Ubuntu: Fixing network interfaces not showing in GUI on Ubuntu Server

Ubuntu Server and Ubuntu Desktop use different network managers. Ubuntu Server uses networkd which doesn’t have a GUI component. So after adding a desktop to Ubuntu Server you won’t be able to see or change the configuration via the GUI by default.

Ubuntu DesktopUbuntu Server
Configuration toolnetplannetplan
CLI managernmclinetworkd
GUI managerNetworkManagern/a

For you to be able to see the network settings on the GUI you need to switch from networkd to NetworkManager.

Install NetworkManager:

apt install network-manager network-manager-gnome network-manager-openvpn network-manager-openconnect network-manager-openvpn-gnome

Check which systemd network daemons are active:

systemctl list-unit-files | grep -i network

Disable/stop networkd services:

systemctl disable systemd-networkd.service
systemctl disable networkd-dispatcher.service
systemctl stop systemd-networkd
systemctl stop systemd-networkd.socket
systemctl stop systemd-networkd.service
systemctl stop network-dispatcher.service

Remember that nmcli can be used for CLI NetworkManager control also.

Network interfaces are listed in yaml files in /etc/netplan/

Edit /etc/netplan/50-cloud-init.yaml and edit the line or add a line after the version: 2 entry to be renderer: Networkmanager.

      dhcp4: true
  version: 2
  renderer: NetworkManager

Check the changes and apply them:

netplan generate
netplan try / netplan apply

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