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Re: ifupdown2: debconf followup

On Mon, Aug 01, 2016 at 04:43:27PM +0100, Simon McVittie wrote:

> > Last time I looked at it, systemd-networkd required several
> > configuration files just to bring up a single interface.
> What were the others, beyond the .network file? This is live configuration
> from my home server, which has two network interfaces and I didn't want
> it to bring up the other:
>     # /etc/systemd/network/lan.network
>     [Match]
>     Path=pci-0000:03:00.0
>     [Network]
>     DHCP=yes

Ah. Either I didn't know that, or things have improved since last time I
used it :)

> > I'd say a good starting point would be to try to switch the installer to
> > configuring NetworkManager or systemd-networkd, instead of generating a
> > /etc/network/interfaces file.
> This seems reasonable. I think NM is a better choice than ifupdown for
> roaming client devices (e.g. laptops), and systemd-networkd is a good
> choice for "infrastructure" devices like servers and NAS boxes.

Although I personally use NM for my laptops, I know that there certainly
are users who don't like it, and it is perfectly possible to configure
wpa-supplicant and/or ifupdown to do whatever NM does. It's not even
very difficult.

> > How would it work on Hurd and kFreeBSD?
> That's up to the people who want to support those non-default kernels,
> and I don't think it's reasonable to expect the rest of the distribution
> to do that work for them. One possible answer would be to write or adapt
> an ifupdown-like tool that works on those kernels and can consume (a
> sufficiently large subset of) systemd-networkd .network (and maybe .link)
> syntax, and/or NetworkManager /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/
> syntax. If that tool also worked on Linux, as a non-default option for
> people who want a non-default init or just don't like the default
> tools, so much the better.

Well, that sounds like a bad idea to me. By the time you support all the
features of networkd for example, you've just about ported networkd to
that non-Linux platform. If you don't support all the features, having
it look like a systemd.network file is just confusing to users.

The time spent writing such a hypothetical tool would then be better
spent keeping support for ifupdown in the installer for the non-Linux

> I think this might be a good opportunity to get away from the anti-pattern
> of defining a Debian-specific file format, which has a heavy risk of
> <https://xkcd.com/927/>.

Eh, that comic applies more to systemd than to ifupdown.

Now might be a good time to look at distributions that have adopted
networkd as the default way to configure interfaces, and see how they

Met vriendelijke groet / with kind regards,
       Guus Sliepen <guus@debian.org>

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