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Re:Proposal: Network configuration file format

>>>>> "Rene" == Rene Mayrhofer <rmayr@vianova.at> writes:


        Pretty interesting ... describing the lay out of the network,
sound really good; my comments follow

        On splitting the files, I think the sollutions is KISS: an
'include' directive. This would allow people to have the choice, and
perhaps, multiple files are wise for some, whereas not for
others. Using the include directive, the application which processes
it to configure the network only has to read one file (aka
/etc/network/conf) and do the work.

Rene> 1. Global: All definitions that are valid for the whole host.
Rene> Any ideas what entries should belong here ?

        Well, the main host and fqdn. However, other interfaces
(real/virtual) should be able to be called by it's name and fqdn.

Rene> All interfaces in one network entry share the same netmask and
Rene> broadcast and network address as they are on the same physical
Rene> network.

        I don't agree to this. As it is possible to have different
interfaces plugged to the same physical network, this should be ok,
but you may want to make different logical networks on the same
physical network, and thus, allow the possiblity to make each
interface have it's netmask and broadcast.

        I've done this before (this setup), not now. Perhaps it's not
a _big_ point, but I think offering the choice would be ok.

Rene>   [Interfaces] Optional parameters: 

        I'd also add more ifconfig's stuff, like setting MAC addresses
and such (in the sam fashion as ifconfig 'hardware-address ether
de:ad:be:ef:00:32', for example).

Rene> # The ISDN connection to the outside
Rene> network "isdn" { ...
Rene>   # Maybe we should put in the ISDN settings here too (telephone
Rene>   # number, protocol, ...)

        I think it should do. Having all the info centralized
somewhere helps making it easy. However, I don't know the case of
ISDN, but on PPP (dialout) there's currently a nice setup to have
different chatscripts and peers to login. If ISDN has something
similar [I'm sure], it'd be nice to be able to define, somewhere
inside the ISDN/PPP stuff, or perhaps outside, as it is done now (as
/etc/chatscripts) stuff like this: 

chatscript "provider0" 
  # Two setups, the fast one and a detailed one. This is a detailed one
  timeout = 30
  abort_on = { BUSY, "NO CARRIER", VOICE, "NO DIALTONE" }
  chatsequence = { "", ATZ0, OK, ATDT342232324, CONNECT }
  # A fast one
  telephone = 3223245

some stuff should be added for more advanced chat features and

As well, for the peers (actually /etc/ppp/peers), I think that should
go into the ppp section which would get all the global PPP options
/etc/ppp/options, and inside, each peer would have a similar

  # Global PPP options
  peer "my provider"
    options ...
    chatscript "whatever"
      # per-provider actions to do on link-up
      execute = "programs to execute on up link"
    # Similarly with link-down

    # Global actions to do on link-up
    execute = "programs to execute on up link"
  # Similarly with link-down

and so on; the thing is there's no need to change the actual PPP
structure, as a set of update-network-* scripts or your config program
would translate that information into the actual /etc/chatscripts and
/etc/ppp/* files.

        You may object this would interfere or step over the toes of
network definitions. I'm trying to build up how this should work
together, but I'm thinking of something like:

# The PPP connection to the outside [shamelessly copied from your ISNDs]
network "ppp" {
  interface "ppp0" { ppp "my provider" } 
  # some stuff more?

perhaps something like this would allow the two methods to co-exist
and ease it's configuration. I see problems, for example, that the
newtork "ppp" section may refer to interface "ppp0" and ppp "my
provider" could use interface ppp1. This is a consistency problem
which should be addressed by the configuration tool or the wise
administrator :)

        Well, just more ideas to confuse. I'm willing to do something
useful for Debian, and I'd love to help you out with this. Have free
time [not too much, but guess enough], so please count with me for
coding stuff for this. The only thing I don't know too much is
firewalling, but on the ppp side and easing stuff for novices I'd like
to help.


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