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Linux tip: How to unlock the Gnome keyring at login (and get "almost-hibernation")


A while back, I installed Linux Mint on an old laptop I had lying around. While the system feels quite slick, it does suffer from some typical Linux woes, one of which is a complete inability to recover from Suspend or Hibernate. In other words, I can only cold boot the system; there's no way to suspend it.

After googling around, I came to the conclusion that this is a fairly tough problem to solve, and I decided to give up. Since security isn't critical for this system, I've configured Gnome to log on automatically for me (through Gnome's Login Screen Settings).

That went a long way towards resolving the problem, since Mint boots quite fast. I can now just turn the laptop on when I want to use it, and it's ready to go within less than a minute; that's not bad.

However, one more niggling problem remained: even after logging on, it kept prompting me to enter my password to the "Gnome keyring" so that it could connect to my Wi-Fi network. This was really annoying; it was almost like having to log on manually (because I still have to enter the password, wait for it to connect, etc.).

Luckily, there's a pretty easy workaround. It's not intuitive because it has nothing to do with the keyring itself, per se (the keyring prompt pops up because Gnome is trying to connect to my Wi-Fi network on startup). I found it on Johnny Chadda's blog, and it's quick enough to share right here:

  1. Right click the Network Manager icon in your panel, select Edit Connections, and switch to the Wireless tab.
  2. Select the connection you want to work with and click the Edit button.
  3. Check the boxes for Connect Automatically and Available to all users.

Combined with Gnome's automatic login and "remember applications" functionality (which keeps track of what was running when you last shut down your computer), this is almost like having a working Hibernate function. It's not bad!

Tags: gnome, linux mint, LinuxMint, passwords, security, ubuntu, wifi