This article describes possibilities for managing the network stack. Gentoo provides several tools for bringing up networking interfaces and managing network connections. In addition, Gentoo provides tools for managing dialup modem connections and for managing WiFi connections and network authentication.
After booting a Linux kernel, by default, all network interfaces are down, so something extra will be needed to be done to automatically bring them up, set static addresses, obtain DHCP leases on dynamic addresses, configure routes, DNS etc. These are the processes covered by the term "network management". netifrc or NetworkManager is usually used for this on Gentoo, or in simple situations just installing dhcpcd will suffice.
Other specific tools are used for network authentication, PPP connections, VPN connections etc.
Network management is often accomplished in Gentoo using netifrc (the net.* scripts described in the Gentoo Handbook). Also work is ongoing to provide a new networking stack as part of OpenRC. When using only static interfaces, it is possible to try this out by emerging OpenRC with the
newnet use flag and configuring /etc/conf.d/network and /etc/conf.d/staticroute.
sys-apps/openrc -netifrc -newnet
Comparison of provided functionality
Gentoo provides several tools for managing the network stack. Some perform overall management, while others mainly perform specific sub functions, but may also perform overall management.
|Software||Manage interfaces||IP layer Including static addresses, routes, DNS||DHCP||WPA Wireless network authentication||802.1X Wired network authentication||PPP||GUI|
|Netifrc||Yes||Yes||No This turned out to be a busybox dependency. Netifrc now supports net-misc/dhcpcd, net-misc/dhcp, and sys-apps/busybox.||No||No||No||No Can use gui of wpa_supplicant|
|DHCPCD||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||Yes See dhcpcd-ui article|
|NetworkManager||Yes||Yes||Yes As of version 1.20||No||No||No||Yes|
|wpa_supplicant||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes qt5 use flag provides wpa_gui|
|iwd||Yes||No||Yes As of version 0.19||Yes||No||No||No|
|Point-to-point protocol (PPP)|
Comparison of network managers
There are different solutions for overall management of network connections. The differences between them are as such:
|Netifrc||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No Can use gui of wpa_supplicant||Yes|
|DHCPCD||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||Yes See dhcpcd-ui article||Yes|
|ConnMan ConnMan is a command-line network manager designed for use with embedded devices, see also ||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown|
|OpenRC The <var>newnet</var> USE flag enables OpenRC's new network stack (experimental)]||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown|
- Dependency behavior (OpenRC)
- How to keep classic network interface naming
- Sysfs#Usage — Which network interfaces are on the computer?
- VPN — a list of some VPN options available in Gentoo Linux.