F41 Change Proposal: Remove ifcfg support in NetworkManager (system-wide)

Remove ifcfg support in NetworkManager

This is a proposed Change for Fedora Linux.
This document represents a proposed Change. As part of the Changes process, proposals are publicly announced in order to receive community feedback. This proposal will only be implemented if approved by the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee.


:link: Summary

Remove support for connection profiles stored in ifcfg format in NetworkManager.

:link: Owner

:link: Detailed Description

NetworkManager supports different formats to persist connection profiles to disk. The two formats currently in use in Fedora are keyfile and ifcfg.

Keyfile is the native and preferred format. It supports all the connection types and all the features. Ifcfg is compatible with the old network-scripts. It only supports a limited set of connection types, and it is deprecated upstream.

This change proposal aims at removing NetworkManager support for ifcfg files in Fedora. This is the last step of a process started several releases ago:

  • in Fedora 33, the default connection format was changed from ifcfg to keyfile;
  • in Fedora 36, the plugin that handles ifcfg files was shipped in a separate package and was not included in new installations;
  • since Fedora 39, the NetworkManager daemon automatically migrates ifcfg files to the keyfile format.

:link: Benefit to Fedora

Since ifcfg support is going to be removed upstream, it must also be removed in Fedora. Keyfile is a valid and better replacement.

:link: Scope

  • Proposal owners: drop the following packages:
    • NetworkManager-initscripts-ifcfg-rh containing the ifcfg plugin
    • NetworkManager-dispatcher-routing-rules containing a dispatcher script to apply routing rules in ifcfg format
    • NetworkManager-initscripts-updown containing alternative ifup/ifdown scripts compatible with initscripts commands, using NetworkManager.
  • Other developers: N/A
  • Release engineering: N/A
  • Policies and guidelines: N/A
  • Trademark approval: N/A

:link: Upgrade/compatibility impact

At this point no users should have connection profiles stored in ifcfg format, as NetworkManager is automatically migrating them to keyfile since Fedora 39.

According to documentation , system upgrades are supported only over 2 releases at most (e.g. from 38 to 40); therefore, users upgrading to Fedora 41 must come from Fedora 39 or 40, which have the migration enabled.

If some users disabled the migration, they might still have ifcfg files in /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts. A “readme-ifcfg-rh.txt” file there warns users that the format is deprecated and is going to be removed.

:link: How To Test

  • Try to install the NetworkManager-initscripts-ifcfg-rh package
  • The package is not available.

:link: User Experience

See the “Upgrade/compatibility impact” section.

:link: Dependencies


:link: Contingency Plan

  • Contingency mechanism: Revert the change, try again the next Fedora release.
  • Contingency deadline: Beta freeze
  • Blocks release? no

:link: Documentation

No documentation change required.

:link: Release Notes

The change needs to be mentioned in the Release Notes.

Last edited by @amoloney 2024-06-07T22:35:42Z

1 Like

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Removed f33, f36, f39