nm-applet CA certificate file chooser should default to /etc/ssl/certs

Bug #529834 reported by Gabe Gorelick on 2010-03-01
6
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Network Manager Applet
Confirmed
Medium
One Hundred Papercuts
Low
Unassigned
network-manager-applet (Ubuntu)
Low
Unassigned

Bug Description

When attempting to connect to a secured wireless network (i.e. WPA/WPA2), the user is given a window where they specify all the parameters for the network (see attached screenshot). One of these options is a file picker to specify the CA certificate. However, this file picker opens to the user's home directory by default. Most users don't know where certificates are stored on the filesystem, so opening the file picker to /etc/ssl/certs by default would help a lot.

This behavior is confirmed on Karmic with nm-applet 0.7.996. I can't confirm on Lucid with nm-applet 0.8 right now because wireless doesn't work in my virtual machine.

Gabe Gorelick (gabegorelick) wrote :
summary: - CA certificate file picker should default to /etc/ssl/certs
+ nm-applet CA certificate file picker should default to /etc/ssl/certs
summary: - nm-applet CA certificate file picker should default to /etc/ssl/certs
+ nm-applet CA certificate file chooser should default to /etc/ssl/certs
Vish (vish) wrote :

I'm unable to confirm this bug on 0.8 in Lucid , this either seems solved or not an issue anymore.
Could you mention the exact steps necessary to recreate the bug?

Changed in hundredpapercuts:
status: New → Incomplete
Vish (vish) wrote :

Could you mention the exact steps necessary to recreate the bug?

Changed in network-manager-applet (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
Gabe Gorelick (gabegorelick) wrote :

Well, I've just discovered that there are actually a couple parts of the UI that have this bug. The most major one from a usability standpoint is when a user first connects to a new WPA wireless network and gets the window asking for different network parameters. This is what I posted in the screenshot above. This part I can't test in Lucid right now, as I only have a virtual image available and it virtualizes my wireless connection as a wired one.

But you can get that in Karmic if you try to log onto a new WPA wireless network. (I haven't tested other types of networks, but it probably exhibits the same behavior in every type of network where a CA certificate would need to be specified by the user.) If you don't have access to a new WPA wireless network, you can make network-manager forget about a previously used network by right clicking -> Edit Connections -> Wireless -> Delete. That way you can then try to connect and nm-applet should give you the window I posted above (assuming the UI hasn't changed in Lucid).

There are other parts of the nm-applet UI that exhibit this behavior though, namely every place where the user needs to select a CA certificate file. I can confirm on both Karmic and Lucid that the Edit Connections UI exhibits this behavior (right click on the network-manager applet, select Edit Connections -> Wireless -> Add -> Wireless Security -> WPA & WPA2 Enterprise (Dynamic WEP also works) -> CA certificate). Editing an existing connection likewise also suffers this problem.

This should be a one line fix for each of the UI elements, namely just call gtk_file_chooser_set_current_folder(GTK_FILE_CHOOSER (button), "/etc/ssl/certs");
on each relevant GtkFileChooserButtons, although I must warn I'm no Gtk+ expert and haven't looked at the nm-applet code that much.

Changed in hundredpapercuts:
status: Incomplete → New
Changed in network-manager-applet (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → New
Vish (vish) wrote :

This bug is an upstream one and it would be quite helpful if somebody experiencing it could send the bug the to the people writing the software. You can learn more about how to do this for various upstreams at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Bugs/Upstream. Thanks in advance!

Changed in network-manager-applet (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in hundredpapercuts:
importance: Undecided → Low
status: New → Confirmed

I am skeptical that this is a paper cut.

Changed in hundredpapercuts:
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
Gabe Gorelick (gabegorelick) wrote :

@David what makes this not a papercut? From the guidelines [1], a papercut is:
1. A bug, or an unintended problem occurring within an existing piece of software,
2. the presence of which makes a computer more difficult or less pleasant to use,
3. that is easy to fix,
4. that the average user would encounter...
5. in a default installation of Ubuntu or Kubuntu, Desktop Edition.

1. this is definitely an unintended problem
2. try logging onto a new WPA network in Ubuntu, from the perspective of a non-technical user, it is a nightmare. The UI pretty much forces you into specifying a CA cert, otherwise it yells at you that not giving one is dangerous, yet it provides no help to the user as to where these certs live on the file system
3. as I've said before, this should be a one line fix
4. anyone who wants to log onto a new WPA network will encounter this
5. this effects the default Ubuntu desktop edition

[1] https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PaperCut

Gabe Gorelick (gabegorelick) wrote :

Sent upstream.

Changed in network-manager-applet:
importance: Undecided → Unknown
status: New → Unknown
Vish (vish) wrote :

Thanks for sending upstream

Changed in network-manager-applet (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Triaged

Gabe, I'm just not certain that the bug has a wide enough audience. I'm confident that this bug's paper cut status will not affect whether and when it gets fixed, I just don't want to count it toward our goal of 100 paper cuts fixed in Lucid if it doesn't improve experience for most users. I've never had to choose a certificate, and I've never seen anyone do it, which is why I suspected it's not common.

Gabe Gorelick (gabegorelick) wrote :

Fair enough.

Vish (vish) wrote :

Closing papercut task as per comment10

Changed in hundredpapercuts:
status: Incomplete → Invalid
Changed in network-manager-applet:
importance: Unknown → Medium
status: Unknown → New
Changed in network-manager-applet:
status: New → Confirmed
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