[arch-general] netcfg v2.5 in [testing] - auto wireless configuration has changed

James Rayner james at archlinux.org
Sat Nov 14 19:40:12 EST 2009

netcfg v2.5rc1

This is easily the biggest release since 2.0. Many new features and some
significant changes under the hood. There are also a few features which
have had changed options and this needs to be noted. The most notable is
that net-auto has been removed in favour of the net auto wireless setup.

# Move to new auto-wireless
The new automatic connection has proper roaming support and will prove
more reliable than the old setup - particularly with more complicated
wireless configurations.
To migrate to the new automatic wireless setup:
1. pacman -S core/wpa_actiond
2. Set WIRELESS_INTERFACE="" to your wireless interface in /etc/rc.conf.
For example WIRELESS_INTERFACE="wlan0"
3. Add net-auto-wireless to your DAEMONS=() array.

# New features:
 - net-auto-wireless/wpa_actiond - Real wireless roaming/auto connection.
Based on same principle as autowifi. Requires optional dependency:
 - net-auto-wired - automatic ethernet configuration. Requires optional
dependency: ifplugd
 - Interface configurations - set options for all profiles using an interface
 - Radio Kill switch awareness - requires enabling, see wiki.
 - Output hooks
 - Significant internal cleanup & improvement

# Internal changes:
 - Uses wpa_supplicant for all wireless configuration by default,
including wep/none security. This adds improves support for most and
should improve reliability.
  - Uses iproute by default for all static configuration. net_tools which
contains ifconfig is effectively obsolete and hasnt seen a release for
over 8 years. The 'ethernet-iproute' and 'ethernet' connection types
have been merged together to simply 'ethernet'. All options are still
supported and existing configurations will continue to work for both
types. A symlink has been made to ensure that profiles using
'ethernet-iproute' will continue to function.

# Changes in configuration options
 - net-auto and AUTO_NETWORKS is now deprecated in favour of
 - wireless: If you were previously specifying the wpa_supplicant driver
in WPA_OPTS, you now need to specify it in WPA_DRIVER.
 - wireless: iwconfig based configuration for wep/none can be used by
changing to wep-old or none-old. This should not be necessary and is left
in place only for the possibility of very old drivers that do not support
 - ethernet-iproute: Now that 'ethernet' is iproute based, those using
'ethernet-iproute' can change the name back. There is a symlink in place
however, so existing configurations of either name will continue to
function regardless.
 - wireless-dbus: This idea didn't really go anywhere and is now
unsupported. The wpa_supplicant dbus interface is a huge pain and it
doesn't fit well into the netcfg codebase. It is no longer included,
however netcfg will automatically use 'wireless' for any 'wireless-dbus'
configurations as the supported options are effectively the same.

# Download:
netcfg 2.5rc1 is in [testing]. The source is on the Arch Linux ftp and
latest PKGBUILD in svn.

# Documentation:
The wiki has been updated to reflect this release. For 2.5, the
documentation can be found at:

When it is released this will be moved to the Network Profiles page.
There's also some updated documentation of the supported options for
'wireless' and 'ethernet' here:
Keep in mind that wireless supports all the options of 'ethernet'. If
options are not documented, then it's a bug and they should be (or it's
deprecated, but should be mentioned anyway for completeness).

# Contributors:
I had a few big contributors to this release:
Jim Pryor: Many internal changes and improvements
Thomas Bächler: wpa_actiond based auto roaming/connection
Thanks guys!

That's all for now, please file any bug reports on the bug tracker.

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