Anything less than the best is a felony

Pedal to the metal on the way to NetworkManager 0.7.

Connection Editor

Tambet and I have landed the last real bits of Add/Edit and gotten the pages pretty much finished. The applet and the connection editor retrieve and fill in your passwords too.

Connection Editor Page Montage

Contribute Back to the Community (or, Unmanaged Devices)

A few weeks back, I added an unmanaged devices interface to the system settings service. With 0.6.x, the most often asked question is “I’m an Ubuntu user; why can NM find my network device?”. This was for two reasons: (1) because Ubuntu ships a bunch of shady out-of-kernel wireless drivers (at76, prism2_usb, acx, madwifi, ndiswrapper) that often just don’t implement WEXT correctly and therefore won’t work well with wpa_supplicant, and therefore won’t work with NetworkManager, and (2) Ubuntu patched NetworkManager so that most devices in /etc/network/interfaces are ignored by NM, instead of helping to fix up the Debian backend to proxy that configuration so NM could have a chance to manage the device. So when anything goes wrong, the user is encouraged to configure the device in “Manual” mode instead, and it disappears from NetworkManager.

With 0.7, the system settings plugin for your distro will recognize these devices, tell NetworkManager they aren’t supposed to be managed, and the applet will make you aware of the horror of what you’ve just done :)

(as an aside, distros need to help push drivers and patches upstream, not stuff random bits into the kernel and hope everything is kittens and roses and puppy dogs tails and bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens)

Network Before Login

So this time around, distros can write much more capable plugins to proxy their native config files to NetworkManager connections, and they will just show up in the menu. It also makes the connections available at boot. Static IPs, custom DNS servers, and whatever other crack you’d like to inflict on your network adapter. Both Fedora and SUSE have plugins, and Tambet just wrote a GKeyFile plugin that stores connections in a legacy-free/crack-free format too.

Other Hotness:

  • Users are notified of VPN failures and what might have gone wrong
  • Static WEP keys on indexes other than 1
  • PPPoE
  • Wired 802.1x
  • Your Mom

Next up: making the serial driver code more robust, fix bugs, fix up ad-hoc Wifi, and fix more bugs. But 0.7 is already cooking MCs like a pound of bacon.

3 Responses to “Anything less than the best is a felony”

  1. [...] Dan Williams adelanta los progresos que se están realizando en la rama 0.7 de Network Manager y la verdad que se viene con todo. Entre otras cosas mejor manejo de las conexiones configuradas por el sistema o que por alguna razón (por ejemplo controladores wifi que no implementan ciertas funcionalidades) evitando que las mismas “desaparezcan” del Network Manager; posibilidad de que las distribuciones utilicen plugins para por ejemplo manejar las conexiones en el mismo proceso de inicio; notificación de fallos de conexiones VPN, conexiones ADSL (PPPoE), etc. [...]

  2. [...] reference to Dan Williams’ latest post on the latest NetworkManager improvements: I just wanted to let you know this blog post is superb, [...]

  3. juergbi says:

    Nice work! Is the GKeyFile system-settings plugin already available somewhere? I couldn’t find it in SVN.