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Re: Ifupdown dysfunctional, is a Provides: interface possible please?

Paul Wise <pabs@debian.org> writes:
> On Fri, Mar 28, 2014 at 5:28 PM, Josselin Mouette wrote:

>> Alternatively, we could make NetworkManager the default.
>> It is already here, it works, and it doesn’t have such problems.

> Or systemd-networkd.

systemd-networkd is not even close to mature yet.

If someone wanted to work with the systemd project to cover all of
Debian's requirements for a simple network management facility, I think
that would be a very worthwhile thing to do.  But there's a lot of work to

NetworkManager is closer and *could* be made to handle everything that
ifupdown does now, but it's substantially more complex than ifupdown, and
speaking as someone who mostly runs servers, I would definitely object.
ifupdown has a lot of problems, but most of those problems are around use
cases more complex than bringing up a single interface with either DHCP or
a static IP address, with no wireless involved.

I realize that doing that well is not horribly challenging, but that is
the most common server use case (and even desktop), and ifupdown does it
quite well.  I don't want to lose that, and I don't want to add a bunch of
complexity in order to satisfy that case.  I think there will always be a
place for a very *simple* system to handle that case with some pre and
post hooks for things like iptables rule installation.

I think part of the problem with ifupdown is that it's trying to do too
much.  It's trying to handle all possible network configurations, and some
of them (such as dynamic wireless with WPA and multiple known wireless
networks) are *way* outside of its original design and data model.  So it
struggles.  It's also not particularly adept with the new way that
networks are modeled in the kernel.

That doesn't make it a bad tool, but I think it means that we should
provide more guidance about what things it does well and what things it
does poorly.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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