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Bug#406108: Busybox ifconfig should allow setting the MAC address

On Tue, Jan 09, 2007 at 01:37:36PM +0100, Claus Fischer wrote:
: On Tue, Jan 09, 2007 at 10:12:59AM +0100, Frans Pop wrote:
: : No, it should not. Memory is valuable in the installer environment and 
: : having ping does not add anything. As Geert already explained, you can 
: : use wget instead for basic connection testing.
: Not if the next router doesn't run any TCP services,
: and you need to test the connection to the next router.

Let me add some arguments:
 - A small installer is nice,
   an installer without ping is in some situations almost unusable
   In fact, a ping of the next router might even be considered
   standard procedure during network configuration.
 - The ping/ifconfig commands could perhaps be extern (on CD)
 - The situation where cable modems require a certain MAC address
   is not uncommon where I live
 - When you call support at your ISP, the standard questions are
   (a) what's your MAC address
       how do I find that out without ifconfig?
   (b) can you ping the next router?
   (c) is your interface configured?

For a netinstall image that is dedicated to network installs,
the basic networking tool to test connections (ping) is an
absolute MUST.

The wget workaround is deficient for various reasons:
 - it operates on TCP, not on IP level
 - TCP is often routed differently, masqueraded, etc.
 - many hosts in the connectivity chain do not offer
   TCP ports known to be open
 - TCP tests lack the features of ping -R
 - ping has timing information which is important to
   judge the quality of the connection
 - ping sends repeated packets which is important to
   judge the reliability of the connection

In fact, the TCP test is an all-or-nothing test that is not
helpful to localize any errors. There's a good reason for
the existence of ping.

That's why I think that a ping of the next router
should be standard user-information of a network installer.


Claus Fischer <claus.fischer@clausfischer.com>

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