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Re: [PROPOSAL]: Support Alternate Network Device Naming Schemes

So I got some time to talk with Bill and Peter about this at FUDCon
(advantages of being face-to-face).

A few thoughts came up.
1) we need to run the idea of the patches to ifconfig, net-tools,
etc. by the upstream maintainers.  If they shoot us down on those,
we're back to square one.

2) libnetdevname will grow to effectively do what biosdevname does
today, which is to get the list of smbios strings for each PCI device,
and let us use those strings.  There would be no persistence - the
list is calculated all the time.

3) to avoid needing the above tools + libnetdevname needing to have
root privilages to be able to read /dev/mem to read the SMBIOS table,
we should expose the SMBIOS strings in sysfs.  Yes, that's a kernel
patch, but other similar smbios data is getting exposed in sysfs all
the time.

  3a) the string goes in a new file related to the PCI device.
  3b) some cards like chelsio have 2 ethernet ports, but only one PCI
  device.  Our SMBIOS string model doesn't account for this. :-(
  3c) may want /sys/firmware/smbios_pci/{strings} ->
  /sys/devices/pci... so we don't have to walk all of sysfs looking
  for the strings.

doing so, biosdevname goes away completely.

4) this doesn't change the netdevice name, doesn't
change the kernel net/ code,  and doesn't use udev at all.  But it
also doesn't provide us a way to add user-defined persistent aliases.
For that, we would need libnetdevname to maintain its own alias
database in /var/lib/.  I'm fine adding this later.

Matt Domsch
Technology Strategist, Dell Office of the CTO
linux.dell.com & www.dell.com/linux

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