Linux News Today: Canonical Plans to Unify and Clean Up Networking Configuration in Ubuntu Linux
Canonical, though Martin Pitt, the systemd maintainer for the Ubuntu Linux operating system, announced recently plans to unify and clean up the networking configuration in Ubuntu via a new project called “netplan.”
Currently supported versions of the Ubuntu OS for desktop and server automatically generate ifupdown /etc/network/interfaces during installations. On the other hand, Ubuntu Cloud uses a YAML-based format. Both scenarios do not offer a simple way for automatic pre-configuration of the NetworkManager network connection management software that is used by default in all Ubuntu flavors, and it also looks like there’s no support for systemd’s networkd daemon for managing network configurations.
And this is where the “netplan” project can help, as it promises to provide central /etc/netplan/*.yaml network config files for all Ubuntu Linux operating system versions, including desktop, server, Snappy, MaaS, and cloud. With “netplan” all the installers will generate only those YAML-based network configuration files instead of /etc/network/interfaces ones, giving the Ubuntu developers the flexibility of dynamically switching between multiple backends (NetworkManager or networkd).
“This then gives us the flexibility to dynamically select or switch between different backends — for example, there is demand for moving away from ifupdown towards networkd, and some environments might prefer NetworkManager for everything. netplan translates the YAML config to the backend specific configuration formats on boot, but all these are only written to /run — i. e. they are ephemeral and not considered primary configuration files in /etc.,” says Martin Pitt.
The “nplan” package has landed in Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak)
Canonical’s new “netplan” project already sees the light of day in the Ubuntu 16.10 “Yakkety Yak” operating system, which is currently in heavy development, through a new package called nplan. The “nplan” package is already available in the main software repository of Ubuntu 16.10 and it should become the norm for all existing Ubuntu flavors in the coming weeks and months before the final release of Ubuntu 16.10 hits the streets on October 13, 2016.
Those brave enough to use Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) on their personal computers can install the nplan package from the repos and report any issues they might encounter so that the Ubuntu developers can polish the entire networking experience before the final launch of the operating system. Please note that nplan 0.5 currently supports configuring of Ethernets, Wi-Fi (AP, ad-hoc, and infrastructure), as well as Bridges. More features will be implemented in nplan soon.