Fix forgotten WPA password

Q I'm using Ubuntu Hardy on an Acer 5920 and running Windows XP in VirtualBox. I want to share folders between host and guest but am having trouble with my network settings. I can use the internet on the host over a WPA-encrypted link to my router but I've forgotten my WPA password. Network manager has it stored, but is set to roaming mode, which won't let me choose between static and DHCP addressing. If I disable roaming it wants me to put in the WPA key. If I switch roaming back on, it all works again so I know it's stored somewhere.

I don't want to reset the router because I'm plain lazy and don't want to set up all the family's computers to use a new key. I saved the router config to a file on my desktop PC but that's sitting in the loft because it won't fit anywhere else. So where do I find my WPA key? Is it just stored encrypted like my users' passwords? Or can I find it in plain text?

A If you're using the standard Gnome desktop, Network Manager stores its passphrases and keys in Gnome Keyring. Go to Applications > Accessories > Passwords and Encryption Keys to open the keyring. The network keys are held under the Passwords tab; select the one you want and press Properties (or just double-click on the key). Press the arrowhead next to 'Password' and then tick Show Password to see your password or key. It's a lot of mouse clicks, but that will teach you to be more careful with passwords in future.

The alternative is to change the WPA passphrase on the router, (assuming you've not lost the router's admin password too), and then update each computer or operating system to use the new key.

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