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Managing Your Network in Ubuntu

Updated on April 13, 2009

Ubuntu is a Distribution of Linux that is very easy to use and has great hardware support, making it a good choice for people who are new to Linux.

One of the great things about Linux is the great number of open source software that can be quickly and easily downloaded. Getting new Software for Ubuntu is very easy and a graphical interface is provided, so you can quiclkly install a program to convert MP3's or a new game to challenge your mind.

If you are using Ubuntu, setting up your computers IP address and managing your network is also very easy. First though, lets learn a little bit about IP Addresses.

View Your IP Address in the Network Connections Interface
View Your IP Address in the Network Connections Interface

What Are IP Addresses?

IP Address are used to identify computers on a network, kind of like a telephone number.

IP Addresses are divided into two categories: Internal and External.

When you visit a site like Hubpages or Google, you could also use their IP address. This would be an external IP address, which is unique across the entire internet. Cable Modems and DSL Modems also usually get their own external IP Address.

If your home computer is connected directly to a cable modem or DSL Modem, then you probably have an external IP address. However if you have a router, either wired or wireless, then you would have an Internal IP Address.

An example of a common internal IP Address would be, however they can be in the range of:

Internal IP Addresses: - – – 

To find out what kind of IP Address you have, double click on the Network Connection Icon in your system tray and select support.

If your IP Address falls into one of the above ranges, then it is an internal IP Address. Otherwise you have an external IP Address, which usually can not be easily changed.

Network Settings Manager
Network Settings Manager

Managing Your Network in Ubuntu

To manage your network, including connecting to wireless networks, you can use the Network Settings Interface. It is located on your system bar, or you can goto:

System → Administration → Network

If you have a wireless card installed and click on the Network Connection Wizard in your system tray, a list of available wireless networks will appear and you simply need to select the one you want to connect to.

Otherwise, you open the Network Settings from the Administration menu or click on the icon in your system tray and select “Manual Configuration.” This will allow you to change your wireless settings or set an IP Address.

Getting Started

To preform all of the following tasks, we need to first open the Network Settings:

1. Goto: System → Administration → Network
2. Click Unlock

Change Your IP Address
Change Your IP Address

Changing Your IP Address

1.Select the Connections Tab
2.Select The Interface that you want to 
  configure, which in this case is the 
  Wired Connection.
3.Click on Properties
4.You can now enter your own 
   IP Address, Net Mask, and Gateway.
5.Click OK once you are done.

Change Your Host Name
Change Your Host Name

Changing Your Host Name

1.Select the General Tab
2.Enter a New Host Name or Domain Name

Change Your DNS Servers
Change Your DNS Servers

Change Your DNS Servers

You can use the Network Settings menu to change DNS Servers, perhaps to use your routers ip address or a service like OpenDNS, and add Search Domains.

1.Select the DNS Tab
2.Click the Add Button next to the DNS Servers or Search Domains Box
3.You will be prompted to “Type Address”

Change Your Local Host
Change Your Local Host

Changing Your Local Host Settings

You can also quickly and easily adjust your Local Host settings by selecting the Hosts Tab, but this is a little bit of an advanced subject.


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