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Introductory iproute2 documentation (Was Re: ifconfig network resolution)




Hi Richard,

On Tue, Jun 13, 2017 at 05:11:47AM -0500, Richard Owlett wrote:
> Can you recommend a good introduction to iproute2 which ignores the
> existence of net-tools (start newbies with good habits)?

Unfortunately I don't think I actually can. Being someone who
started off with the net-tools commands (and frankly, still having
to force myself to reach for the newer iproute2 ones) I've never
really gone looking for iproute2 tutorials. More "how do I do this
net-tools thing in iproute2?".

Anyway, the best I've found is this:

    http://baturin.org/docs/iproute2/

but some of the more advanced examples here suffer from the problem
of explaining how to do a thing without actually explaining what that
thing is or why one might want to do it.

Here's a page I sometimes refer to when trying to work out what teh
iproute2 equivalent is:

    https://dougvitale.wordpress.com/2011/12/21/deprecated-linux-networking-commands-and-their-replacements/

That's about the best I can do I'm afraid. Perhaps others have
better links.

> I find man pages a poor fit for what I'm looking for.

Yes, the man pages for the iproute2 tools are notoriously awful,
looking as they do like the output of some sort of automated tool
rather than actual documentation.

The topic of "documentation is hard" is one that this list has
been over and over quite a few times recently.

The question that immediately springs to mind for many people is, if
the documentation is not acceptable then why have the net-tools
commands been deprecated? But this is the real world and things are
not so simple.

Demand for features led the kernel side of things to develop in ways
that the net-tools commands can't handle, so new tools were needed
to interrogate and manage those features. As of today, you can still
configure and manage a simple and functional network setup with the
net-tools commands, but to do advanced things you need the iproute2
commands. And because of the different interfaces it is even
possible for some binary to do something as simple as add multiple
IP addresses to an interface, but in a way that ifconfig cannot see.

So while it is not a great situation to be in with regard to
documentation, it is even worse to have multiple incompatible ways
of doing things, and that is why Debian and other Linux
distributions are making a concerted effort to deprecate the
net-tools commands.

Cheers,
Andy

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