NetworkManager Support for Interface Identification by Name
Connection configurations will be optionally bound to interface names instead or in addition to a MAC address.
- Name: Pavel Šimerda
- Email: psimerda at redhat.com
- Targeted release: Fedora 19
- Last updated: 2013-03-05
- Percentage of completion: 10%
Currently most types of connections are matched against the kernel network interfaces using MAC addresses. This is good for desktop usage with GUI tools for devices that have permanent MAC addresses. Unfortunately, there are devices that generate MAC adresses during initialization. On servers, administrators often prefer relying on kernel interface names. In some virtualization solutions, virtual network interface cards may have random MAC addresses on each start.
Therefore we want to provide the option for server administrators and power users to choose to bind connection configurations to interface names. Desktop users would continue to use their GUIs which would make the choice on their behalf.
Benefit to Fedora
This change would make Fedora properly support devices without permanent MAC address. At the same time, it would add a network-scripts feature missing in NetworkManager, improve interoperability between those two tools and make Fedora with NetworkManager more appealing to administrators.
This will require changes to the NetworkManager daemon, nmcli, gnome-control-center, nm-connection-editor and other configuration tools that want to benefit from this feature.
How to test
Add a new connection bound to interface name using configuration files or nmcli. Check the configurations that comes from GUI tools for correctness.
Users and administrators will be able to use permanent configurations for devices without persistent MAC addresses.
Binding a configuration to an interface name is only advantageous if the interface name is stable. We rely on udev to take care about persistent naming and we listen to udev events so that we wait until it is finished with the renaming.
The usage of this feature in NetworkManager is optional. If it is not available in time, CLI and GUI modifications will be reverted so that they don't cause problems.
The configuration option will be added to NetworkManager API reference and the generated nm-settings manpage.
NetworkManager now supports binding network configurations to interface names instead or on top of MAC addresses.