[arch-projects] [netcfg] netcfg/netctl

Jouke Witteveen j.witteveen at gmail.com
Thu Jan 24 07:53:28 EST 2013

On Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 12:55 PM, Pali Rohár <pali.rohar at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello arch developers!
> I looked at netcfg code and functionality and I think that this
> can be usefull replacement for NetworkManager. Interface for
> writing new modules is simple and I think it can be usefull on
> other linux distributions.

Indeed, netctl is not Arch-specific anymore, so it can easily be used
on other distributions as well. Unfortunately, netcfg uses initscripts
to a level that makes usage on other distros unfeasible.

> Now I found that there is netctl fork which is like new
> generation of netcfg. From info in readme I see that now it
> depends on systemd, which is very controverse init daemon and not
> all linux distributions and user using it... I'm not using arch,
> but I'd like to use netcfg/netctl.

There are more distros using systemd than the Arch initscripts. This
was part of the reason to switch to systemd and part of the reason
systemd was written ;-).

> My current situation is that I need to connect to ethernet with
> 802.1X authentification (high priority!) and then try connection
> without 802.1X (normal dhcp - low priority). And seems that
> netcfg is only one tool which done it successfully.

I remember that this worked well on FreeBSD too.

> Is archlinux going to participate to Google Summer of Code 2013?
> If yes I'd like to extend netcfg/netctl project. What do you
> think, it is possible? Is there some future plan or TODO?

Although it is technically only a few weeks old, netctl is quite
mature. There were a few TODOs with netcfg, but they have mostly been
implemented in netctl. Keep in mind that netctl does not try to be
your ultimate coffee-making-and-mail-sending piece of software. I am
proud of the fact that with netctl, some of the weirder bells and
whistles of netcfg are gone. As you will understand from this, there
are no intentions to mentor any netctl contributions for the GSoC

> My imagination is that network tool can auto configure (without
> user interact) any network adapter based on information from
> config files (profiles). Also network tool should support any
> possible wireless configuration (which support for example
> wpa_supplicant), but have configuration in one file (not one for
> supplicant, one for ip/dhcp and one for static dns). I think that
> hostapd support can be also usefull or full automatic ipv6
> configuration (use stateless dns, read M/O bits from RA and use
> dhcpv6 when needed).

Some of this is already possible. Some other stuff will be welcomed as
patches. Profiles for Access Point configurations have been suggested
in the past and this should not be very hard to realize. The rest will
probably come around when someone needs it and writes the necessary

Thanks for your thoughts,
- Jouke

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