-------- Original Message --------
Subject: net-tools future
Date: Sun, 15 Mar 2009 17:30:18
From: Martín Ferrari <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Luk Claes and me, as the current maintainers of net-tools, we've been
thinking about it's future. Net-tools has been a core part of Debian and
any other linux based distro for many years, but it's showing its age.
It doesnt support many of the modern features of the linux kernel, the
interface is far from optimal and difficult to use in automatisation,
and also, it hasn't got much love in the last years.
On the other side, the iproute suite, introduced around the 2.2 kernel
line, has both a much better and consistent interface, is more powerful,
and is almost ten years old, so nobody would say it's untested.
Hence, our plans are to replace net-tools completely with iproute, maybe
leading the route for other distributions to follow. Of course, most
people and tools use and remember the venerable old interface, so the
first step would be to write wrappers, trying to be compatible with
At the same time, we believe that most packages using net-tools should
be patched to use iproute instead, while others can continue using the
wrappers for some time. The ifupdown package is obviously the first
candidate, but it seems that a version using iproute has been available
in experimental since 2007.
So, the roadmap would be:
- Send patches to net-tools using packages to use iproute instead
- Development of the wrapper scripts
- Uploading to experimental a net-tools-compat package, to allow wider
- Upload to unstable
About the wrapper scripts:
* ipconfig, route: the most difficult ones, both can be replaced by
calls to "ip", maybe except for some obscure options.
* netstat : sstat provides almost the same information, just some
formatting changes and parsing the command line
* rarp should be dropped, as the linux kernel doesn't support it
anymore, since the 2.3 series. The ...