[libvirt] ANNOUNCE: netcf, a platform-agnostic library for network configuration

David Lutterkort lutter at redhat.com
Thu Apr 2 23:30:46 UTC 2009

I am pleased to announce the availability of netcf 0.0.1, the initial
release of a library for managing network configuration in a platform
agnostic manner. If I were into code names, this would be the "what have
you been waiting for" release.

Netcf does its work by directly modifying the 'native' configuration files
of the host it is running on; this avoids a whole class of problems caused
by similar approaches that do network configuration behind the back of the
native mechanisms. The API allows listing of configured interfaces,
defining the configuration of an interface, retrieving the same (regardless
of whether the interface was initially configured with netcf or not), and
bringing interfaces up and down. This functionality is needed both by
libvirt and NetworkManager, so it seemed only logical to move their common
needs into a separate library.

This release is mostly geared at soliciting feedback and sparking spirited
reviews. In particular, the API is not stable yet (it will be with the
release of netcf 0.1.0) Besides general comments, criticism and the
customary praise, I am particularly interested in reviews on the following:

  * The API (barring any strong objections, I will declare it stable)
  * The XML schema for describing network interfaces (in data/xml/interface.rng)
  * General code review

Where can I get it ?
Main website

A tarball can be downloaded from

The git repo is at
  git clone git://git.fedorahosted.org/netcf.git

For those running Fedora 10, I built some preliminary RPM's and made them
available at

(and if you are a Fedora reviewer, the review BZ is 493750 ;)

How can I help ?
Join the mailing list at

Currently, netcf can set up simple Ethernet interfaces, bridges with
enslaved physical devices and bonds on Fedora. This points to two areas
where improvements are most needed:

  * support other Linux distros and operating systems
  * expand what kind of interfaces netcf can handle (most sorely needed are
    VLAN's and adding bonds to a bridge)

If you can help with either of these two, or anything, really, drop a note
on the mailing list so wecan discuss.


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