cli network-location manager for OpenBSD
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netctl
netctl.8

README.md

About netctl

netctl is a utility to manage network locations, interface configuration files, and to start, stop, or restart interfaces on OpenBSD.

netctl is not a replacement for ifconfig(8) or netstart(8). It's utility to make managing locations easier. netstart and ifconfig still do the work. netctl makes the user's life, especially portable users, easier.

Features

  • Create, delete and switch between locations (including restarting interfaces)
  • Enable and disable configurations.
  • Start, stop and restart interfaces.
  • Detect and join known wireless networks (waps).
  • Scan for wireless access points.
  • List locations, configurations, interfaces, and waps.

See the man page for further details.

Install

There's no installer for netctl at the moment. doas make install will install to /usr/local unless you override the PREFIX variable.

make install will also create /etc/hostname.d/ and /etc/hostname.d/nwids/

Locations

netctl works by symlinking hostname.if files in location directories to /etc/hostname.if so that the normal netstart(8) code can do what it already does well.

netctl will create location directories for you by calling doas netctl create location_name. netctl will not at this time create the hostname.if files. They have to be created the same ways as documented in hostname.if(5). See the man page for more details.

Auto Detecting and Joining Networks

Auto detecting and joining requires some setup. netctl will not connect to wireless access points that are not known. To create a known wap, a standard wireless hostname.if file should be created in /etc/hostname.d/nwids. E.g.,

	$ cat /etc/hostname.d/nwids/Silly\ Wap.nwid
	nwid "Silly Wap"
	wpakey '$w@pau7h99'
	dhcp

The filename must be the same as the nwid in the file which must match the ESSID of the wireless access point. Any valid configuration directive ifconfig(8) will accept may be placed in the file.

Executing doas netctl -a start iwm0 will cause netctl to scan the local network (with ifconfig iwm0 scan) and attempt to match the results with the names of the nwids found by ls-ing /etc/hostname.d/nwids.

N.B. ifconfig scan is called with each wlan device unless one is specified after the start parameter.

Auto Detecting and Joining Networks When Resuming

netctl is not a daemon so it doesn't know when a computer has resumed from sleep. apmd(8) does know and will call a script called resume if it exists in /etc/apm and is executable.

A simple script like the following will work where the script is called suspend and the other scripts are symlinked to it (see the man page for apmd(8)):

#!/bin/sh

cmd="${0##*([[:blank:]])/etc/apm/}"
case "${cmd}" in
		powerup|resume)
				/usr/local/bin/netctl -a restart
				;;
		*)
		;;
esac

TODO

  • Add boot time detecting and joining wireless networks
  • Create hostname.if files in locations

Maybe TODO

  • Set and get values in hostname.if files. E.g.,
	$ doas netctl get home nwid
	"Silly Wap"

	$ doas netctl set home nwid "My WAP Name"

	$ doas netctl set home dhcp on

Comments on Boot Time Configuration

netctl is written in pure shell (using no commands outside of shell, /bin and /sbin), so that it can run at boot time when /usr may not be mounted yet.

I think I can get automated location switching working at boot time. I already have code from an earlier project that will match wap scans to the correct configuration. I'm rewriting it in pure shell and integrating it for use during boot.

Copyright and License

Copyright (c) 2017 Aaron Poffenberger akp@hypernote.com

Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software for any purpose with or without fee is hereby granted, provided that the above copyright notice and this permission notice appear in all copies.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS" AND THE AUTHOR DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES WITH REGARD TO THIS SOFTWARE INCLUDING ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHOR BE LIABLE FOR ANY SPECIAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER RESULTING FROM LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER TORTIOUS ACTION, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF THIS SOFTWARE.

Updates and Suggestions

Let me know by Issue or email if you find bugs or have suggestions.