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 * [[DebianMan:1/nmtui|nmtui(1)]] - Interactive text client

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NetworkManager attempts to keep an active network connection available at all times.

The point of NetworkManager is to make networking configuration and setup as painless and automatic as possible. If using DHCP, NetworkManager is intended to replace default routes, obtain IP addresses from a DHCP server and change nameservers whenever it sees fit. In effect, the goal of NetworkManager is to make networking Just Work.

If you have special needs, the upstream's developers would like to hear about them, but understand that NetworkManager is not intended to serve the needs of all users.


NetworkManager is composed of two parts:

  1. A daemon running as root (network-manager).

  2. A front-end (nmcli, nmtui, network-manager-gnome, plasma-nm).

NetworkManager will only handle interfaces not declared in /etc/network/interfaces (see README file).


The features of NetworkManager are described on its homepage.


Make sure you read the fine manual:

Wired Networks are Unmanaged

As of Debian 6.0 "Squeeze", NetworkManager does not manage any interface defined in /etc/network/interfaces by default.

Unmanaged devices means NetworkManager doesn't handle those network devices. This occurs when two conditions are met:

  1. The file /etc/network/interfaces contains anything about the interface, even:

    allow-hotplug eth0
    iface eth0 inet dhcp
  2. And /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf contains:


Enabling Interface Management

If you want NetworkManager to handle interfaces that are enabled in /etc/network/interfaces:

  • Set managed=true in /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf.

  • Restart NetworkManager:

    /etc/init.d/network-manager restart

"Auto Ethernet" and "Auto eth0"

  • Auto Ethernet means "Select an Ethernet interface automatically"

  • Auto eth0 means "autoconfigure the eth0 interface".


Q. How do I configure a static IP address (for a server, etc) ?

A) Use nm-connection-editor or configure /etc/network/interfaces as described in NetworkConfiguration.

Q. How can I configure DNS for NetworkManager?

A) The short answer is to use nm-connection-editor. For the long answer see the corresponding entry in NetworkConfiguration.

Q. Why can't I see NetworkManager with my new user account ?

A) Make sure human users are in the netdev group (see /usr/share/doc/network-manager-gnome/README.Debian).

See Also