[Networkmanager] Howto add 802-1x settings for all new ethernet connections

Thomas Haller thaller at redhat.com
Sun Feb 12 20:20:01 UTC 2023


On Sun, 2023-02-12 at 11:00 +0100, John Doe wrote:
> We're currently looking into requiring 802-1x for all wired ethernet
> connections.
> We have a large number of Linux clients. Mostly slim laptops that
> don't have an ethernet adapter. These connect to the wired network
> using docking stations or usb to ethernet adapters. All Linux clients
> are deployed using PXE boot to deploy the company image.
> Problem is during the deploy process there's of course only the
> adapter used for the deploy availbale on the client. I can get the
> 802-1x settings added for this adapter as part of the deploy.
> But then I'm out of control. I can't control NetworkManager to setup
> 802-1x for the connection created by NetworkManager when the user
> connects to a docking station. Yes, unfortunately it creates a new
> wired connection.

you can disable that with "[main].no-auto-default=*" in
NetworkManager.conf. Of course, the the user plugs in a new ethernet
device and NetworkManager isn't doing anything automatically. Whether
that is more desirable is unclear.

That profile only gets created, because there is no otherwise suitable
profile. If you pre-deploy an ethernet profile that can activate on any
interface, then this has no effect.

> It doesn't use the existing one.
> I've looked into setting up connection settings in
> NetworkManager.conf. Unfortunately it only supports the 802-1x.auth-
> timeout setting.
> I've tried using a pre-up dispatcher script, unfortunately it don't
> pick up on adding settings to the connection profile.
> I've tried using 2 pre-created connection profiles that only list the
> type as ethernet and don't point to a specific interface. This works
> for Ubuntu 20.04 and 22.04 but not 18.04, nmcli in Ubuntu 18.04
> requires specifying ifname when creating a connection profile.

That also works with older nmcli: 

  nmcli connection add ... ifname "*"

> Is there some way to hook into NetworkManager whenever it picks up a
> new device and add the 802-1x settings for all new wired connection
> profiles?

No, the "Wired connection 1" is (almost) not configurable, certainly
not for a 802-1x settings. In any case, there is usually no need for a
way to hook that, just create the profile you want instead.

It sounds like, you just should create a profile that is not tied to a
particular interface and has the 802.1x settings. If you want, maybe
also set "connection.multi-connect=multiple", so that the profile can
activate on more than one devices at a time.


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