Thursday, 14 April 2016

Re: Call for opinions: default naming policy for USB network interfaces: MAC/path/kernel?

Hello Sebastien,

Sebastien Bacher [2016-04-14 15:16 -0600]:
> On the location based option you wrote that it creates issues when you
> connect e.g an usb dongle to another port, but then you commented that it
> doesn't matter because nm handles it fine. Do we know of any case which
> wouldn't work for normal desktop users going through nm then? Do we have any
> element in our desktop stack relying on the name?

No, as long as you use NetworkManager, its VPN plugin etc., the name
is fairly irrelevant. This only really matters if you use ifupdown
configuration for those devices, or use a firewall script which
refers to these interfaces. So while you can do these things on a
desktop (and I'm sure some people do), these are not typical cases

As I said, the main use cases that are affected here are
small/embedded devices such as Raspi, set-top boxes, routers etc.,
which commonly only have USB network devices and where
network/firewall config is usually done statically.

> It seems from a desktop perspective there is no much difference between the
> options, especially if nm handles things dynamically. We don't show those
> names to users much (nautilus uses labels where it can and non technical
> users are probably not paying much attention to the names displayed e.g in
> the current connection info), though having the name a bit shorter than the
> full MAC would be nice.

Yes, I agree.

> In summary I think that any of the options is fine for desktop and there is
> no clear winner for the other usercases, so it probably makes sense to stick
> with what we have for the release and see what feedback we get and revisit
> if needed for .1.

Ack, thanks for your feedback!

Martin Pitt |
Ubuntu Developer ( | Debian Developer (

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