Tools/NetworkManager

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= NetworkManager =
+
== NetworkManager on desktops and laptops ==
  
[http://projects.gnome.org/NetworkManager/ NetworkManager] provides automatic network detection and configuration for the system. Once enabled, the NetworkManager service also monitors the network interfaces, and may automatically switch to the best connection at any given time. Applications that include NetworkManager support may automatically switch between on-line and off-line modes when the system gains or loses network connectivity.
+
[http://projects.gnome.org/NetworkManager/ NetworkManager] is the primary configuration service for [[Networking]] in Fedora. Most of the information you might be interested in are
 +
in the [[Networking]] page or its subpages.
 +
 
 +
It provides automatic network detection and configuration for the system. Once enabled, the NetworkManager service also monitors the network interfaces, and may automatically switch to the best connection at any given time. Applications that include NetworkManager support may automatically switch between on-line and off-line modes when the system gains or loses network connectivity.
  
 
These facilities are most useful for modern laptops, where the user may move between wireless networks, and plug in to a variety of wired networks, but NetworkManager also provides features that are relevant to workstations. Current versions of NetworkManager support modem connections, and certain types of VPN. Development of these features is ongoing.
 
These facilities are most useful for modern laptops, where the user may move between wireless networks, and plug in to a variety of wired networks, but NetworkManager also provides features that are relevant to workstations. Current versions of NetworkManager support modem connections, and certain types of VPN. Development of these features is ongoing.
  
 
NetworkManager requires Fedora to have drivers for the wired and wireless interfaces on the computer. Many manufacturers of modems and wireless devices provide limited support for Linux. You may need to install additional drivers or firmware on your Fedora system in order to activate these interfaces.
 
NetworkManager requires Fedora to have drivers for the wired and wireless interfaces on the computer. Many manufacturers of modems and wireless devices provide limited support for Linux. You may need to install additional drivers or firmware on your Fedora system in order to activate these interfaces.
 
  
 
{{admon/tip|Drivers first|NetworkManager may only work with network interfaces once the relevant drivers are correctly installed on your system. Reboot your system after installing a new firmware or a new driver in order to ensure that the changes take effect.}}
 
{{admon/tip|Drivers first|NetworkManager may only work with network interfaces once the relevant drivers are correctly installed on your system. Reboot your system after installing a new firmware or a new driver in order to ensure that the changes take effect.}}
 +
 +
== NetworkManager on servers ==
 +
 +
Fedora now by default relies on NetworkManager for network configuration. This is the case also for minimal installations and server installations. We are trying to
 +
make NetworkManager as suitable for this task as possible. You can file bug reports and feature requests at http://bugzilla.gnome.org/ or, if they are related to
 +
interoperability with the rest of the system, http://bugzilla.redhat.com/.
 +
 +
== Documentation ==
 +
 +
http://projects.gnome.org/NetworkManager/developers/api/09/index.html
 +
 +
You can also find many configuration examples on this wiki, just follow
 +
internal links about NetworkManager features.
  
 
== NetworkManager objectives ==
 
== NetworkManager objectives ==
Line 21: Line 36:
 
* Provide core network configuration features
 
* Provide core network configuration features
 
* Expose the features through on-disk text-based configuration
 
* Expose the features through on-disk text-based configuration
* Expose the features through D-Bus API and CLI (GUI frontends should be built upon the D-Bus API)
+
* Expose the features through D-Bus API
 +
* Provide basic CLI and GUI (other CLI/GUI frontends can be built on top of NetworkManager)
 +
 
 +
The current version of NetworkManager is Fedora 17 is 0.9.4. Some of the features below may
 +
not be available there. The current version of upstream NetworkManager is 0.9.6 and the
 +
development version is 0.9.7 and is included in branched Fedora 18.
  
 
== Features ==
 
== Features ==
  
* [[Tools/NetworkManager/Configuration|Configuration]] using keyfile and ifcfg-rh formats
+
Only features that can be considered fully working belong here.
* Good [[Tools/NetworkManager/IPv4|IPv4 support]]
+
 
* Moderate [[Tools/NetworkManager/IPv6|IPv6 support]]
+
* [[Tools/NetworkManager/Configuration|Configuration]] using keyfile and ifcfg-rh formats (other formats are used with other distributions)
* Device [[Tools/NetworkManager/Bonding|bonding]]
+
* Good [[Tools/NetworkManager/IPv4|IPv4 support]] (static and automatic configuration)
 
* [[Tools/NetworkManager/D-Bus|D-Bus interface]]
 
* [[Tools/NetworkManager/D-Bus|D-Bus interface]]
* [[Tools/NetworkManager/CLI|CLI frontends]]
+
* Local caching nameserver (dnsmasq)
* [[Tools/NetworkManager/GUI|GUI frontends]]
+
* Ethernet connections (802.3)
 +
* WiFi connections (802.11)
 +
* VPN plugin interface
 +
 
 +
== Untested features ==
 +
 
 +
* WiMAX connections (802.16)
 +
* ADSL
 +
* Bluetooth (tested with mobile DUN but that may be a different story)
 +
* OLPC Mesh
 +
 
 +
== Incomplete features ==
 +
 
 +
Only features that work reasonably well for everyday use belong here.
 +
 
 +
* Basic [[Tools/NetworkManager/IPv6|IPv6 support]] (broken reconfiguration, excessively many interaction with the kernel causing log bloat)
 +
* [[Tools/NetworkManager/CLI|CLI frontend]] – messy, not enough features
 +
* [[Tools/NetworkManager/GUI|GUI frontend]] – needs some polishing (note that Gnome 3 and KDE have their own GUI tools)
  
 
== Broken features ==
 
== Broken features ==
  
* Support for unmanaged devices (see known problems)
+
Features that fail even with the most casual use belong here.
 +
 
 +
* [[Tools/NetworkManager/Bonding|Bonding]] ­– devices won't join (nor automatically, nor manually)
 
* [[Tools/NetworkManager/Integration|Integration with other tools]]
 
* [[Tools/NetworkManager/Integration|Integration with other tools]]
 +
* Connection 'assume', bad for IPv4, none for IPv6 (breaks IPv4 in dualstack networks)
 +
* dispatcher.d – problems after wake up
 +
* [[Tools/NetworkManager/VLAN|VLAN]] (it reportedly doesn't start automatically)
  
 
== Possible future features ==
 
== Possible future features ==
  
* [[Tools/NetworkManager/Bridge|Ethernet Bridging]]
+
* [[Tools/NetworkManager/Bridge|Ethernet Bridging]] – there is a feature branch, but devices won't automatically join
* Keeping wired devices allways on (for IPv6 link-local networking)
+
* Keeping wired devices allways on (for [[Networking/Link-local|IPv6 link-local networking]])
* Support for IPv6 automatic reconfiguration (changing default routes, etc...)
+
* Support for [[Tools/NetworkManager/IPv6#Automatic_reconfiguration|IPv6 automatic reconfiguration]] (changing default routes, etc...)
* Event-based IPv6 handling without timers and duplicate processing (would clean logs and make code more robust)
+
* [[Tools/NetworkManager/IPv6#Long-term_goals|Event-based IPv6 handling]] without timers and duplicate processing (would clean logs and make code more robust)
 
* Exporting list of DNS servers and handing it over to recursive DNS servers like unbound and dnsmasq (especially necessary for proper VPN access)
 
* Exporting list of DNS servers and handing it over to recursive DNS servers like unbound and dnsmasq (especially necessary for proper VPN access)
* Local caching nameserver with DNSSEC and forwarders
+
* [[Tools/NetworkManager/DNS|Local caching nameserver with DNSSEC]] and forwarders
 
* Support for networking on manually created interfaces (e.g. bridges)
 
* Support for networking on manually created interfaces (e.g. bridges)
* Support for easy temporary connection setup through CLI, D-Bus (and GUI)
+
* Support for easy temporary connection setup through CLI, D-Bus and GUI
 
* Support for making (the above) temporary connections permanent
 
* Support for making (the above) temporary connections permanent
 
* It should be possible to configure NetworkManager not to manage any devices by default (each device managed only by explicit configuration), cmdline switch might be handy
 
* It should be possible to configure NetworkManager not to manage any devices by default (each device managed only by explicit configuration), cmdline switch might be handy
 +
* NetworkManager should probably log external IPv4/IPv6 address/routing changes, as well as bridge configuration changes
 +
* NetworkManager should have an option to clean up any stuff created by itself (bridge/bond devices, addresses, etc)
  
 
Note: Some of the features described here may have been already available and working at some point of time.
 
Note: Some of the features described here may have been already available and working at some point of time.
Line 57: Line 101:
 
* http://wiki.ovirt.org/wiki/SetupNetworks_SyncNetworks
 
* http://wiki.ovirt.org/wiki/SetupNetworks_SyncNetworks
 
* http://wiki.ovirt.org/wiki/Category:Feature
 
* http://wiki.ovirt.org/wiki/Category:Feature
 +
 +
== Community feature requests (mostly from bugzilla) ==
 +
 +
* [https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=560471 Automatically connect VPN for a physical connection]
 +
* [https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=580018 Implement (wireless) connections priority]
 +
* [https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=349151 Automatically reconnect dropped VPN]
 +
* [https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=504763 Simultaneous VPN connections]
 +
* [https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=514304 Captive portal authentication]
 +
* [https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=582720 OLSRd]
 +
* [https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=593815 IPv6 connection sharing]
 +
* [https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=632716 N2N]
 +
* Importing various VPN configuration formats
 +
* [https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=679512 6to4]
 +
* [https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=592305 Tor]
 +
* [https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=591530 UPnP]
  
 
== Known problems ==
 
== Known problems ==
  
* NetworkManager gets automaticaly respawned, no sane way to temporarily disable it
+
* [http://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=815243 NetworkManager gets automaticaly respawned in F17, no sane way to temporarily disable it]
* List of unmanaged devices (by MAC) is sometimes ignored (sorry, cannot reproduce right now)
+
* Manually assigned IPv4 addresses get lost (in tens of seconds, but can't reproduce right now)
+
 
* dhclient left over upon exist and spawned duplicately (also dhclient's check failes when permision denied when writing pidfile)
 
* dhclient left over upon exist and spawned duplicately (also dhclient's check failes when permision denied when writing pidfile)
* Serious IPv6 problems (some of fixed in git, targeting 0.9.6), affecting also IPv4 networking and link
+
* [[Tools/NetworkManager/IPv6|Serious IPv6 problems]] (some of fixed in git, targeting 0.9.6), affecting also IPv4 networking and link
 
* [[Tools/NetworkManager/Integration#Kernel|IPv6 code is still full of workarounds]]
 
* [[Tools/NetworkManager/Integration#Kernel|IPv6 code is still full of workarounds]]
* [https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=678417 Malfunctioning connection 'assume' functionality for IPv4] ([https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=676740 removed for IPv6])
+
* [http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=678417 Malfunctioning connection 'assume' functionality for IPv4] ([https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=676740 removed for IPv6])
* Serious doubts about working integration with network-scripts
+
* [http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=673682 NetworkManager's dispatcher fails to call scripts at resume]
* Doesn't work well with dnssec-trigger/unbound/dnsmasq (DNS is not conveyed)
+
* [http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=667874 NM writes to its own configuration file]
* Missing CLI tools that would be as simple as manual (iproute/wpa_supplicant/wvdial/...) configuration
+
* [http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=668251 Desktop: NM GUIs keep asking for wifi passwords]
* Other things work only when in some specific state
+
 
* NetworkManager features are not currently implemented with [[Tools/NetworkManager/Testing|testability]] in mind
 
* NetworkManager features are not currently implemented with [[Tools/NetworkManager/Testing|testability]] in mind
* Too many open bug reports, many probably obsolete
+
* [https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=673334 NM won't sometimes set custom MAC address]
 +
* nmcli is essentially lame and its syntax and output is inconsistent (e.g. true/false versus yes/no)
  
 
Note: some of the problems are deep in the core of NetworkManager. It can be expected that more problems will emerge over time or while fixing the currently known ones.
 
Note: some of the problems are deep in the core of NetworkManager. It can be expected that more problems will emerge over time or while fixing the currently known ones.
 +
https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=815243
 +
 +
== Unreproduced problems ==
 +
 +
* List of unmanaged devices (by MAC) is sometimes ignored
 +
* Manually assigned IPv4 addresses get lost (in tens of seconds)
 +
* Serious doubts about working integration with network-scripts
 +
* Doubts about overall robustness of NM behavior in non-standard situations
 +
* Doubts about *local* NetworkManager security (polkit rules would deserve some auditing)
 +
 +
Steps to 100% reproduce those are unknown, any help appreciated.
  
 
== Notes ==
 
== Notes ==

Revision as of 08:44, 27 November 2012


Contents

NetworkManager on desktops and laptops

NetworkManager is the primary configuration service for Networking in Fedora. Most of the information you might be interested in are in the Networking page or its subpages.

It provides automatic network detection and configuration for the system. Once enabled, the NetworkManager service also monitors the network interfaces, and may automatically switch to the best connection at any given time. Applications that include NetworkManager support may automatically switch between on-line and off-line modes when the system gains or loses network connectivity.

These facilities are most useful for modern laptops, where the user may move between wireless networks, and plug in to a variety of wired networks, but NetworkManager also provides features that are relevant to workstations. Current versions of NetworkManager support modem connections, and certain types of VPN. Development of these features is ongoing.

NetworkManager requires Fedora to have drivers for the wired and wireless interfaces on the computer. Many manufacturers of modems and wireless devices provide limited support for Linux. You may need to install additional drivers or firmware on your Fedora system in order to activate these interfaces.

Idea.png
Drivers first
NetworkManager may only work with network interfaces once the relevant drivers are correctly installed on your system. Reboot your system after installing a new firmware or a new driver in order to ensure that the changes take effect.

NetworkManager on servers

Fedora now by default relies on NetworkManager for network configuration. This is the case also for minimal installations and server installations. We are trying to make NetworkManager as suitable for this task as possible. You can file bug reports and feature requests at http://bugzilla.gnome.org/ or, if they are related to interoperability with the rest of the system, http://bugzilla.redhat.com/.

Documentation

http://projects.gnome.org/NetworkManager/developers/api/09/index.html

You can also find many configuration examples on this wiki, just follow internal links about NetworkManager features.

NetworkManager objectives

NM is slowly changing from a desktop network connection configurator to a universal network configuration software that could be used as a part of the base system.

  • Provide core network configuration features
  • Expose the features through on-disk text-based configuration
  • Expose the features through D-Bus API
  • Provide basic CLI and GUI (other CLI/GUI frontends can be built on top of NetworkManager)

The current version of NetworkManager is Fedora 17 is 0.9.4. Some of the features below may not be available there. The current version of upstream NetworkManager is 0.9.6 and the development version is 0.9.7 and is included in branched Fedora 18.

Features

Only features that can be considered fully working belong here.

  • Configuration using keyfile and ifcfg-rh formats (other formats are used with other distributions)
  • Good IPv4 support (static and automatic configuration)
  • D-Bus interface
  • Local caching nameserver (dnsmasq)
  • Ethernet connections (802.3)
  • WiFi connections (802.11)
  • VPN plugin interface

Untested features

  • WiMAX connections (802.16)
  • ADSL
  • Bluetooth (tested with mobile DUN but that may be a different story)
  • OLPC Mesh

Incomplete features

Only features that work reasonably well for everyday use belong here.

  • Basic IPv6 support (broken reconfiguration, excessively many interaction with the kernel causing log bloat)
  • CLI frontend – messy, not enough features
  • GUI frontend – needs some polishing (note that Gnome 3 and KDE have their own GUI tools)

Broken features

Features that fail even with the most casual use belong here.

  • Bonding ­– devices won't join (nor automatically, nor manually)
  • Integration with other tools
  • Connection 'assume', bad for IPv4, none for IPv6 (breaks IPv4 in dualstack networks)
  • dispatcher.d – problems after wake up
  • VLAN (it reportedly doesn't start automatically)

Possible future features

  • Ethernet Bridging – there is a feature branch, but devices won't automatically join
  • Keeping wired devices allways on (for IPv6 link-local networking)
  • Support for IPv6 automatic reconfiguration (changing default routes, etc...)
  • Event-based IPv6 handling without timers and duplicate processing (would clean logs and make code more robust)
  • Exporting list of DNS servers and handing it over to recursive DNS servers like unbound and dnsmasq (especially necessary for proper VPN access)
  • Local caching nameserver with DNSSEC and forwarders
  • Support for networking on manually created interfaces (e.g. bridges)
  • Support for easy temporary connection setup through CLI, D-Bus and GUI
  • Support for making (the above) temporary connections permanent
  • It should be possible to configure NetworkManager not to manage any devices by default (each device managed only by explicit configuration), cmdline switch might be handy
  • NetworkManager should probably log external IPv4/IPv6 address/routing changes, as well as bridge configuration changes
  • NetworkManager should have an option to clean up any stuff created by itself (bridge/bond devices, addresses, etc)

Note: Some of the features described here may have been already available and working at some point of time.

More resources:

Community feature requests (mostly from bugzilla)

Known problems

Note: some of the problems are deep in the core of NetworkManager. It can be expected that more problems will emerge over time or while fixing the currently known ones. https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=815243

Unreproduced problems

  • List of unmanaged devices (by MAC) is sometimes ignored
  • Manually assigned IPv4 addresses get lost (in tens of seconds)
  • Serious doubts about working integration with network-scripts
  • Doubts about overall robustness of NM behavior in non-standard situations
  • Doubts about *local* NetworkManager security (polkit rules would deserve some auditing)

Steps to 100% reproduce those are unknown, any help appreciated.

Notes

  • NetworkManager builds against specific distributions, not tools or dependencies (--with-distro)

About this section of the wiki

Currently most of the information in this page and the Tools/NetworkManager subtree have been added by me (User:Pavlix). Please feel free to add, correct and clarify stuff but please get in touch with me before deleting.

Further Information