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#1 2013-04-17 08:13:30

andrekp
Member
Registered: 2013-01-06
Posts: 38

Arch switches to netctl (issues?)

(I'm not sure this is the appropriate forum for this topic, so please move it as necessary...)

As you should be aware from Arch's main page announcement, Arch is moving from using netcfg to using netctl.

I was a bit confused by this, admittedly, since A). I don't know a lot of deep detail about the networking programs, and B). because what was described in Arch's Wiki for making the switch didn't match what I was seeing in Archbang.  Add to that the fact that nobody seemed to have raised the issue here (and I can't be the only one to have seen it).

So here's what I understand after much looking and research:  (Please correct me if I am wrong.)

Arch bang uses neither netcfg nor netctl, but relies upon networkmanager instead.

Networkmanager is an alternative to netcfg, netctl and some other network software. 

As such, Arch's switch to netctl has no affect on Archbang because Archbang doesn't use the soon-to-be-deprecated netcfg.  No no action is necessary, unless one WANTS to use netctl instead of networkmanager.

Do I have this correct?  Can I simply ignore the netctl switch for now?

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#2 2013-04-17 10:25:41

oliver
Administrator
Registered: 2010-11-04
Posts: 2,209

Re: Arch switches to netctl (issues?)

Unless I'm high, you have it exactly right.  In fact, I think if you look at the Arch wiki page for NM it will say to disable netcfg/netctl (or may go for the all-encompassing 'existing networking app') before installing

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#3 2013-04-17 10:48:56

Mr Green
Administrator
Registered: 2010-11-07
Posts: 6,920

Re: Arch switches to netctl (issues?)

Network manager is basically a gui wrapper for network configuration. Take all the pain out of connecting to a network. We do not use netctl/cfg simply as it needs to be set up by the user. That said I noticed that netcfg is dragged in (will double check if it is part of ArchBang iso)


Comments, suggestions please feel free to contact me mrgreen(at)archbang(dot)org

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#4 2013-04-17 11:29:42

andrekp
Member
Registered: 2013-01-06
Posts: 38

Re: Arch switches to netctl (issues?)

Mr Green wrote:

Network manager is basically a gui wrapper for network configuration. Take all the pain out of connecting to a network. We do not use netctl/cfg simply as it needs to be set up by the user. That said I noticed that netcfg is dragged in (will double check if it is part of ArchBang iso)

So would it be fair to say that some basic part of Linux connects to networks (perhaps the kernel modules) and the software that we use to tell it how (netcfg, netctl, networkmanager, etc.) is just a convenient interface for this core functionality?  In other words, whatever software we use, is just telling the kernel how to deal with the network hardware (ethernet cards, wireless cards).

If so, would it also be fair to say that there is some basic linux network core functionality exposed via CLI that is separate from netcfg, netctl, networkmanager, etc. such as the basic network commands like "ip link set eth0 up"?  In other words, no matter which networking software we choose to use (netcfg, netctl, networkmanager, etc), we will ALSO have this basic core functionality as well, and it is the core functionality plus the chosen network software that makes up our installation's networking ability?

Just trying to get a better handle on how the parts play together.

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#5 2013-04-17 17:41:29

oliver
Administrator
Registered: 2010-11-04
Posts: 2,209

Re: Arch switches to netctl (issues?)

my very basic understanding is that your device driver (from the kernel) plumbs the interface - lets say eth0.

You then have tools to manipulate that such as dhcpcd/dhclient or ip/ifconfig

But no-one wants to run something like 'ifconfig eth0 inet 192.168.0.2 netmask 255.255.255.0 -trailers up' every time they log in so there are tools (netctl/networkmanager/netcfg) to make it all easier for you

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#6 2013-04-18 02:25:59

Mr Green
Administrator
Registered: 2010-11-07
Posts: 6,920

Re: Arch switches to netctl (issues?)

At the moment netcfg is part of base that will change I am sure, we use networkmanager for ease but it is bulky

[~]$ pacdep networkmanager network-manager-applet
networkmanager            9.36 MiB
network-manager-applet    5.83 MiB
                         15.20 MiB ( 31.97 MiB)
Exclusive dependencies:  16.78 MiB
Shared dependencies:    330.54 MiB
Total dependencies:     347.31 MiB (362.51 MiB)

Compare it too netctl

[~]$ pacdep netctl
core/netctl             296.00 KiB (360.00 KiB)
Exclusive dependencies:  64.00 KiB
Shared dependencies:     18.63 MiB
Total dependencies:      18.70 MiB ( 18.98 MiB)

Big difference


Comments, suggestions please feel free to contact me mrgreen(at)archbang(dot)org

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#7 2013-04-18 06:08:13

andrekp
Member
Registered: 2013-01-06
Posts: 38

Re: Arch switches to netctl (issues?)

oliver wrote:

my very basic understanding is that your device driver (from the kernel) plumbs the interface - lets say eth0.

You then have tools to manipulate that such as dhcpcd/dhclient or ip/ifconfig

But no-one wants to run something like 'ifconfig eth0 inet 192.168.0.2 netmask 255.255.255.0 -trailers up' every time they log in so there are tools (netctl/networkmanager/netcfg) to make it all easier for you

That's pretty much MY understanding as well, so we probably have it basically right.

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#8 2013-04-18 06:17:41

andrekp
Member
Registered: 2013-01-06
Posts: 38

Re: Arch switches to netctl (issues?)

Mr Green wrote:

At the moment netcfg is part of base that will change I am sure, we use networkmanager for ease but it is bulky

[~]$ pacdep networkmanager network-manager-applet
networkmanager            9.36 MiB
network-manager-applet    5.83 MiB
                         15.20 MiB ( 31.97 MiB)
Exclusive dependencies:  16.78 MiB
Shared dependencies:    330.54 MiB
Total dependencies:     347.31 MiB (362.51 MiB)

Compare it too netctl

[~]$ pacdep netctl
core/netctl             296.00 KiB (360.00 KiB)
Exclusive dependencies:  64.00 KiB
Shared dependencies:     18.63 MiB
Total dependencies:      18.70 MiB ( 18.98 MiB)

Big difference

Truth about bulkiness or not...

This is 2013, we all have boxes with large hard drives, fast processors, and reasonable amounts of RAM.  (as compared with 10 years ago)  On an Arch system, even a 80G HDD and 2G RAM is plenty.  So I wonder sometimes if this apparent fetish for fast booting and smallness isn't just programmers who are bored.  My Archbang boxes (all three) boot in 12-14 seconds (and are basically untweaked in that regard), which is a trivial amount of time.  Is having to make manual changes every time some programmer decides to systemd something worth the trouble?  I wonder.

I think I'd rather NOT have to worry about being forced into making manual changes that I'm not fully clear on my understanding of (like THIS one) over saving a few meg of HDD space and decreasing my boot time by another .02 seconds.

Anyway, thanks for confirming what I figured was true.

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#9 2013-04-18 08:17:51

Mr Green
Administrator
Registered: 2010-11-07
Posts: 6,920

Re: Arch switches to netctl (issues?)

Most refreshing post, thank you ...

Booting time never bothered me, so long as it booted. Something that struck us at ArchBang was the number of downloads of i686 iso. Given most recent systems are 64bit.

Would never tell anyone what they should or should not run.

Startup finished in 3.550s (kernel) + 961ms (userspace) = 4.511s

Comments, suggestions please feel free to contact me mrgreen(at)archbang(dot)org

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#10 2013-04-18 13:34:11

andrekp
Member
Registered: 2013-01-06
Posts: 38

Re: Arch switches to netctl (issues?)

Mr Green wrote:

Most refreshing post, thank you ...

Booting time never bothered me, so long as it booted. Something that struck us at ArchBang was the number of downloads of i686 iso. Given most recent systems are 64bit.

Would never tell anyone what they should or should not run.

Startup finished in 3.550s (kernel) + 961ms (userspace) = 4.511s

Well I run just the 32 bit versions of both Arch and ubuntu.  My systems are 64 bit capable, but (and maybe this is outdated now) it always seemed to be true that the 64 bit versions were a bit more unfinished and there were fewer available apps (not that I run many programs at all, but I like the choice to).  So way back when I just opted for 32 bit and never bothered upgrading.

Given the fact that the most processor intensive thing I do is play music and write documents, I don't feel like having the extra speed from a 64 bit system makes any difference at all.  It's like using a gaming rig to write email.  The nut behind the keyboard is always the only bottleneck.

Maybe my next install go around I'll pick the 64's.

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#11 2013-04-18 13:42:47

Mr Green
Administrator
Registered: 2010-11-07
Posts: 6,920

Re: Arch switches to netctl (issues?)

Maybe a few years ago 64bit was a real pain but now most things work out of the box. Like you I do not do anything intensive (other than iso builds).

The nut behind the keyboard is always the only bottleneck.

You and me both ;-)


Comments, suggestions please feel free to contact me mrgreen(at)archbang(dot)org

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#12 2013-04-23 13:40:00

andrekp
Member
Registered: 2013-01-06
Posts: 38

Re: Arch switches to netctl (issues?)

Back to the OP:

In fact, netcfg is installed with Archbang.  It's not running, but it's installed.

Looking at the Arch package repository, netcfg has a number of dependencies, but no "required bys."  I take it that means that nothing ELSE in Arch requires the existence of netcfg.

If that's so, can netcfg just be uninstalled?  Is it installed when Archbang installs for a reason?

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#13 2013-04-23 17:00:00

Mr Green
Administrator
Registered: 2010-11-07
Posts: 6,920

Re: Arch switches to netctl (issues?)

Up until recently netcfg was in [core] more likely it got dragged in by base. As you say nothing depends on it and it will soon be replaced by netctl. So yes I would have thought it is safe to removed.

https://www.archlinux.org/news/netctl-is-now-in-core/

Edit test iso I built today does not have netcfg installed


Comments, suggestions please feel free to contact me mrgreen(at)archbang(dot)org

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#14 2013-04-24 05:56:04

andrekp
Member
Registered: 2013-01-06
Posts: 38

Re: Arch switches to netctl (issues?)

Good enough.

I'll dump it and see if anything happens...

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#15 2013-05-17 19:53:48

moose
Member
Registered: 2013-05-12
Posts: 12

Re: Arch switches to netctl (issues?)

I was reading this, and the info over on the arch main page.  I just downloaded the ISO file for archbang a few day's ago.  Will y'all be supporting netcfg, or netctl by default?  I strongly agree with andrekp in that, it seem's like a big head ache, for something so trivial.  I could be wrong in that reasoning, as I know the keeping thing's simple.   I tried using netclt a week ago on a arch install, and I couldn't get my Droid RAZR to come on as a usb tethered connection.  This was a big problem, as 4G/3G is my only way for internet.  The install would see it as AB does now, PCS Motorola device.  That was about as far as I got with it.  I downloaded the ISO for AB and everything seem's to have been top notch.  I even worked out the driver issue of my RealTek RTL8188CUS.

Last edited by moose (2013-05-17 19:55:11)

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#16 2013-05-17 20:29:21

mike4ca
Happy (Arch|Manjaro)[B,b]ang User
From: Iowa, USA
Registered: 2011-10-17
Posts: 435

Re: Arch switches to netctl (issues?)

Archbang uses networkmanager.  The netctl package is part of the base system so it should be there, but Archbang won't need it.  If you need help with a specific problem with netctl, start a separate topic and hopefully someone will be able to help you.


Free Software Foundation member 10865

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#17 2013-05-17 21:06:44

moose
Member
Registered: 2013-05-12
Posts: 12

Re: Arch switches to netctl (issues?)

mike4ca wrote:

Archbang uses networkmanager.  The netctl package is part of the base system so it should be there, but Archbang won't need it.  If you need help with a specific problem with netctl, start a separate topic and hopefully someone will be able to help you.

I'm doing good.  Just wanted to ask, and report my experiences with what I've done.

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