mate-network-admin vs network-manager

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mate-network-admin vs network-manager

Postby grahamh on Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:26 pm

Hi,
I'm a long-time linux user coming to LMDE from Ubuntu and others. I have it now on 2 machines, a desktop and a Dell Precision laptop with Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 3945ABG [Golan] Network Connection (rev 02). So you can see I really like it, but with some niggles.

On my tray I have an icon for network-manager but nothing I do with that allows my wireless card to fire up: neither is the wifi LED lit, nor does iwconfig show any of the changes I make through network-manager such as the ESSID I set, nor will it connect to the access point.

On the Administration menu, the item "Network" starts mate-network-admin which does configure my wireless card so that on boot, I get the wifi LED lit and it associates with my access point etc.

Once I do that though, network-manager reports that the network is disconnected and that the wireless network 'device not managed'. I think it checks /etc/network/interfaces and decides not to use any device listed there; whereas mate-network-admin creates entries in /etc/network/interfaces

So my questions then are:

Why have two apparently incompatible network configuration tools given roughly equal prominence in the UI?

Where is mate-network-admin documented? Not on the mate-desktop web site, I looked. I will need to roam with this laptop and there's clearly a check box for that, but what does it do?
As far as I can see it removes the information mate-network-admin otherwise puts into /etc/network/interfaces . What files does it use to persist config information?

Thanks
Graham
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Re: mate-network-admin vs network-manager

Postby ith on Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:41 am

Hi! I am also interested in the Administration/Network vs Network Manager duality. Is there any hierarchy, separation of tasks, whatever between these?

I am interested in that especially that the network manager reported "internal error" after a bit of GUI configuration, even on Mint 14 reinstalled second time, and I will probably need to downgrade to the Mint 11.
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Re: mate-network-admin vs network-manager

Postby ith on Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:46 am

I wonder, if the question is so easy, that no one cares to answer, or rather if the duality is somewhat messy, and in effect no one who read the post is really sure what is happening.

For example, why Network Manager can change crucial system settings like IP address, without asking for the root password? Why the duality like "eth0" vs "wired connection 1"? Are modifications in NM persistent and system wide, or rather (as no password is required) per-session and transient? Is X session somehow related to the ability of changing basic network parameters? What then about other users logged in remotely?
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Re: mate-network-admin vs network-manager

Postby grahamh on Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:23 pm

Perhaps a broader question will be easier to answer. Such as:

Where are Linux Mint design decisions documented?
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Re: mate-network-admin vs network-manager

Postby snison on Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:52 am

Why can Update Manager update without a password? Simple. Because both are run as root on startup.

You can always tinker with that if you feel like it (I suggest not doing that), or edit the user (mate-users-admin) so the user cannot do such.

Code: Select all
sudo EDITOR=gedit visudo
I generally don't use salutation, valedication, or please when answering your questions. I'm not a jerk; you have a question, I have a possible solution.
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Re: mate-network-admin vs network-manager

Postby fmouse on Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:24 pm

This is wonky, and reminiscent of the gnome2->gnome3 growing pains, or worse! If NetworkManager is running, then nm-connection-manager runs as a non-privileged client and talks to it, and appears to be the effecive controller of network properties. NetworkManager appears to preempt, via D-Bus, the function of such traditional control files such as /etc/resolv.conf or Debian's /etc/network/interfaces, both of which are out of the loop as far as how the network protocol stack works on systems on which it runs. The nm-applet shows the state of the network, but won't bring up the network management client to NetworkManager, so it has issues. mate-network-admin edits such files as /etc/resolv.conf, which apparently aren't consulted if NetworkManager is running.

In short the situation is fairly well fubar and needs some priority attention from the Mate developers :? IMHO, they should stand mate-network-admin down until it's integrated more thoroughly with the OS and the network stack.
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Re: mate-network-admin vs network-manager

Postby fmouse on Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:34 pm

ith wrote:I wonder, if the question is so easy, that no one cares to answer, or rather if the duality is somewhat messy, and in effect no one who read the post is really sure what is happening.

For example, why Network Manager can change crucial system settings like IP address, without asking for the root password? Why the duality like "eth0" vs "wired connection 1"? Are modifications in NM persistent and system wide, or rather (as no password is required) per-session and transient? Is X session somehow related to the ability of changing basic network parameters? What then about other users logged in remotely?


Because NetworkManager is a server which runs as root, and the "Network Connections" client communicates with it, probably via D-bus and the /var/run/system_bus_socket socket. The client can effect any changes which the server has privileges to make, regardless of the privilege level of the client.
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Re: mate-network-admin vs network-manager

Postby grahamh on Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:06 am

I thought it might be some of the roughness that is supposed to exist in LMDE.

It's one of the reasons my next two systems were standard Linux Mint 14 (Mate) rather than LMDE. But Lo! the same problem exists in Linux Mint 14 (Mate).

So I still have a laptop running LMDE for which the problem doesn't matter, for now, because I have accidentally settled on some settings which work on my home WiFi. That is tolerable while it is not moving between networks. But it will, and I still don't have much confidence it will adapt to new locales without a lot of random trial and error.
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Re: mate-network-admin vs network-manager

Postby Nowan on Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:16 pm

If I'm right, NetworkManager and mate-network-admin are 2 very different and conflicting ways to manage networking.

mate-network-admin acts directly on the (old) classical files/commands :
- /etc/network/interfaces
- /etc/resolv.conf
- ifconfig
- ifup-down
- and some more...

NetworkManager offers several modes, and the default one is to simply ignore the devices configured in /etc/network/interfaces.
For the remaining interfaces, it parses /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/ to find a relevable connection definition file (containing all the needed parameters).
And by default, in /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf, a plugin ("dnsmasq") is activated.
It can handle many functionalities, such as DHCP-Relay, and masquerading DNS server (listening on 127.0.1.1).
It will take the effective DNS servers (either the ones returned by DHCP, or from static conf), and use them as forwarders.
Then, it will overwrite /etc/resolv.conf with itself (127.0.1.1).

Concerning the fact some apps can modify system files, with or without asking a password for priviledge elevation,
it's all about sudo (/etc/sudoers <-- modify only with the command : sudo visudo because it checks you didn't mess with the content before saving),
or polkit (pk-exec, ....) that also gives precise rights to some applications.

Now, if you're tired using NetworkManager, I guess you can uninstall or disable it, so you can use the good old methods =)


Hope this helped.
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