NetworkManager support in Solid for KDE 4

The NetworkManager backend for Solid in KDE 4 is ready to announce. Since writing the frontend in September I hadn't gotten round to making it useful, but after a lot of encouragement from ervin I picked up my tools again.

For readers who are just joining us, what's really cool about Solid is that it separates the function (in this case, information about network devices and controls for them) from the facility that provides that function. This means that KDE 4 apps on Windows will be able to just use Solid without caring about the details of Windows dial up networking etc.

Back to today, the NetworkManager daemon provides user configurable networking in openSUSE and Fedora and is coming to kubuntu, so supporting it is important to us. Using what I learned when working on knetworkmanager for SUSE (mainly, that NetworkManager's DBus API is a bit toss) I've been using QtDBus to implement the Solid backend.

QtDBus really makes DBus programming a joy. Even when you have no Introspect method on the object you're talking to, and its methods are irregular and take and return arbitrary sets of parameters, you can still handle this with QtDBus and stay sane.

To use the Solid NetworkManager backend, you need SVN. At present the solidshell command line tool has been extended to let you control NM - as far as I know this is a World First, as nm-tool is read only. For example

solidshell network listdevices

returns a list of Unique Network Interfaces, and

solidshell network listnetworks /org/freedesktop/NetworkManager/Devices/eth1

returns all the networks visible to eth1, and

solidshell network set network /org/freedesktop/NetworkManager/Devices/eth1 /org/freedesktop/NetworkManager/Devices/eth1/Networks/bedrock authentication wpapsk wpa tkip bettyrubble

activates the wireless network 'bedrock'. solidshell --commands gives you all the info.


Do you know if Solid/NetworkManager will be able to configure and activate connections through dialup modems?

By vladc at Fri, 03/09/2007 - 01:49

Yes, it will.

At the moment (NetworkManager 0.6.x) the daemon has very limited support for PPP - basically dial/hangup of one connection. Of course, the frontend interface in Solid will be more flexible, and then the NM backend will allow as much control as the daemon provides.

NM 0.7 will add better PPP support and things like multiple simultaneous active connections.

By Will Stephenson at Fri, 03/09/2007 - 10:18

Great, thanks for the information!

By vladc at Mon, 03/12/2007 - 19:56

Is there any ETA when NM 0.7 will be ported to KDE4 SOLID?

By queen13 at Thu, 02/07/2008 - 09:57