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Gentopia coming true: Gentoo featuring KNetworkManager

August 29th, 2007 rbu

Old news for those who follow commits and bugs, but last week KNetworkManager hit the portage tree after living in the Gentopia overlay for a while.

Why did it take so long?

Popup list of KNetworkManagerI know Gentoo is one of the last distros to feature this. One reason this took so long is that I learned about it quite late (a friend of mine switched to Debian because Gentoo didn’t have it). Also, it was my intent to enable VPN support in KNM before committing it. As the KNM is a GUI for the famous NetworkManager, it only can do what NM features. VPN support in KNM thus depends on VPN support in NM itself.

NetworkManager releases

Here’s where the problems begin: The NetworkManager moved its homepage over to gnome.org, and lost its VPN releases on the way. Compiling the VPN plugins from SVN didn’t work with the latest release (even from releases’s branch). Also, I don’t understand their release policy. They got some work done in the stable branch all the time. Every distro is shipping snapshots of it, but we didn’t see a release for almost a year. So what changed for Gentoo?

  • We have a (hopefully) working snapshot of net-misc/networkmanager, called 0.6.5_p20070823.
  • We have a KDE GUI for it, called kde-misc/knetworkmanager-0.2 (hey, an actual release)
  • We have three VPN plugins: net-misc/networkmanager-{pptp,vpnc,openvpn}. Read on if you’re interested in them.

What does which package give me?

Basically, the packages in net-misc/networkmanager only feature command line tools that do the background work. You can install them in two ways:

  • If you need GNOME support, enable the gnome use flag for any/all of them. That also installs gnome-extra/nm-applet for you.
  • If you need KDE support, install kde-misc/knetworkmanager and enable the VPN use flags you need.

Be sure to add the packages to your package.keywords so you can install them on a stable system.

WLAN Support

Ok, this is the great part! Configure your wireless network via a GUI. No more editing weird config files once you move your laptop, no iwlist. Just select the network you want and get on with it! KNM can even store your keys to your KDE wallet. Any user may change the internet connection without root privileges when he or she is in the plugdev group.

VPN Support

The VPN plugins are SVN snapshots of the stable branch. The pptp plugin is currently p.masked because its GNOME gui segfaults on amd64. This bug was obviously fixed in the trunk, but the trunk code is not usable with stable versions of (K)NetworkManager. I’ll have a closer look at this later. The other plugins seem to work, but I couldn’t do extensive tests yet (where’s my vpnc password?). Please report failures to me on our Bugzilla. When reporting, be sure to attach the relevant parts of your syslog (”grep Network /var/log/messages“) or start NetworkManager in non-daemon mode (”NetworkManager --no-daemon“). If you succeed on using them, please leave a report here.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Steev for the maintaining the ebuilds of NetworkManager itself and testing!

Categories: networkmanager, planet.g.o Tags:
  1. August 30th, 2007 at 00:31 | #1

    Yeeehaw, finally!
    I was waiting for this since months, using some old broken buggy ebuilds since then.
    Thank you!

    Will emerge && test && report bugs.

    Regards, Elias P.

  2. Anonymous
    August 30th, 2007 at 05:48 | #2

    W00T!

    Hell yeah.

  3. August 30th, 2007 at 16:04 | #3

    good works!
    tnx! :D

  4. cruzki
    August 30th, 2007 at 16:11 | #4

    Only one things, we it’s NECESARY install ppp and kppp if my laptop even have a instaled modem? It’s desactivated in the kernel. I think that that must be configure wuth a use flag

  5. Thorben
    August 30th, 2007 at 16:25 | #5

    Hello,
    First, let me say a huge thanks for bringing this into portage :-)

    KNetworkManager didn’t autostart for me, even though the option in the gui is checked, so I had to manually add the .desktop file to .kde/Autostart. No big deal.

    But there is one problem: It doesn’t connect automatically to my WLAN on startup of the system / of kde, even though I have selected plain text storage, the WLAN is listed as a trusted network and I have no ethernet cable plugged in. Should’t KNetworkManager connect to my WLAN under these circumstances?

    I have followed the advice on gentoo-wiki.com and used
    RC_PLUG_SERVICES=”!net.*”
    as well as deleted /etc/conf.d/net and /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

    Is this the best way to do it? Or can I have a default configuration in wpa_supplicant.conf, so I get connected to my WLAN, but still enjoy KNetworkManger?

    Thanks for listening :-)
    Thorben

  6. August 30th, 2007 at 19:39 | #6

    cruzki, technically you can install it without installing PPP, but you cannot remove those parts from the GUI yet. That’s why I’m uncomfortable with making that dependancy conditional. I’ll see what we can do about making it optional at compile time.
    You can just put kde-bas/kppp to your package.provided.

  7. August 30th, 2007 at 22:24 | #7

    Thorben, I can imagine NetworkManager does not take over an existing wpa-supplicant connection, so you should decide to have it manage all services or use pure Gentoo management for it.
    You do not need to remove any configuration files, it should be sufficient to disable autostarting of network.
    I’ll follow up any other open questions on the list.

  8. cruzki
    August 31st, 2007 at 00:07 | #8

    I try to use knetworkmanager, but I think I have the same problems as Thorben. kwifimanager said I am conected but I can’t ping my router (and ifconfig said that wlan0 has ip but wmaster0 don’t).

    Also, Netkwork manager delete my resolv.conf at every restart!!!!

    On a side note, for some unknown reason net.wlan0 and net.eth0 are up and configured although I setup to don’t start using eselect!!!! (and there aren’t any symlink in /etc/runlevel).

  9. Thorben
    August 31st, 2007 at 11:57 | #9

    I’ve now installed the svn version of KNetworkManager and now I get WPA to auto connect on startup. I asked on the networkmanager-list, and there was a fix in kde’s svn a few days ago for this. I’m now using the svn ebuild from the xeffects overlay…

  10. December 22nd, 2007 at 02:22 | #10

    @Thorben, I have the same problem i can’t get ip directly but i have to do dhclient eth1, can you tell me the right version of knetworkmanager please and if you can give the ebuild?
    Thank a lot
    Cheers
    Riccardo

  11. March 6th, 2008 at 12:50 | #11

    Imagine czk4490 loop. Froogle has an abcba9561c items checker.

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