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Systemd's Network Support Frustrating Some Users

Free Software

Published on 21 February 2014 11:30 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
87 Comments

The latest controversy within the systemd camp is the new networkd support that appeared in this week's systemd 209 release. It seems the new systemd-networkd is forced upon users by default and not everyone likes this approach.

The systemd 209 release is a major release that brings many new features, including a new systemd-networkd component for configuring and bringing up your network. It appears that in systemd there isn't an easy way to disable this feature if you don't want it: it's enabled by default and instead of issuing a command to disable it, it needs to be hard-masked out of the service file.

A Phoronix reader pointed out this approach to handling systemd-networkd and forcing it on by default (rather than making it an option to be enabled) was discouraging. Additionally, with it being enabled by default, systemd-networkd will be a daemon that still runs even if it was not configured. The systemd-networkd will just run and remain a running daemon without doing anything until it's configured.

In going through the latest Git code, there was a change to not statically enable systemd-networkd but then the next commit to systemd just minutes later enabled networkd by default. At least with the latest work, it's possible to run systemd disable systemd-networkd to disable this service if you don't wish to have systemd managing network functionality, but it will still be on by default.

This networkd component has been frustrating some early adopters of systemd 209 so we'll see if any further changes are made in time for systemd 210.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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