Call for opinions: default naming policy for USB network interfaces: MAC/path/kernel?

Martin Pitt martin.pitt at
Thu Apr 14 09:50:12 UTC 2016

Martin Pitt [2016-04-06 12:56 +0200]:
>  * MAC based (status quo): Emphasize the identity of the device that
>    you connect
>    + Works well on PCs/laptops where you want to connect your phone or
>      USB 3G stick on an arbitrary USB slot.
>    - With boards like the RasPi you usually think in terms of
>      location: The left port is for the external USB ethernet card,
>      the right port for something else.
>    - You can't just take a pre-configured image and install it on a
>      bunch of RasPis, as the configuration depends on the particular
>      USB ethernet dongle that you plug in, so the names will be
>      different on every deployed device, you can't keep a r/o
>      image, and you need to adjust the configuration everywhere.

For the record, forgot some minuses here:

 - Long and ugly names

 - This also causes an "interesting" bug (LP: #1567744): It's not
   possible to make the name much longer by e. g. appending a ":1" to
   define an aliased device, in this case you have to set your own
   name.  So:

> None of those are optimal of course (this is an absurdly difficult and
> bikeshed-prone topic, thanks to Linux's "unique" way of treating
> network interfaces completely differently than all other devices), so
> I'm not sure how to do the decision in a qualified way. But let's
> please collect some opinions and see if there's some clear favorite.

So we got one vote from Aaron in favor of moving to location-based,
and some further analysis from Steve (who didn't seem to like
location-based much), so not a clear direction here. Which probably
means to keep the status quo for 16.04 final? 16.04.1 is our next
change to address that (we can't chagne the schema for upgrades



Martin Pitt                        |
Ubuntu Developer (  | Debian Developer  (
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