Thursday, June 26, 2008

NetworkManager Hacking

While in Boston for the Red Hat Summit, FUDCon, and team meetings in the Westford office, I was also able to get some coding done. One of the big things I've been working on in Fedora is IPv6 in userland, specifically the installer. I've have started looking more closely at NetworkManager in Fedora and worked up some patches (along with Dan Williams) to add IPv6 support to NetworkManager. The first level of support is there now, Dan committed it to the repository on gnome.org tonight. It's actually moving faster than I thought it would, which is nice. It's also fun hacking on a project like NetworkManager because it's a tool that Fedora users run all the time.

What is NetworkManager? Put simply, it's designed for laptop users who move around frequently and connect to different wired or wireless networks. NetworkManager runs in the task bar and presents a simple menu to select your wireless network. It remembers networks you've connected to so when you go back to those places, it will automatically connect. This is a feature that Macs have had for a while and I think Windows does it probably.

NetworkManager is undergoing some improvements and changes so it can be used by more than just laptop users. Support for static network configuration as well as support for other types of networks (modems, mobile broadband, and so on).

Aside from the coding, my team has been meeting all week to plan out improvements to the installer. We have come up with a lot of ideas and have some really good plans in place. But it'll keep us busy for some time.

Tomorrow is my last work day in the Westford office. I'll be down in the Boston area for the weekend and fly back home on Monday morning.

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