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Kernel Log: Consistent names for network interfaces

Feb 02, 2011, 13:04 (10 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Thorsten Leemhuis)

"Future distributions will use a consistent, predictable scheme to name network interfaces, using names such as "em1" and "pci2#1" instead of "eth0" and "eth1" to provide more transparency for server administrators. As various new kernels have recently been introduced, the Kernel Log will provide an overview of the most important Stable and Longterm kernel series.

"For yearsPDF, Matt Domsch has advocated solutions which provide reliable and predictable network port names – in systems with multiple network sockets, the driver loading sequence and hardware response times influence whether a certain port will be called eth0 or eth1. Now, the Dell technology strategist and DKMS contributor seems to have taken a big step towards his goal. On his blog, Domsch, who also contributes to the Fedora project, explains that Fedora 15 – expected in May – will use a device naming scheme that he helped develop, in which udev accesses "biosdevname", a program mainly developed by Dell employees, to allocate network device names. The developer says that other distributions are also likely to adopt this solution.

"This naming scheme will make udev allocate the device name "em1" to the motherboard's first network port, "em" being short for "embedded"; network cards will be named according to the pattern "pci#" (such as pci2#1), which should always make the ports on a network card accessible under the same name as long as the card, or a substitute, is inserted in the same slot. The sub-functions of network cards that can be partitioned (NPAR) and the sub-functions of cards with SR-IOV virtualisation support are given an added underscore and a number. As before, vlan functions are separated by a dot, and aliases by a colon."

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