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Re: network-manager as default? No!

Jon Dowland <jmtd@debian.org> writes:

> 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).

I think you're conflating the administrator of one server with the
administrator of many servers.

A server administator can often be simply someone administrating *one*
machine, without expert mode or preseeding or any of the rest; simply
setting up a single headless machine in a remote data centre.

So network access, once available to the machine, must remain available
during the installation and/or upgrade process unless explicitly

> 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.

So long as the default *is* smart. A default which can in many cases
leave the remote user without access to the machine they're installing
is not smart.

> 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?

I think it is wrong, based on the fact expressed in these threads that
NetworkManager can, by default during upgrade, bring down the network

> 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.)

Such a server administrator as I've described above has the expectation
that the networking configuration, if it works once on installation,
won't need to be changed nor special packages installed to keep it
working on upgrade.

That is a reasonable expectation, and AIUI argues against NetworkManager
as default.

 \     “I must say that I find television very educational. The minute |
  `\       somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a book.” |
_o__)                                                    —Groucho Marx |
Ben Finney

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