NetworkManager 0.8: The Taste of a New Generation

After more than a year of heavy development, NetworkManager 0.8 was unleashed on the world a few weeks ago.  While we obviously couldn’t make everyone happy just yet, this release includes a ton of great stuff.  Much of it is under the hood, so while it won’t dazzle you in a blinding flash of light, it should still make your head explode.

  • Bluetooth: PAN is now supported for connecting to the Internet with 3G.  git master (ie, 0.8.1) got DUN support three months ago already.  Take it for a drive in Fedora 13 and other recent distros.
  • IPv6: we’ve added support for static and autoconfigured IPv6.  Welcome to 2010.  git master (ie 0.8.1) has support for DHCPv6 if you’re using the ISC dhclient 4.0 or above.  2007 called Debian and wants dhclient 3.0.x back.  So until Debian upgrades dhclient to something recent, only Fedora, SUSE and a few other distros get DHCPv6.
  • udev: we had a party last week, and we stabbed HAL in the face and buried it out back in the woods.  All hardware detection is done with udev now.  Stuff should just work more smoothly.
    ModemManager and nm-applet git master For The Win Of Greatness

  • 802.1x certificates: we’ve fixed the long-standing bugs with multi-certificate files.  Whether your .pem file contains one certificate or 50, it’ll work.
  • system settings service: nm-system-settings is dead.  NetworkManager at it.  One less process to run, less memory used, and a simpler architecture.  This eliminates the 4-second delay waiting to figure out if hot-plugged hardware should be ignored by NM or not.  Faster network connections for you.
  • 3G: and best of all, we’ve punted out mobile broadband handing to ModemManager.  Just like wpa_supplicant handles all the wifi, modem-manager handles your 3G modems.  It’s so much more capable than NM 0.7 that there’s a huge street party about how great it is.  ModemManager lets us implement tons of oft-requested features like roaming, 2G/3G mode preference, signal strength display, access technology, etc.  It’s neat.  Fedora 13 has most of this right now.

And finally, we’ve rocked the documentation world.  There are manpages everywhere.  There’s tons of new documentation on the wiki.  If you have a question, chances are you can find something about it there.  Best of all, there’s a new Debugging Guide that should cover almost all aspects of debugging NetworkManager and how to get good information to help fix your bugs.  We’ll love you longtime if you look at it before submitting a bug report.

With this kind of base to build on, we’ve literally got a truckload of really awesome shit queued up for NetworkManager 0.8.1.  More on that later.

I’ll also be starting a series called “What You Don’t Know About NetworkManager Could Fill A Keg“, in which we’ll explore various random stuff about NetworkManager that you should know, but probably don’t because we never got around to telling you.

Cheers.  Keep it real y’all.

3 thoughts on “NetworkManager 0.8: The Taste of a New Generation”

  1. The dig at Debian really wasn’t necessary. I’ve been using dhclient4 for seven months now on Debian as you can see here: . They have a commitment to quality before it’s inflicted on unwitting users. That’s really not such a bad policy.

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