Connect to wireless networks from a desktop shortcut instead of using Panel!

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Connect to wireless networks from a desktop shortcut instead of using Panel!

Post by weinj1 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:40 pm

I am new to linux but I'll try to explain. Please be patient with me.
My brother-in-law, who lives in a different city, is turning 70 this year and has only recently started using a computer. He likes to take warm trips to Mexico during our cold winters and I've been showing him some simple things like internet browsing for trips and checking his email account. He doesn't have a computer so he goes to the local library and uses the public machines there. I now have available an older Acer Aspire One netbook (Intel Atom 2600, 2Gig RAM, 32 Gig hard drive, Broadcom wireless) that I would like to set up for him. It had Windows 7 starter on it originally so I wiped it and re-installed Win 7 Starter. It worked okay but it was extremely slow to start an application. It took 30 seconds to open the browser. Once opened it seemed to work but overall I found it too slow and I don't want my brother-in-law to be turned off by the experience. So I installed multiple versions of Linux on it to see if they were faster and settled on Linux Mint XFCE which seems to work really well on it. My brother-in-law has no interest in learning about computers, he just wants to use it. In order to make it simple for him (double clicking the mouse is still a challenge for him) I created a password protected user account for him and on his desktop I've created shortcuts/launcher to start Geary email, Chromium, Facebook, another for his calendar, and a desktop shortcut to shutdown the computer (so he doesn't have to maneuver through the Panel). This way he doesn't have to worry about user ID's and passwords after he logs into his user account. The problem I have is I'm not able to create a desktop shortcut/launcher for Network Manager that lists available wifi networks to sign in. I believe the panel uses NM-applet to perform this function but I would think it would be easier if he could start it from a desktop shortcut as I've auto hid the panel due to the small screen size.
I have found Network Connections and started it from a shortcut but it doesn't list available networks.

Is there a way to start NM-applet type of function from a desktop shortcut or is there another network manager that will do this?

I know this is a long story but I thought it might be better to include the background to help explain what I'm after.
Thank you for your patience.

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