Network manager should have a "priority" option for wireless network

Bug #929948 reported by Romano Giannetti on 2012-02-10
This bug affects 23 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
network-manager (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

When several wireless networks are available, NetworkManager connects to one of the strongest SSID and there is no way (taht I know) to prioritize them.

Example: in Spain we have a SSID wireless network that encompass most universities, "eduroam". I have that network defined and it connects ok. But when I am in MY university, which has an eduroam SSID available, I want to connect to the local "comillas" network, even if eduroam is stronger in signal because the firewalls are configured differently and, for example, I can print only when connected to it. NetworkManager now will connect to the strongest or, if they are (they typically are) at the same strenght, to one of them randomly.

NetworkManager should have a way to mark "preferred" networks, to use even if there are other and stronger networks in sight. Thanks!

description: updated

Well, actually what should happen is that NetworkManager will connect to the last connected one that is available. In other words, if "comillas" is available and you connected to it the day before, that should also be the first to be attempted by NetworkManager. Then it would only change to a different network if that one becomes unavailable.

However, I can set this to Confirmed/Wishlist, since prioritizing connections is something that is asked pretty often and will possibly be on the roadmap for NetworkManager in the near future.

Changed in network-manager (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
importance: Undecided → Wishlist

@Mathieu: I totally agree, both on the analysis and the Confirmed/Wishlist status. Thanks.

By the way, the algorithm of "the last one" is not sufficient. Suppose I go to a nearby university, I can connect to eduroam (general access network), and do it. Then I came back to my university, where there is both eduroam and my local university network (with more privileges). I want to connect to that one, idependently from the fact that I was last connected to eduroam.

I understand, but those would be in nm-applet's list of the last five or so networks you've connected to before that are found in scan results now. At this point the "correct" network is listed in the "main" menu rather than needing you to navigate the submenu too.

So, right now it's a matter of two clicks and a relatively short mouse trip down, rather than maneuvering menus; in that particular use case.

This doesn't change that we'll eventually implement connection priorities, but it's not going to be fixed in 12.04, and so is a Wishlist bug. Upstream has it on a roadmap or is at least aware of the issue as a frequently requested change.

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