NetworkManager and Gentoo

So, I’ve recently converted my laptop to Gentoo, and before I even had the base system merged in, I thought I should research NetworkManager. I was running Slackware 10.2 on the lappy, and I had never considered NetworkManager due to the fact that I’d probably have to hack at it until it wasn’t Slack anymore. The wonderful Google led me to various blogs of attempts (some working, some failing) and various mailing lists, usually of obscure issues with NetworkManager or dhcdbd not behaving. I also ran across Gentopia, hosted on the Gentoo Experimental project’s site. The Gentopia site itself isn’t anything much to look at…covered in spam and with tons of missing and outdated pages (makes me want to hook up with the developers and help set up some security). Regardless – the Gentopia overlay is there and it fine, so I went with it.

NM - Connected
When I finally got everything merged in and logged into my Gnome session, it took me some time to get things really rolling. After poking around, I learned that NetworkManager on Gentoo doesn’t just “take care” of everything and make all the existing network scripts obsolete (like I was thinking it might do) – it actually just detects devices and calls the proper /etc/init.d/net.eth* script to make it go. I didn’t realize this – but once I did, things started to roll!

NM - Disconnected
TIP #1: start your net.eth* scripts _after_ NetworkManager is loaded – this seems to make things work right for me. I fought NM up and down trying to just get it to grab a DHCP IP off my wired network and I couldn’t figure out why it wouldn’t. Turns out that dhcpcd was running for eth0 – and when NM requested an IP over the interface, naturally the interface went to shit and lost it’s IP.

NM - Wired NM - Wired, Idle

TIP #2: get your interfaces all working properly _without_ NM running. When I tried to get it to work with my wireless card (Cisco Aironet 350), it would recognize that I had a wireless card plugged in but would show no available networks and just scan all day. Stop the NM & dhcdbd services, and tinker with your /etc/conf.d/wireless config until your card is recognized automatically on plugging in and automatically associates correctly and grabs a DHCP IP. If your device isn’t working w/o NM, odds are low that it will work with NM. My biggest conflict is that my card seems to have some memory of an old network (University network) that I used to connect to and defaults to that ESSID. Thus, I have to override it in my /etc/conf.d/wireless.

NM - Wireless

NM - Menu
And some lovely command line output, for proof :)

NM - Wireless, ifconfig, iwconfig eth2 NM - Wired, ifconfig
So…I will probably post more here when I learn more about NM and how it works with Gentoo…but in the mean time, consider trying it out yourself Gentoo’ers!

NM - Wireless, Idle

….in unrelated news, it turns out that you can drag ‘n drop images from wordpress’ inline image uploader, but it’s a really bad idea. Firefox + WP allows it to happen, but the images all come up with broken links as they loose the site’s prefix. Turns out this isn’t a feature of the inline uploader, but just an “unhandled possible feature”. Argh.

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