network-manager, MAC randomization and incompatible hardware

Robie Basak robie.basak at
Sat Aug 12 13:37:53 UTC 2017

I'd like to draw attention to this bug: "Ubuntu 17.04/17.10: New feature in
NetworkManager stops several WiFi adapters from working (MAC Address
Randomization issue)"

It seems (from a quick glance) that upstream enabled MAC randomization
by default in a new release, but this doesn't work correctly with a
bunch of hardware. Subsquently there's another upstream commit saying
"With commit 4f6c91d6962cc031f07e52bb31adde560ad70fac, we aimed to
enable mac-address-randomization by default for Wi-Fi. That however is
not possible by default because it breaks various scenarios".

So it seems that this impacts a bunch of users in the default scenario -
when they're using this hardware, Network Manager fails to work for them
by default.

Fixing this in an SRU seems tricky because we seem stuck between turning
off randomization for everybody else (which would perhaps be surprising
and undesirable for users where everything is working fine) and leaving
some users broken by default. Or a whitelist or blacklist perhaps - but
that's be hard to construct of course.

I suppose Ubuntu needs to decide what to do about this for Artful and
Zesty. I just thought I'd flag it. I'll leave any decision or action to the
desktop team.

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