NetworkManager and bridging

In previous iterations of NetworkManager, it was really only useful if you were dealing with wireless networks. Anything involving a bridge meant removing the device from NetworkManager, and manually configuring the network. A fair amount of work has been done to make NetworkManager more friendly to bridged devices, however it’s still far from perfect.   […]

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NetworkManager and bridging

Friday , 20, December 2013

In previous iterations of NetworkManager, it was really only useful if you were dealing with wireless networks. Anything involving a bridge meant removing the device from NetworkManager, and manually configuring the network.

A fair amount of work has been done to make NetworkManager more friendly to bridged devices, however it’s still far from perfect.    My experiences so far:

  • There isn’t an intuitive way to create a bridge in the NetworkManager gui.
  • Configuring the bridge manually, and leaving control of the devices with NetworkManager works. I tested this using bridged network devices and virtual machines in virt-manager.
  • With a manually configured bridge, the status icon in gnome is confused at best. Do not rely on it to provide an accurate status of your network.

The screenshot below should demonstrate the confusion to some extent. I wouldn’t expect the ‘Wired’ connection to show up, as it’s a slave to the bridge. Both the virbr0 and the vpn show as off, even though both are active and in use.

network-manager

At this point the best course of action for anyone who needs a bridge is simply to remove NetworkManager from the equation. Since this is already current practice, it’s not really a deviation for folks tracking 6->7 differences.

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