Modular /etc/network/interfaces

Registered by Soren Hansen on 2007-10-27

Split out the configuration from /etc/network/interfaces into one file per (logical) interface.

Blueprint information

Rick Clark
Soren Hansen
Needs approval
Soren Hansen
Series goal:
Milestone target:
Completed by
Soren Hansen on 2007-11-20

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Just FYI: This spec will not be implemented, but I couldn't find a sensible way of telling Launchpad this.

Before ranting, please make an attempt at understanding what a logical interface is in the ifupdown terminology. a) Most of the time a logical interface is (and has always been) the same as a physical interface. b) Naming your network interfaces is (and has always been) completely orthogonal to this, and at least since Dapper, there has been a MAC address <-> interface name mapping ensuring that nic's would never be renamed. - Soren (a.k.a. the author)

Please, please no. If this *must* happen, please provide provisions for users with multiple NICs to reassign their names basedo n the device - this is especally useful for users of ubuntu-server, and so if there's a GUI provision for this, but it's difficult to accomplish in the console, it's of less use to those building servers.

Machines with 4 or 5 network adapters are a *nightmare* to re-order in CentOS/RHEL, which uses a modularized system that sounds similar to what's being proposed here.
A related note: on Fedora machines, that share the configuration scheme with RHEL, I've stumbled upon situations where I have to juggle the MAC addresses around, and the machine will not shut down - a config script goes into an infinite loop while comparing what the port thinks its MAC is and what the config files say. So, my point is that we should be able not to rely on the current status to validate the new configuration in case of changes.

There are many cases when a user (especially of ubuntu-server) would want to re-order the devices, I don't feel I need to enumerate them here, but suffice it to say that this is a situation that comes up for me regularly.

Please don't do this. Breaking up a single config file into multiple small config files is not a good idea, especially for those of us that don't need/want GUIs on all our systems. It's bad enough xinetd and logrotate went down this road. Trying keeping everything together in your head while cat-ing or editing multiple files is not fun.

Instead of breaking up the config file to prevent a typo breaking all configurations in the file, fix the config file parser. Don't just work around bugs in the parser, fix them.

Bring back single-config-file-per-app. Don't go down the road of 1-config-file-per-config-option (see the horrid config mess for PureFTPd).
I agree with those who against changing /etc/network/interfaces! Why to split, to become more Red-Hatish? Yack :-(
Breaking compatibility with Debian, is shotting in your foot!
I would accept it day after Debian Concilium :-)


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