Network Magic



Network Magic (NM) aims to manage network interfaces and connectivity more intelligently.


Users are increasingly using multiple networks. Being able to seamlessly move between networks whilst remembering the correct settings for each network would greatly enhance Ubuntu's usability for mobile professionals.
Many network dependent services should only be run when the system is positive that it has a network. This would greatly enhance the system's flexibility and responsiveness.

Scope and Use Cases

  • Suppress boot-time attempts to activate network interfaces which can be determined to be down at the link layer
  • Suppress boot-time attempts to start services or perform actions that depend on a working network connection, delay until we have one or when we switch them
  • Provide a simple desktop interface for selecting the desired network interface and wireless network
  • Automatic selection of interface based on known information (cable connected, wifi kill switch, preference)
  • WirelessNetworkManagement

  • Provide a network interface for configuring all available networks and network devices.

Implementation Plan

  • NetworkManager is the correct approach

  • Look into adding RFC3927 (zeroconf) support for ad-hoc/link local networks

  • Look at Microsoft/ISC spec for network detection, ensure we're able to play well with this.

  • Daemon to allow us to restart services on a D-BUS message
  • Patch applications to use NM's online/offline API.
  • Get correct type from NM to allow us to set up PPP/Bluetooth, etc...
  • Patch PPPd to get connection details in a better way than parsing logs.

Data Preservation and Migration

Packages Affected

  • NetworkManager

  • pppd

  • Epiphany/Firefox
  • gaim

  • ssh-server

  • apache2

  • dovecot

  • postfix

  • samba

  • exim4

User Interface Requirements

Outstanding Issues

  • What about wifi-radar ? Compatible or not ? Recommended or not ?

UDU BOF Agenda

  • NetworkManager

    • Integration of online status with applications
  • netapplet
  • resolvconf
  • dnsmasq
  • ZeroConf/HOWL?
  • wifid, ifd
  • Dialup configuration (Modem, PPPoe ...)

UDU Pre-Work


  • When switching networks some configs change too:
    • Unified proxy management
      • Investigate whether to try Netscape/IE PAC (Proxy Auto Configuration) ...this unfortately relies on running all URLs through the supplied JavaScript/ECMAScript code. MS calls this wpad.dat. Others call it proxy.pac.

    • Unified SMTP management (Evolution, MTA's, SSMTP, etc...)
  • Patching PPP has needed to happen for a long time; it needs to be able to be possible to 'pause' the connection (+++), issue a command such as checking the GSM signal strength or currently negoiated v.92 connection speed.

  • see also: WirelessNetworkManagement

CategoryUdu CategorySpec

UbuntuDownUnder/BOFs/NetworkMagic (last edited 2008-08-06 16:32:08 by localhost)