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

Till Maas till at redhat.com
Mon Feb 13 07:19:35 UTC 2023

Am So., 12. Feb. 2023 um 21:20 Uhr schrieb Thomas Haller <thaller at redhat.com

> Hi,
> 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.

It seems to me that having NM ship a default profile
with "connection.multi-connect=multiple" that contains the settings that
the automatically created profile simplifies the configuration and makes
the behavior accessible via the API and reduces the need to configure this
with the NetworkManager-config-server subpackage. What would be the
downside of removing the auto-default behavior?


> 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.
> Thomas

Till Maas
Manager, Software Engineering
Network Management Team - NetworkManager, Nmstate, Ansible RHEL Networking
System Role

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