Network configuration future

Dan Williams dcbw at
Fri Sep 7 21:34:47 UTC 2012

On Fri, 2012-09-07 at 21:02 +0000, "J├│hann B. Gu├░mundsson" wrote:
> On 09/07/2012 07:13 PM, Dan Williams wrote:
> > I'm not sure the right place for this sort of
> > thing is in the init system.
> Well I happen to be sure that the init systemd regardless of which 
> flavor of the month it is should handle this because it is responsible 
> to signal the service(s) and or order the service after the network 
> connection is established.
> To me it's pointless to have the plethora of network managment 
> application that exist out there playing some kind of middle man there 
> talking to the init system and telling it when it's ready or when it's gone.

I don't think the init system should really be responsible for a ton of
the network management, otherwise you'll have people like Denys V.
saying it's too bloated and should be simpler.  I'm not really sure that
moving everything a network management system *should* be doing into the
init system solves any problems WRT complexity.  There's clearly a gray
area here, but my assertion is that if you put a significant amount of
logic into the init system, where does it end?  If you don't add
bridging, then people are going to request bridging in the init system.
And if you add it there, then why not add bonding?  Where does it end?
Next, for the things it *doesn't* do, how does it interact with the
other management system that *does* do those things?  What mediates the
shared resources like DNS and the default route?  And they all have to
use the same configuration formats too.

> And here comes the bigger question what is keeping all you networking 
> guys from simply combine all that effort and coming up with one single 
> network application that everybody can use happily from embedded to 
> servers to desktop?

Because everyone is different, everyone has their own requirements and a
lot of people don't care about anything *except* their own requirements.
Saying "you have to take an extra step after plugging your network
device in because server-type people need it to work this way" is just
as much a non-starter as saying "you have to upgrade your kernel driver
because we made this option automatic instead of manual so desktop users
don't have to toggle a checkbox" to server people.

That's Free Software.  If we all agreed, 6 months later somebody would
come up with a different system because they didn't like D-Bus, didnt'
like the base library we were using (glib/qt/whatever), didn't like the
API or the configuration model, etc.

There's room to work towards consensus on functionality, but at the
moment I don't see a lot of momentum towards a Grand New Unified Plan,
partially because that's how free software works.  It would be great if
we had one, and I'm certainly willing to entertain changes to
NetworkManager that make it more capable for anyone's use-cases.  Nobody
thinks NM has reached perfection, least of all me.


More information about the devel mailing list