Archive for the ‘networkmanager’ Category

Gentopia coming true: Gentoo featuring KNetworkManager

August 29th, 2007 rbu 11 comments

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, 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.


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

Categories: networkmanager, planet.g.o Tags: