[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: network-manager as default? No!

On Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 01:39:38PM +0100, Philip Hands wrote:
> > Surely a person managing a server can do "aptitude install ifupdown 
> > network-manager-"?
> You appear to want to inflict extra work on large swathes of our
> users.  If that is the case, I'd like to see some sort of justification
> for that.

Does the following assumption hold?

Desktop users favour fewer prompts at install time and more "sane default"
choices.  Server users want fine control over the nuances of installation,
but harness additional technologies/options to help with installations
(starting with expert mode and continuing with netboots and preseeding,
other technologies like FAI, etc.; followed by a configuration management
solution to finish implementing local policies).

Therefore, slanting d-i towards fewer questions in normal priorities and
more desktop-oriented "smart defaults" does not disadvantage server users,
because they toggle the relevant switches to have greater control anyway.

Or in other words, if a server user does an attended install via d-i, doesn't
trigger expert mode and accepts the defaults for most questions,  is it wrong
if they end up with NetworkManager?  Surely there are a lot of other
customisatons they will need to perform to get going, in a similar category
of risk (to remote operation) as changing the network plumbing (installing
SSH? reconfiguring PAM? etc.)

And finally, the vast majority of servers I have adminned have had very simple
networking requirements, very similar to a desktop user: one network interface
with a link, IP via DHCP (at least initially, later tweaked to be static).  Of
the hundreds of machines I've looked after, past and present, very, VERY few
have had the need for the more interesting stuff: bridging for VM hosts,
bonding, tunnelling and a few other bits and pieces for HA front-ends, that's
about it.  Where it has been necessary to reconfigure by hand, the burden of
swapping some packages around would pale in comparison to writing the
interfaces file.

> In the absence of such justification, I don't see what's wrong with the
> status quo (i.e. N-M on Gnome desktops by default, ifupdown elsewhere by
> default, with both choices entirely overridable by the user)

Having said all of the above, and the thread being where it is now, I have to
admit I can't remember what the value proposition was in the first place. Time
to re-read...

Jon Dowland

Reply to: