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Network Interface Management


Provide tools to easily set up commonly used network configurations, like bridges, bonds, vlan's and sensible combinations thereof, in particular for virtualized hosts.


Current status

  • Targeted release: Fedora 12
  • Last updated: 2009-08-05
  • Percentage of completion: 100%


  • netcf library design
  • Initial discussion on libvir-list on the XML format, API and implementation options.
  • netcf library and ncftool command line tool
  • Design of the libvirt API and virsh commands
  • Implementation included in libvirt-0.7.0

Detailed Description

Configuring the network interfaces on a machine for moderately complicated yet common scenarios is generally only accessible to advanced users, and very poorly supported by existing tools. Such scenarios include creating a bridge and enslaving a physical NIC to it, or bonding two NIC's, adding a VLAN interface to the bond and enslaving that to a bridge.

Complicated bridge setups are commonly needed on virtualized hosts, and often have to be performed remotely by higher-level management tools, rather than a human user.

This feature addresses these needs by providing a general-purpose network configuration library (netcf) and additions to the libvirt API to expose netcf's local API through libvirt's remoting facilities.

With netcf, a logical network interface (e.g. a bridge and its slaves) is described as a unit, and netcf takes care of translating that description into the appropriate ifcfg-* files. To guarantee the happy coexistence of netcf with other network configuration utilities, including vi, netcf is bidirectional: it modifies ifcfg-* files based on a netcf interface description, but also reads ifcfg-* files to generate such a description. It is therefore possible to use netcf side-by-side with any other method of changing network configuration, and many of the pitfalls of earlier attempts to do this, e.g., the Xen networking scripts, are avoided.

It is planned to switch NetworkManager to netcf as the backend for system-wide network configuration in a future release; while it's not part of this feature, it will further unify the user experience around network configuration. In the same vein, it is planned to expose network configuration functionality in a future release of virt-manager

Benefit to Fedora

Configuring network interfaces, especially for virtualization, is considerably simplified; for example, the very common setup described in the libvirt documentation now boils down to running a couple of netcf commands or their libvirt equivalents.

Complex setups, like bonding physical NIC's and enslaving a VLAN of that bond in a bridge, which are so far considered expert uses, can now be easily performed by non-experts.

Remote management of network configuration is now possible out-of-the-box.

Altre informazioni


  • Obbiettivi
  • Test Plan
  • Esperienza Utente
  • Dipendenze
  • Progetto corrente
  • Documentazione
  • Note di rilascio
  • Commenti e Discussioni

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