click the desired network card, the Editing dialog box, shown in Figure 14-4, appears.

Figure 14-4: The Network Manager Editing dialog box.

2. Configure the wired network card settings. The Editing dialog box contains three tabs of information for the network card:

• Wired: Sets the media access control (MAC) address for the card (which Ubuntu automatically detects) and the media transfer unit (MTU) size, with a default of automatic.

• 802.1x Security: Sets login details for connecting to a protected wired network. This feature is used by some network switches to restrict access to a wired network. If your network uses 802.1x security, consult with your network administrator for the proper settings to use.

• IPv4 Settings: Determines how the IP address for the network card is set. This can be either dynamically from a DHCP server, using the Zeroconf protocol to negotiate an address with other devices on the network or statically, using a configured IP address.

3. Click the OK button to save the new settings.

To enable the network connection, right-click on the Network Manager applet icon on the top panel and ensure that the Enable Networking entry is checked. Once you've enabled networking, Ubuntu will automatically attempt to connect to the network.

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