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Thread: KDE: Is it possible to change "wlan0" shown in the Network Monitor widget?

  1. #1

    Default KDE: Is it possible to change "wlan0" shown in the Network Monitor widget?

    Hello everyone,
    Here's a screenshot of my desktop to better explain the request:



    If you take a look at the lower right section, I have added the "Network Monitor" widget to the taskbar, helps me monitor the up/down speeds without having to click on anything. As you can see, it says "wlan0". This is NOT the SSID of the connected wireless network, and it says "wlan0" no matter which network I'm connected to. My router's SSID is "Wireless Broadband", and my phone's hotspot SSID is "My Android O", but it always says "wlan0" in both the networks.

    Is there a way to change it to something better, say "My Wireless"?
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: KDE: Is it possible to change "wlan0" shown in the Network Monitor widget?

    The KDE Plasma "Network Monitor" widget is an applet which monitors the network interfaces. The text string "wlan0" or "eth0" or whatever, is the interface name which is being monitored.

    The displayed name of the WLAN (usually the SSID but, this may be overridden by the Network Manager setup) which is currently being used, is only visible in the "Networks" (System Tray) widget or, with the user "root", in the output of the CLI commands "ifconfig" and "iwconfig". The CLI command "iwconfig" provides detailed information about the per SSID and/or Connection-ID.

  3. #3

    Default Re: KDE: Is it possible to change "wlan0" shown in the Network Monitor widget?

    Quote Originally Posted by dcurtisfra View Post
    The KDE Plasma "Network Monitor" widget is an applet which monitors the network interfaces. The text string "wlan0" or "eth0" or whatever, is the interface name which is being monitored.

    The displayed name of the WLAN (usually the SSID but, this may be overridden by the Network Manager setup) which is currently being used, is only visible in the "Networks" (System Tray) widget or, with the user "root", in the output of the CLI commands "ifconfig" and "iwconfig". The CLI command "iwconfig" provides detailed information about the per SSID and/or Connection-ID.
    Now that I know better, logic suggests changing wlan0 in the widget to something else will require changing the interface name (the widget doesn't allow setting an 'alias' for wlan0), and I'm guessing doing this won't be easy/ problem-free (it might cause compatibility issues with other software that expect wlanx, ethx, etc to be present)?

    Anyway, I've installed a new widget (called "Netspeed") and this doesn't show 'wlan0' in the taskbar, just shows the up/down speed. It does show 'wlan0' if the mouse pointer hovers over it, but that's no big deal. Showing 'wlan0' in the taskbar itself felt way too "techy techy" if you know what I mean, a nice alias like "Wireless" would look better IMO. Netspeed's approach is better (at least for an ordinary user who is connected using only one network interface at a time)- it just shows the up/down speed in the taskbar, but then if you want more info, all you have to do is hover over the widget- it'll display the interface name, the total data downloaded, and the total data uploaded.

    Thanks for clearing things up, and the commands dcurtisfra.

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    Default Re: KDE: Is it possible to change "wlan0" shown in the Network Monitor widget?

    You can go through this thread if you want to rename your interfaces:
    https://forums.opensuse.org/showthre...urned-to-ethX-!
    Best regards,
    Greg

  5. #5

    Default Re: KDE: Is it possible to change "wlan0" shown in the Network Monitor widget?

    Quote Originally Posted by glistwan View Post
    You can go through this thread if you want to rename your interfaces:
    https://forums.opensuse.org/showthre...urned-to-ethX-!
    okay here's my /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules

    Code:
    # This file was automatically generated by the /usr/lib/udev/write_net_rules
    # program,run by the persistent-net-generator.rules rules file.
    #
    # You can modify it,as long as you keep each rule on a single
    # line,and change only the value of the NAME= key.
    # PCI device 0x8086:0x08b3 (iwlwifi)
    SUBSYSTEM=="net", ACTION=="add", DRIVERS=="?*", ATTR{address}=="18:3d:a2:e6:49:8e", ATTR{dev_id}=="0x0", ATTR{type}=="1", KERNEL=="wlan*", NAME="wlan0"
    Just to clarify, in order to change the interface name I keep everything same, just modify the last NAME="wlan0" to say NAME="Wireless"?

    And the OP in that thread said his firewall wasn't working as the interface name changed- does this mean my firewall will stop working if I change the name from wlan0 to something else?

    Very interesting read, thanks for the link Glistwan

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    Default Re: KDE: Is it possible to change "wlan0" shown in the Network Monitor widget?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnwinchester View Post
    And the OP in that thread said his firewall wasn't working as the interface name changed- does this mean my firewall will stop working if I change the name from wlan0 to something else?
    Yes, exactly. The Firewall operates on the interface's NAME -- meaning that, the Firewall rules will have to be changed if the interface's name is changed.

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    Default Re: KDE: Is it possible to change "wlan0" shown in the Network Monitor widget?

    I think you must understand that when you change the name of a device (if it is wlan0 to Wireless, or sdc to LargeDisk, or which name that provides the interface between the Kernel and the rest of the system), all mentioning of that name in all sorts of existing configuration files will not change with it. All those configurations (and the Firewall one will only be one of them) will become pointless.

    Thus when you do not have that change from the very beginning (the installation of the system), the chance that somewhere the old name is still in use after a later change is very likable.

    I think it is far easier to teach your end-user that wlan0 is the name of (one of the) Wifi connections of the system then to change the name. Maybe it helps when you explain those people that wlan is short for Wireless LAN and that LAN means Local Area Network, wich is "the network at your side of the router". And that the number 0 means the first of such devices found initialisation , eventual available other ones being names wlan1, wlan 2, etc.
    Henk van Velden

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    Cool Re: KDE: Is it possible to change "wlan0" shown in the Network Monitor widget?

    OTH, IMHO, the idea's not bad …

    Yes, yes, for "industry folks" (me, for example), the interface names "wlan0", "eth0", "lo", and so on, are "meaningful" (possibly, sometimes) …

    But, for "normal" human beings, almost certainly not.

    Therefore, the "thing" displayed to a "normal" user should, IMHO, be something less technical and more descriptive. Such as "Wireless" or "Cable" …
    • Which, for the programming folk, is, actually, an interface category -- possibly a class …

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    Default Re: KDE: Is it possible to change "wlan0" shown in the Network Monitor widget?

    Quote Originally Posted by dcurtisfra View Post
    OTH, IMHO, the idea's not bad …

    Yes, yes, for "industry folks" (me, for example), the interface names "wlan0", "eth0", "lo", and so on, are "meaningful" (possibly, sometimes) …

    But, for "normal" human beings, almost certainly not.

    Therefore, the "thing" displayed to a "normal" user should, IMHO, be something less technical and more descriptive. Such as "Wireless" or "Cable" …
    • Which, for the programming folk, is, actually, an interface category -- possibly a class …
    I was not commenting on what an application (in this case something the OP calls a Network Monitor) is implementing and how it is interfacing to an end-user ( I do not even know that application).

    I was commenting on a system administrator wishing to change the device names on his system. That is IMHO a bad idea.

    When I understand correctly what the OP wants, he wants an application that shows, what is happening with the connection to a specific wireless access point. The application should of course (I would not really know another easy way) use the device name to obtain that information. Thus the solution lies in using another application, or writing one, or ..... Not in changing the device name.
    Henk van Velden

  10. #10

    Default Re: KDE: Is it possible to change "wlan0" shown in the Network Monitor widget?

    Quote Originally Posted by dcurtisfra View Post
    OTH, IMHO, the idea's not bad …
    Yes, yes, for "industry folks" (me, for example), the interface names "wlan0", "eth0", "lo", and so on, are "meaningful" (possibly, sometimes) …
    But, for "normal" human beings, almost certainly not.
    This is exactly what I mean.


    Linux has been so successful in pretty much every other field (from cellphones to supercomputers, from toasters to NASA) except on the desktop of the average user, and here’s why I think this is:


    1. The public perception of it being an OS made by the geeks to be used by the geeks. Using technical terms in the GUI doesn’t help. Neither does the idea of editing config files and the shell prompt. While these design decisions might be incredibly useful for people who understand the science behind the system, they just reinforce the public perception of Linux being too geeky for the average human being who wants anything more than emails and a web browser. Believe it or not, MANY average users who don’t understand the underlying technology use advanced Windows programs like Net Speed Monitor, Comodo Firewall, Open Hardware Monitor, Connectify Pro, etc. The trick is, these programs perform advanced tasks without expecting the end user to come from a solid IT background. The average user has reasonable control over advanced operations. Like Comodo firewall- it allows you to selectively block certain applications just by clicking on menus- you can allow Program A to access the internet, block Program B from accessing the internet, Program C to only make outgoing connections, Program D to only receive incoming connections, only ICMP for program X, only TCP/IP for program Y, etc- all this by just clicking on pop-ups and menus.

    In Linux, you need to learn to use ip6tables, which is way too technical for the average user.


    2. Lack of a killer “Linux- only app”.
    There are Windows/ Mac programs that don’t run on Linux. But when they make a Linux desktop program, chances are they will make a Windows version of the same (this I believe is by design- programs are open-source and can be modified for any platform). Open Office runs on Windows, but MS Office doesn’t on Linux. Gimp runs on Windows but Photoshop/ Illustrator won’t run on Linux. An average user wants to run average desktop programs, he doesn’t care if there’s some server software that will run better on Linux- he will never run a server. Desktop software for average users that doesn’t run on Windows will give users a reason to switch.


    3. Complex installation process for apps.
    In Windows, you search google for app X. You open App X’s web page.You check if App X will run on your OS (the vendor page mentions this- “Runs on Windows 7,8,10," etc.). You download the app installer and clickety click your way to install it.
    In Linux you’re fine if the app is present in the official/default repos of your distro. If not, you search for the repo that provides it, add the repo, attempt installing, go thru all the dependencies and make sure you’re not changing something that’s being used by something else, and then finally install it. Even after all this, there’s a chance your installation will break the system as the repository you used is not officially supported by your distribution (or- more likely- you have made an error while resolving dependencies).



    4. I saw this YouTube video where Torvalds said he believes Linux is not as popular on the desktop because OEMs don’t bundle Linux like they bundle Windows. With all due respect, I have to disagree with this analysis. The country I live in, people do the opposite of what he said. They buy laptops which come with Ubuntu (because Ubuntu laptops are generally cheaper- no Windows license fees). Then they format the installation and install a pirated copy of Windows, followed by a bunch of pirated software. And Microsoft ALLOWS this, they’d rather have users with pirated Windows than let them switch to Linux.

    IMO, Torvalds- as smart as he is- has got this wrong. Points 1,2, and 3 are the real reasons preventing widespread Linux adoption in the desktop market.




    Quote Originally Posted by hcvv View Post

    I was commenting on a system administrator wishing to change the device names on his system. That is IMHO a bad idea.
    I agree. The widget that showed “wlan0” in the GUI has now been replacecd with a widget that doesn’t show it. The replacement widget is called “Netspeed” and can be installed easily with (Right-click desktop empty area→Click “Add Widget”→ click “Get new widgets”→ search for “Netspeed”). Works perfectly, here’s a screenshot.


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