Speaker Martin F. Krafft (mudduck)
Time 2008-01-31 15:40
Conference LCA2008


netconf could mean:

  • RFC4741, the NETCONF protocol, save/store network configuration.
  • The miniconference at LCA
  • Internal/proprietary produce


  • ifupdown aging
  • requires hooks
  • very stateful, can get out of sync with reality.
  • not extensible, eg. wireless support limited.
  • single interface, no dependancies, limited.
  • other distros have there own requirements.
  • network manager, requires a GUI, GUI-centric design. Backends limited, eg to one IP address per interface, no bonding, bridging, etc.
  • netconf will be able to interface to networkmanager, network manager will continue working.

The vision:

  • bottom up; start with smallest thing, keep it simple, keep it modular.
  • event based system
  • decisions are decided based on policy
  • stateless as much as possible; not entirely possible, eg. dhcp client.
  • do not get in the way of the administrator
  • daemon calls shell scripts to do the manipulation.
  • cross distro support. gentoo does network stuff better then Debian.
  • non-root bring up interfaces if policy allows.
  • integrate with resolv.conf management, firewalling, link-status (netlink).
  • no magic

Road map in git repository.

  • replace ifupdown in Debian.
  • implement a policy layer, authenticate non-root users.
  • listen to netlink events and react. Make ifplugd obsolete.
  • If driver is broken, it won’t work.
  • link detection happens eclusively via the Netlink socket.
  • tacking link down on any interface should really activate power save mode.