Ubuntu Plans For Consolidated Network Configuration

Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 31 July 2016 at 12:08 PM EDT. 8 Comments
For Ubuntu 16.10, Canonical is planning to make use of a new project to unify and clean-up network configuration across Ubuntu projects from the desktop/server/cloud versions to MaaS and other forms.

This new project is called Netplan, but not to be confused with the netplan package already in Ubuntu (the package name for this new "Netplan" will be nplan).

Ubuntu developer Martin Pitt explained the intentions, "With netplan there are central /etc/netplan/*.yaml network config files for *all* Ubuntu -- Snappy, Server, Client, MaaS, cloud-init. All installers only generate such a file, no /etc/network/interfaces any more. 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."

Netplan currently supports configuring Ethernet, WiFi, and bridges. Many network features from bonds to nameservers to virtual Ethernet still need to be implemented.

Those interested in finding out more about how this consolidated network configuration for Ubuntu is happening, see this mailing list announcement from Friday.
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