The wiki has more information about how the the configuration of NetworkManager works. Also be sure to check out the information on system settings to learn how NetworkManager integrates into your distribution's normal configuration system.
NetworkManager is designed to be fully automatic by default, but offer a high level of manual control when required. To use NetworkManager, its service must be started. Simply start the NetworkManager service. NetworkManager ships with initscripts to do this for most distributions. If your distribution is not supported, we would appreciate patches to include support for your distribution of choice. NetworkManager will then automatically start other services as it requires them (nm-system-settings for system-wide connections, wpa_supplicant for WPA and 802.1x connections, and pppd for mobile broadband).
NetworkManager is designed to be secure, but that does not obsolete standard network security practices. Security must be implemented in each network. NetworkManager supports most network security methods and protocols, including WEP, WPA/WPA2, WPA-Enterprise and WPA2-Enterprise, wired 802.1x, and VPNs. NetworkManager stores network secrets (encryption keys, login information) using secure storage, either in the user's keyring (for user-specific connections) or protected by normal system administrator permissions (like root) for system-wide connections. Various network operations can be locked down with PolicyKit for even finer grained control over network connections.
NetworkManager has pluggable support for VPN software, including Cisco compatible VPNs (using vpnc), openvpn, and Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP). Support for other vpn clients is welcomed. Simply install the NetworkManager VPN plugin your site uses, and pre-load the user's machines with the VPN's settings. The first time they connect, the user will be asked for their passwords.
NetworkManager is distributed under the GNU General Public License v.2, and is Copyright © 2004-2012 by the NetworkManager project.