NM asks non-administrative user for the PIN even though it's in the system-connections file

Reported by Uqbar on 2011-01-17
This bug affects 50 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
network-manager (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: network-manager

I've configured a system-wide 3g broadband connection.
In fact it's there a file with all the provided details in /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/ .
If I switch (log-out + log-in) to a non-administrative user, as soon as I plug the USB 3G modem I get asked the modem PIN.
This is included into the mentioned file.
The objective is to allow a "normal" user to connect with the modem with out the knowledge of username, password and PIN.
The defails follow.

$ lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description: Ubuntu 10.10
Release: 10.10
Codename: maverick

How to reproduce the bug:
1. Log in as an administrative user (the first one you create at installation time)
2. Plug the USB 3G modem into a port
3. Go to System-->Preferences-->Newtwork Connections-->Mobile Broadband
4. Fill all the needed details (as well as the PIN)
5. Check "Automatically connect" and "Available to all users"
6. Test the connection is working.
7. Check the file in /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/
8. Reboot (maybe just logout and long is enough)
9. Log in as the administrative user
10. Plug the USB modem

What happens
The system asks for the PIN. You can ignore this request. Then you can go to the
netowrk icon and select the broadband connection and click it. This time the PIN
is not required and the connection fires up.

What is expected to happen
No PIN is required at the modem insertion and the connection fires up automatically.

Extra steps.
11. Create another non administrative user which is capable to connect through modems (groups dialout and dip).
12. Switch to this new user
13. Plug the USB modem.

What happens
The system asks for aìthe PIN. You cannot ignore this request.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 10.10
Package: network-manager 0.8.1+git.20100810t184654.ab580f4-0ubuntu2
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.35-24.42-generic
Uname: Linux 2.6.35-24-generic i686
Architecture: i386
CRDA: Error: [Errno 2] File o directory non esistente
Date: Mon Jan 17 20:50:21 2011
 auto lo
 iface lo inet loopback
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 10.10 "Maverick Meerkat" - Release i386 (20101007)
IpRoute: dev wlan0 proto kernel scope link src metric 2 dev wlan0 scope link metric 1000
 default via dev wlan0 proto static
Keyfiles: Error: [Errno 2] File o directory non esistente
 0: phy0: Wireless LAN
  Soft blocked: no
  Hard blocked: no
SourcePackage: network-manager

Uqbar (uqbar) wrote :

Thank you for taking the time to report this bug and helping to make Ubuntu better. The issue you are reporting is an upstream one and it would be nice if somebody having it could send the bug to the developers of the software by following the instructions at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Bugs/Upstream/GNOME. If you have done so, please tell us the number of the upstream bug (or the link), so we can add a bugwatch that will inform us about its status. Thanks in advance.

Changed in network-manager (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
Bigfoot (me-eckschi) on 2011-02-02
Changed in network-manager (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Confirmed

Can you please check if the resulting file in /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/ contains the PIN in a "PIN", "password" or "secret" field?


Changed in network-manager (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
importance: Undecided → Medium
Uqbar (uqbar) wrote :

Yes, it does.
I get the broadband connection even if I dismiss the dialog.

Bigfoot (me-eckschi) wrote :

for me the directory /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/ is completely empty

Uqbar (uqbar) wrote :

Have you define the connections as "available to all users"?
If not, the connection will be local to the user defining it.

Changed in network-manager (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Triaged
assignee: nobody → Mathieu Trudel-Lapierre (mathieu-tl)
Peter Schüller (schueller-p) wrote :

I have the same issue, connection is stored in /etc/NetworkManager/systems-connections/ the connection is available to all users, pin is set.

If the device is recognized at bootup time the connection is established without asking the pin.

If I disconnect the device and connect it again, the device is always recognized, then the pin is asked, but if I cancel the dialog the connection is established anyways.

Anders Feder (afeder) wrote :

I've fixed this: lp:~anders-feder/network-manager-applet/bug-704123

Someone else has to figure out how to get it into Ubuntu.

Anders Feder (afeder) on 2011-09-13
Changed in network-manager (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → In Progress
Changed in network-manager (Ubuntu):
assignee: Mathieu Trudel-Lapierre (mathieu-tl) → nobody

Unassigning myself from the bug since Anders appears to be working on it.

Anders, if this is the case, please assign yourself: this shows you're working on the bug.

I'm adding my comments on your fix in the merge request. It looks nice (haven't tested yet), but will need a little more work (I've added the details).

Please, don't hesitate to ask for more information if you need, or ping me on IRC (though I will be out for a little while tonight, but will look at this bug and the related merge again as soon as I can).

Anders Feder (afeder) on 2011-09-14
Changed in network-manager (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Anders Feder (anders-feder)

The attachment "Fix for bug #704123" of this bug report has been identified as being a patch. The ubuntu-reviewers team has been subscribed to the bug report so that they can review the patch. In the event that this is in fact not a patch you can resolve this situation by removing the tag 'patch' from the bug report and editing the attachment so that it is not flagged as a patch. Additionally, if you are member of the ubuntu-sponsors please also unsubscribe the team from this bug report.

[This is an automated message performed by a Launchpad user owned by Brian Murray. Please contact him regarding any issues with the action taken in this bug report.]

tags: added: patch

I haven't been able to find a way to determine if a PIN code is configured, so I am unassigning myself. Anyone is welcome to continue work on the patch I submitted here:

For details about the issue that stopped me from proceeding, see this posting:

Changed in network-manager (Ubuntu):
status: In Progress → Confirmed
assignee: Anders Feder (anders-feder) → nobody
Anders Feder (afeder) wrote :
Changed in network-manager (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Anders Feder (anders-feder)
status: Confirmed → In Progress
Anders Feder (afeder) on 2011-10-12
Changed in network-manager (Ubuntu):
status: In Progress → Fix Committed
Anders Feder (afeder) wrote :

Patch for this issue committed upstream. Fix should show up in network-manager 0.9.2.

almursi (haqqshahid) wrote :

Hi, I have a similar problem (useless request of pin), but together with other related to the console device, because my ZTE MF190 successfully connect only on ttyUSB4, but usually when I did not cancel the request for pin, it tries to connect to ttyUSB2 (fortunately seems to be alternating between one and another ttyUSB when I unplug and try again, but it also means that if I did restart session again encounter the problem of failed connection attempt to ttyUSB2). The truth is that I am not clear what process handles the assignment of ttyUSB, so I'm not sure where to explain this bug :). Best regards.

Menno (1aunthpad-0ut) wrote :

This seems a duplicate of https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/675039

Narcis Garcia (narcisgarcia) wrote :

I still have the same problem with Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty) and the USB modem "Huawei K3770".

$ aptitude show network-manager | grep -ie "version"
Version: 0.8.4~git.20110319t175609.d14809b-0ubuntu3

Narcis Garcia (narcisgarcia) wrote :

How can I fix this problem on Ubuntu 11.04 (gnome desktop) without upgrading to 12.04 ?
The version 0.9.2 of network-manager is only available from Ubuntu 12.04

Rada (ldrada) wrote :

Hi, this bug is still present in Ubuntu 12.04. How do I apply the fix?

Gregor Riepl (onitake) wrote :

The network-manager package is bumped to version in precise, but the bug still occurs.

Is it necessary to purge certain old files before it will disappear? Did the fix that was committed previously actually address the problem?

H.i.M (hir-i-mogul-gmail) wrote :

Bug still present in precise.

Gary M (garym) on 2012-05-18
tags: added: natty precise
tags: added: oneiric
Anders Feder (afeder) on 2012-05-23
Changed in network-manager (Ubuntu):
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
Peter Silva (peter-bsqt) wrote :

This bug still occurs on precise, using 0.9.4. I can connect (without using the PIN), the PIN is entered in the configuration, but while connected it prompts to enter the pin, then states that the PIN cannot be applied while connected. I disconnect, then apply unlock, and can connect again.

Please reopen the bug.
I can also affirm that the problem is still existing on ubuntu 12.04 (network-manager

Anders Feder (afeder) wrote :

Sorry, I don't have SIM card to test with. I unassign myself so someone else hopefuly will pick it up.

Changed in network-manager (Ubuntu):
assignee: Anders Feder (anders-feder) → nobody
Zta77 (zta77) wrote :

I too can confirm that the bug still exists on Ubuntu 12.04 with network-manager

Thomas Hood (jdthood) wrote :

> I too can confirm that the bug still exists on Ubuntu 12.04 with network-manager

So I guess this report should be re-opened.

summary: - PIN is asked despite it's configured into the system connection
+ NM asks non-administrative user for the PIN even though it's in the
+ system-connections file

If you get this bug on Precise, please attach debug logs: see http://wiki.ubuntu.com/DebuggingNetworkManager

Changed in network-manager (Ubuntu):
status: Fix Released → Incomplete
Thomas Hood (jdthood) wrote :

@Uqbar and any one else affected: Can you reproduce this in Ubuntu 12.04?

Gregor Riepl (onitake) wrote :

Thomas, I can't say if the bug is completely reproduceable in Precise. I tend to restrict stored PINs to the current user for security reasons. In this case, the PIN dialog appears whenever I log in. It's an annoyance, albeit a minor one.

My take on the issue is that nm should not ask for a PIN at all. Only when a connection is made should the user be presented with a PIN dialog - and in this case nm will know if a PIN is stored or not, no matter if system wide or user specific. YMMV, but I think this approach would kill all birds with a single stone.

Darren Dalv (001dalv) wrote :

Like onitake, I also think nm(-applet?) should not ask for a PIN at all.

I have a SIM-card plugged into my laptop which I only need occasionally. Annoyingly, nm asks me on every log-in to enter the PIN, whether I use it or not. Also, it is not clear what will happen if one enters the PIN (instead of pressing just escape on the dialog). Will nm make a connection? Even if it's not the users intention? What does it need the PIN for then?

At least make it configurable, so that I can disable this (at least for me) useless behavior.

Ganton (ganton) wrote :

This bug still exists in Kubuntu 13.04, at least. If I boot the computer with the modem plugged in -> I can connect to internet (because the computer remembers the PIN that I gave it). However, if I plug off the modem and I plug it in again -> the computers asks for the PIN... like if it didn't know it!

Gregor Riepl (onitake) wrote :

I can confirm that the same applies for Ubuntu 13.04.

While browsing the source code, I learned that the dialog will not be presented if the environment variable INDICATOR_GREETER_MODE is set (the value seems to be irrelevant). However, I haven't found a good way to pass this variable to nm-applet yet.

Additionally, I'm using the WWAN modem with multiple SIM cards, and having a single PIN for all of them is not an acceptable solution. However, I would like to have a configuration for each network operator/SIM card with the respective PINs stored for each connection. This is possible with nm-applet - but getting rid of the dialog is not.

f92ja (f92ja) wrote :

Same problem here on Debian Wheezy 7.1 with network-manager, but I eventually found a dirty workaround:

The layout of the PIN dialog is defined in /usr/share/nm-applet/gsm-unlock.ui. If this file is renamed, whatever program spawns the dialog silently fails. Hence the bugging dialog will not appear, but the connection works nevertheless.

Alexander Heuer (evilphish) wrote :

After having this problem for years now, it is still there with 13.10.
Hardware used:
ID 0bdb:1911 Ericsson Business Mobile Networks BV
All I want is for the network manager to save the SIM pin and use it from then on without bothering me with every login...

To post a comment you must log in.
This report contains Public information  Edit
Everyone can see this information.

Other bug subscribers

Remote bug watches

Bug watches keep track of this bug in other bug trackers.