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I really do not understand the point of NetworkManager in Linux. Why does it replace the old methods of managing connections in Red Hat, for example?

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i'm not sure this question is actually answerable as you've asked it. –  ixtmixilix Jun 18 '12 at 16:41

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Mostly to make configuration "just work" smoothly when one has a diversity of connection methods (many different Wi-Fi networks, Ethernet, 3G, Bluetooth etc...).

Configuring some of those by hand can be a hassle, specially when you only need them temporarily (e.g. on a laptop).

Of course, one can fall back to the older config and do it by hand or use, e.g. system-config-network (on Red Hat). Also other network configuration tools (like wicd, though it doesn't supports 3G or Bluetooth) are available.

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It is for integration, the good old way is too resource based to be efficient (file edition, service restart..). Now things are working along with event busses, shared apis and stuff like that, so a lot of "managers" that are service providers appeared. Anyway if you don't use a evolved desktop manager, you can still do everything by hand.

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I still do not understand the point. Can you explain more? –  David James Jun 18 '12 at 16:01
    
@DavidJames Author meant that design of whole subsystem is better from performance point of view. Programs can exchange data in many ways. In old times, saving&reading files, restarting programs (e.g. daemons) was enough for discussed purpose. Nowadays, things got more complicated and we use different means to achieve much faster performance (Aurelien mentions about all details, search on internet to find answers) –  Grzegorz Wierzowiecki Dec 27 '12 at 22:10

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