I wrote back in July about a wonderful wired and wireless network manager that made my life easy called wicd (pronouced “wicked”).  The best thing about it was that it just worked.  Well all that changed yesteday when my update manager pointed out that there was an update for wicd.  Naturally, I thought that the update would make the awesome software more awesome-er, so I installed it without hesitation.  Then I spent the rest of the night rueing my mistake.

I’ll tell you how I fixed the problem, but first, let me tell you what doesn’t work for me about the new 1.5.3 version of wicd:

  1. The gui is laggy.  When you open it, it takes a while before any of the options will respond, and even when they do, they sometimes take awhile to start working.
  2. I have a broadcom card (a source of woe within itself — curse all those companies that refuse play nice with the open source community) and the new version of wicd didn’t give an option to use the broadcom wpa supplicant driver.
  3. The install moves files around.  You will get a few notifications after the upgrade telling you that things moved around, but being a total n00b, I didn’t appreciate the gravity of this would bork the program.

So after much googling, I eventually found out how to fix my problem.  To be specific, I figured out how to unstall version 1.5.3 and reinstall version 1.4.2.  Let somebody else beta test their bugs, I need my wireless to work.  This thread on the Ubuntu forums provided the answer.  Here are the steps I followed to restore my wireless and my sanity:

  • Delete /var/lib/dpkg/info/wicd.prerm by entering the following in a terminal (found under Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal):

sudo rm /var/lib/dpkg/info/wicd.prerm

  • Purge the borked version by entering the following in the terminal:

sudo aptitude purge wicd

  • Download the deb package with the 1.4.2 version of wicd from this post in the thread.  Note that you will have to register on the forum in order to be able to download the package.
  • Install the 1.4.2 version by opening Thunar and exploring to where you downloaded the deb package.  Simply double-click it, and it the gdebi program will open and let you install the package.
  • Restart.

After I restared, my wireless just worked fine again.  I hope the same holds true for you.  Beware that the Update Manager will keep bugging you about the new version of wicd.  Fight the urge to give in.  And if anyone knows how to keep Update Manager from nagging you about the upgrade, please let me know.

Thanks to Noob on Xubuntu for the tip about installing a deb package from Thunar, to itsjareds for sharing version 1.4.2, to cutOff for posting the full instructions for restoring the old version. And finally, Thanks to diva_urd for expressing her indignation so well.