Network Manager Summary

Owen Taylor otaylor at
Thu Apr 3 22:37:05 UTC 2008

On Thu, 2008-04-03 at 17:14 -0500, Mike Chambers wrote:
> Ok, I want to make sure I understand how this works, or at least see if
> Dan or someone can help explain what/when to use this tool exactly.

Disclaimer: I'm not Dan though I sit a few feet from him and have
discussed this stuff with him a fair bit. Hopefully he'll follow
up and correct me where I'm wrong.

> Soo, is network manager *only* (or at least currently) used on
> wireless/wired systems (such as laptops obviously) for connecting back
> and forth?  Or is/can/should it be able to be used normally on just a
> wired desktop system as well with no wireless connection?  

NetworkManager is certainly intended to handle all systems with a 
Desktop running on them. It probably could also handle many server
systems, but for now that's not an explicit target.

> And if so, does it start up in the proper place, so the proper services
>  will start up and can be used without errors?

This solution for start order problems are two pronged:

 A) There's no reason NetworkManager can't be moved earlier (though
    starting NetworkManager is as far as I know async, it's not going to
    wait until DHCP completes before moving on in the in the init
    scripts. Waiting for DHCP can be a pretty big bottleneck in 
    system startup, so that's probably a good thing, all in all.)
    Moving NetworkManager earlier may require moving D-BUS earlier
    as well.

 B) But the system generally should be fixed so that it can deal
    with the network coming up later. After all, if I boot my
    desktop and the network cable unplugged, I shouldn't have to reboot
    or mount -a to get my network filesystems, should I?
    (Using the problem in as an example.)

> I know this topic sort of has/is being discussed, but mainly on various
> topics/problems/bugs.  But thought might give Dan an opp. to do a quick
> run down on what services to have on/off to get it working, and
> what/will work currently with NM starting on boot, in place of
> (conjunction with?) normal networking as before.


 NetworkManager: on

 network: off. It is possible to mark interfaces
   in /etc/sysconfig/network to be skipped by NetworkManager 
   (you add something like NMCONTROL=off, though that's not the exactly
   the right option) and have a hybrid NM + network system, but there's
   little point. In the normal case NetworkManager starts everything
   including lo.

 wpa_supplicant: off (harmless if on, probably will be on in upgraded
   systems. It's currently activated by NetworkManager on demand
   via D-BUS.)

- Owen

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