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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 (network-manager-gnome, network-manager-kde).

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:


Since network-manager version 0.8.1-4, existing wired/wireless interfaces in /etc/network/interfaces are disabled with a #NetworkManager# prefix during package installation, then re-enabled when the network-manager package is removed (Debian bug 530024).

Enabling Interface Management

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

"Auto Ethernet" and "Auto eth0"


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

A) Configure /etc/network/interfaces, see 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