I frequently find myself sitting in front of various different Linux installations and need to check or change network settings. They are different versions from different distributions (mostly debian and opensuse, but also ubuntu and derived variants) in varying states of customization, which means i can't make reliable assumptions about their configurations.

So how can i find out in a easy and robust (that is distro and version independent) way, which service is used to manage network interfaces and related network settings. (like NetworkManager, Systemd-networkd or ifup/down)

-> Ideally with basic system tools

The System can find out which service is to be used/started at system startup, so there has to be either a command that tells me or a config file where i can look it up.

I am aware, that similar questions have been asked numerous times, but all answers i could find boil down to one of two not very helpful gists:

  • either the author mentioned their distro/version and someone told them, which program is probably used
  • or they were told to basically try each possibility until they found the running manager

both of which i consider neither very reliable nor safe. (not to mention that trial and error is very time consuming)

  • /etc/*-release could be a starting point. But content is also distribution specific. IP setup is something where distributions differ a lot
    – Nils
    Commented Dec 14, 2021 at 18:31

1 Answer 1


Shows the currently enabled network service (Wicked or Network Manager).

systemctl show -p Id network.service

source: SUSE LE Guide

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