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I have a laptop with debian. Networking is configured with NetworkManager. Now occasionally I want to connect a device to its wired ethernet port and then bridge wireless to it. That all works in so far: I need to terminate NetworkManager first manually to ignore the ethernet port or else it is going to try to configure it which interferes with the static address required. My question now is: how can I, using a dbus command, say to NetworkManager that it should ignore eth0 for a while? And later to manage it again?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

From the Debian wiki:

As of Debian Squeeze, NetworkManager does not manage any interface defined in /etc/network/interfaces by default.

So you should maybe put the static Ethernet configuration in the interfaces file and prevent NetworkManager from managing it altogether. I think you can also do some interface mapping to automatically switch between using the bridged configuration and the "normal" one as needed.

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as far as i remember, you have to restart network manager after that to take effect. Which is more complicated than simply stopping it. – BatchyX Apr 28 '13 at 20:25
@BatchyX Not really sure what you mean. I'm suggesting that the OP should prevent NetworkManager from managing their eth0 (or equivalent) interface. All it would cost is one restart of NetworkManager. – Joseph R. Apr 28 '13 at 20:37
The OP reads temporarily ignore an interface. It's even in the title! – BatchyX Apr 29 '13 at 6:59
@BatchyX I have seen that. Please read the OP again carefully. Making NetworkManager temporarily ignore an interface, isn't an end in itself. It's the solution the OP found to his problem. I'm suggesting (what I think is) a better approach to his original problem that would allow him to switch between configurations automatically without resorting to a "dbus command". – Joseph R. Apr 29 '13 at 9:20

I'm afraid that that is not possible. The D-Bus API allows you to disable all kinds of wireless devices, but not the wired ones. The only way to disable wired connections is to disable all devices, including your wireless device.

Maybe it helps to untick the "Connect automatically" box for your wired device. That way NetworkManager won't automatically connect to it.

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This is what I found from nmcli man-pages. I don't know which distributions this applies, but I'm using Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

This will mark device to disconnect state so it's outside network-manager control

nmcli dev disconnect iface eth0 

This is fine as long as I don't disconnect the cable.

You can check device status with:

nmcli dev status

And currently active connections with:

nmcli con status

I created this helper script nm-manual-interface




if [ "$DEV" == "help" ]; then
echo -n "$0 "
  cat <<'EOH';
<DEV> [manual|auto]

Change <DEV> to disconnected state for nm.
In short take manual control of <DEV>.

All changes are temporary.


Change to manual:
echo $0 eth0 manual
echo Change back to nm control:
echo $0 eth0 auto
  exit 1
# store last uuid of device here

if [ "$OPER" == "manual" ]; then
  if [ -n "$DEV"  ] ; then
    UUIDNET=$(nmcli con status |grep "$DEV" | perl -anle 'print @F[1]')
    if [ -n "$UUIDNET" ]; then 
      echo "$UUIDNET"  > $LASTUUIDFILE
      nmcli dev disconnect iface "$DEV"

if [ "$OPER" == "auto" ]; then
  if [ -f "$LASTUUIDFILE" ]; then
     nmcli con up uuid $(cat "$LASTUUIDFILE") --nowait
    echo No last-state uuid file for iface "$DEV"
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