Network Manager is disabled by default on PC

I noticed this problem after installing a fresh version of openSUSE on another computer, and considered it something that should be examined and looked at: The network manager in the system tray is not functional by default. To enable it, you must enter YaST -> Network Settings and manually switch from Wicked Service to NetworkManager Service. The funnier thing is that from what I recall, this is only the case on desktop computers and not on laptops. I consider this wrong for two reasons:

First one is that in my opinion, every normal OS gives users an icon in the system tray to manage their network connections. In case they wish to see information about their connection (like IP address or signal strength), or to enable / disable one internet connection over another. Out of the box, users have no obvious way of controlling network connections, which I consider a huge flaw.

Second reason is that, an excessive distinction is being made between desktops and laptops. With the arguable exception of power management due to battery, I see no reason why laptops should ever be treated differently than desktops! It should also be noted that my desktop computer has a WIFI adapter and can connect to wireless networks if needed, whereas I use a 3G mobile broadband stick whenever my cable connection goes down… meaning I use the exact same connections on my PC as on my laptop.

Unless there’s a good reason to use it, could the wicked service be disabled on all installations by default, and networking handled by the network manager? If not, couldn’t desktop environments (Gnome, KDE, etc) adapt their network managers to support the default networking technique used in openSUSE? I hope that in any case, a better solution than the current one may be researched for the next release.

Not a request for assistance. Moving to General Chit-Chat.

Moved from Install/Boot/Login. Open for posting again.

I hope not. I rather like it the way that it is.

I’m not sure why this bothers you. It isn’t hard to switch to NetworkManager if that’s your preference.

Switching it was one of the first things I did when I installed openSUSE, it’s been okay for me since. I just don’t think it’s an optimal default as I see no purpose or advantage… whereas finding this switch might pose issues for newer and less experienced users, making the OS less user-friendly for casual users (a problem Linux always had as is).

I don’t see why someone would like it more like this, since it simply disables an important feature without improving anything to my knowledge. Users expect a network manager icon, which is the normal standard and present in every other computer OS. A custom network manager seems like an advanced feature that expert users would want to switch to for a good reason.

I agree with you. I had difficulty to connect to the Internet at my first boot, let alone with the problem of logging into the GUI now…
I am a newbie to opensuse. So sad because I heard it to be stable and open- box friendly.

Actually, I do agree that this is an issue which should be addressed… So, I’d also encourage the OP to submit a bug at

The existing implementation is such that someone decided that it’s better to install Network Manager but leave it disabled by default (default is to implement Wicked instead with its capabilities improved over previous versions of openSUSE). The problem is that the tray icon appears just because Network Manager is installed, and doesn’t contain past functionality to enable/disable as well as to configure and use NM.

This leads to confusion and misunderstanding because the average non-technical User will see the NM tray icon and assume that because it’s there, it has functionality. But, it’s non-functional. It’s just there to look at…

It appears that implementation is missing some important code which might be added a number of different ways…

  • Provide the ability to enable/disable which would largely mean copying the existing switching code in YAST > Network Settings > General tab and exposing as an additional menu selection.
  • Don’t install and display the tray icon when NM is installed. Instead port the code that makes the tray icon visible (installed) as a dependency of enabling/disabling NM, ie likely invoke it in the NM Unit file when disabling or enabling.

There are probably more ways to implement, but I’d like to see a return to leaving the NM tray icon installed and visible and add the enable/disable functionality, likely implemented as I described in the first option.

To the OP:
If you aren’t clear on what I just described, you can still create the bug in the bugzilla and just provide a link to this post. I hope that if someone decides to do what I described, it should only take a <short> afternoon to write the code and fully test.


I don’t think that’s true.

My experience is that when I install to my laptop, “NetworkManager” is enabled by default. When I install to a desktop, “wicked” is enabled by default.

It happens that my desktop does have a WiFi card. And it happens that my laptop was connected with ethernet during the install. So how it decides whether computer is a desktop or a laptop, I do not know. It cannot be based on the use of WiFi. Perhaps it looks at a combination of things such as touchpad, battery, etc.

The problem is that the tray icon appears just because Network Manager is installed, and doesn’t contain past functionality to enable/disable as well as to configure and use NM.

At least in Leap and Tumbleweed, that isn’t happening. The tray icon only appears when NetworkManager is actually running. In 13.2 and earlier it was as you described.

However, I would appreciate some sort of network config section during install, if only to set the hostname and domainname and whether to use NetworkManager.

I booted up KDE 5 today and saw that I also did not have the network manager icon (this was on tumbleweed–I just broke my Leap XFCE install attempting to add KDE to it, both in VM). Windows of all systems, for “ease of use” has the network icon, and actually did not have it in XP and earlier. Windows 7 added it, and I like it there because when the net goes down, it has a yellow icon letting me know something is wrong.

If this were to happen in OpenSUSE I probably would never have any indication of this, other than not being able to access websites. I say put it back to network manager, it’s great, and I think it’s also the one that tracks data usage. As cool as Linux is, I can plug in my phone and use that as mobile (but not portable) broadband. Please put the network system back in the tray, it’s very useful.

It hasn’t been removed. For KDE, if NetworkManager.service is used, then the plasmoid (plasna-nm5) is available. It is not for wicked though. Perhaps it would be useful if a basic wicked plasmoid did exist, even if only to show current network status.

Yeah… the problem isn’t KDE, it’s how openSUSE configures system basics by default (disabling the network management mechanism in this case).