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Re: Insufficient documentation for configuring a ethernet device & /etc/network/interfaces


Heres the 1st draft of the man page for /etc/network/interfaces 
I think I have covered most of the main things. However If I have left out
something please do direct me in the right direction.

Also this is my first attempt at writting a man page, with out knowing the page
description language used. I looked into available man pages to identify the
page description tags required and also used help2man's output for the basic

Keep :-)

.\" Generated by passing the text file thro help2man 1.019.
.TH INTERFACES "5" "27 March 2000" "Debian Linux 2.2" "File Format's Manual"
interfaces - configuration file for ifup(8) and ifdown(8)
/etc/network/interfaces is an ASCII file which defines the different
networking interfaces available in a debian system. This could be the
loopback interface or the ethernet interface or so. This is inturn
used by the ifup and ifdown programs.
This file basically consists of many sections, with each section
corresponding to a specific interface in the system.
Each section starts with the interface declaration line which gives
a name to the interface and also specifies its type. Next its followed
by 0 or more lines which specify different options for that interface
like the ip_address, netmast and so , the details of which can be
obtained from the ifup(8) or ifdown(8) man pages. Depending on the kind
of interface there could be some _required_ options, which one should
always specify, Also there could be some _optional_ ones which one
may or may not specify as required.
.B Any given section will look like this
iface name_of_interface address_family method_for_iface_params
.B The field descriptions are:
.I name_of_interface
the name of the interface like lo, eth0 or so.
.I address_family
the usual one is inet. There are others also like inet6, ipx, etc.
Look at ifconfig(8) for more info.
.I method_for_iface_params
this specifies the method used for specifying the different
parameters(like address, netmask, gateway, etc) for the interface.
Possible values are loopback, static, dhcp, ppp, etc. Look at
ifup(8) or ifdown(8) for more info.
.I option_for_this_method
this varies from one method to the other. For example the loopback
method requires no options. Where as for the static method one has
to specify the ip address & the netmask at the minimum, and can
also specify the gateway, the network and so if required. Look at
ifup(8) and ifdown(8) manpage for details.
These options are ideally listed one below the other
in independent lines following the interface declaration.
For a machine having loopback device it would be
# Loopback inteface specification
# Notice that this method requires no options
iface lo inet loopback
For a machine having Ethernet card with static ip address
# Static specification of an Ethernet interface
# Note that here the address and netmask are compulsary
iface eth0 inet static
Ethernet interface with address configuration using dhcp
# Ethernet interface using dhcp method
# Assuming pump is used for managing dhcp on this client
iface eth0 inet dhcp
hostname potato_kvc
leasehours 2


ifup(8), ifdown(8), ifconfig(8)

This is specific to the Debian Linux system.

If you have any networking device, then see to it that the proper
driver is either built into your kernel or is loaded as a module
(using modconf or conf.modules or using modprobe or insmod).

ifup and ifdown author
ifconfig author

This man page is written by Hanish Menon C <hanishkvc@hotmail.com>.
If you find any errors or changes please don't hesitate to notify me
or any other concerned person so that we can together keep this
document updated.

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