priorities and dependencies for network interfaces

Florin Andrei florin at
Sat Feb 12 22:02:11 UTC 2005

I've a laptop with a wired network interface (eth0) and a wireless
network interface (eth1). Both interfaces are configured for DHCP. The
wireless interface can connect to any SSID.
If i boot up the laptop without a network cable plugged in, the wireless
card will find an access point, get an address and all is good.
If i boot up the laptop with a network cable plugged in, it will get an
address and a default route from the wired network, but then it will do
the same with the wireless network! Often, this will result in unusable
network configuration (static route clashes, etc.)

I wish my laptop would stop activating any other interface once the
wired network card is on.

Possible solution:
The various network interfaces should have dependencies:
- set a flag on ethX so that, if ethY is already up, don't activate ethX
- set a flag on ethX so that, if there's already a default route, don't
activate ethX
- etc
Also, the order the interfaces are brought up should not depend on the
interface name (first eth0, then eth1, etc.) because some interfaces are
named in a very different way (ath0, ppp0). Therefore, each interface
should get a priority flag (an integer) which should determine its place
in the boot-up queue.

I'm currently playing with /etc/init.d/network and hacking it to
implement some features mentioned above. But i'd like to get the group's
opinion before investing too much time and effort.
What do y'all think?

Florin Andrei

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