Introduction to NetworkManager

NetworkManager is a set of co-operative tools that make networking simple and straightforward. Whether you use WiFi, wired, 3G, or Bluetooth, NetworkManager allows you to quickly move from one network to another: Once a network has been configured and joined once, it can be detected and re-joined automatically the next time it's available.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS 12.1 platform.



Make sure that you disable the systemd-networkd service or configure it not to manage the interfaces you want to manage with NetworkManager.

Package Information

NetworkManager Dependencies





BlueZ-5.72, D-Bus Python-1.3.2 (for the test suite), GnuTLS-3.8.3 (can be used instead of nss-3.98), GTK-Doc-1.33.2, jansson-2.14, ModemManager-1.18.12, (Qt-5.15.12 or qt-components-5.15.12 with qtdoc) (for examples), UPower-1.90.2, Valgrind-3.22.0, dnsmasq, firewalld, libaudit, libteam, mobile-broadband-provider-info, PPP, and RP-PPPoE

Kernel Configuration

If you wish to run the tests, check that at least the following options are enabled in the kernel configuration. Those options have been determined to be necessary, but may not be sufficient. Recompile the kernel if necessary:

[*] Networking support --->                                                [NET]
  Networking options --->
    [*]   TCP/IP networking                                               [INET]
    <*/M>   IP: tunneling                                             [NET_IPIP]
    <*/M>   IP: GRE demultiplexer                              [NET_IPGRE_DEMUX]
    <*/M>   IP: GRE tunnels over IP                                  [NET_IPGRE]
    <*>     The IPv6 protocol --->                                        [IPV6]
      <*/M>   IPv6: IPv6-in-IPv4 tunnel (SIT driver)                  [IPV6_SIT]
      <*/M>   IPv6: GRE tunnel                                        [IPV6_GRE]
      [*]     IPv6: Multiple Routing Tables               [IPV6_MULTIPLE_TABLES]
    [*]     MPTCP: Multipath TCP                                         [MPTCP]
    [*]       MPTCP: IPv6 support for Multipath TCP                 [MPTCP_IPV6]
    <*/M> 802.1Q/802.1ad VLAN Support                               [VLAN_8021Q]
    [*]   QoS and/or fair queueing --->                              [NET_SCHED]
      <*> Stochastic Fairness Queueing (SFQ)                       [NET_SCH_SFQ]
      <*> Token Bucket Filter (TBF)                                [NET_SCH_TBF]
      <*> Fair Queue Controlled Delay AQM (FQ_CODEL)          [NET_SCH_FQ_CODEL]
      <*> Ingress/classifier-action Qdisc                      [NET_SCH_INGRESS]

Device Drivers --->
  [*] Network device support --->                                   [NETDEVICES]
    [*]   Network core driver support                                 [NET_CORE]
    <*/M>   Bonding driver support                                     [BONDING]
    <*/M>   Dummy net driver support                                     [DUMMY]
    <*/M>   Ethernet team driver support --->                         [NET_TEAM]
    <*/M>   MAC-VLAN support                                           [MACVLAN]
    <*/M>     MAC-VLAN based tap driver                                [MACVTAP]
    <*/M>   IP-VLAN support                                             [IPVLAN]
    <*/M>   Virtual eXtensible Local Area Network (VXLAN)                [VXLAN]
    <*/M>   Virtual ethernet pair device                                  [VETH]
    <*/M>   Virtual Routing and Forwarding (Lite)                      [NET_VRF]

Installation of NetworkManager

If Qt-5.15.12 is installed and the Qt based examples are desired, fix two files:

sed -e 's/-qt4/-qt5/'              \
    -e 's/moc_location/host_bins/' \
    -i examples/C/qt/   &&

sed -e 's/Qt/&5/'                  \

Fix the python scripts so that they use Python 3:

grep -rl '^#!.*python$' | xargs sed -i '1s/python/&3/'

Install NetworkManager by running the following commands:

mkdir build &&
cd    build    &&

CXXFLAGS+="-O2 -fPIC"            \
meson setup ..                   \
      --prefix=/usr              \
      --buildtype=release        \
      -Dlibaudit=no              \
      -Dnmtui=true               \
      -Dovs=false                \
      -Dppp=false                \
      -Dselinux=false            \
      -Dqt=false                 \
      -Dsession_tracking=systemd \
      -Dmodem_manager=false      &&

An already active graphical session with a bus address is necessary to run the tests. To test the results, issue ninja test.

A few tests may fail, depending on enabled kernel options.

Now, as the root user:

ninja install &&
mv -v /usr/share/doc/NetworkManager{,-1.44.2}

If you have not passed the -Ddocs=true option to meson, you can install the pregenerated manual pages with (as the root user):

for file in $(echo ../man/*.[1578]); do
    section=${file##*.} &&
    install -vdm 755 /usr/share/man/man$section
    install -vm 644 $file /usr/share/man/man$section/

If you have not used -Ddocs=true, the pregenerated HTML documentation can also be installed with (as the root user):

cp -Rv ../docs/{api,libnm} /usr/share/doc/NetworkManager-1.44.2

Command Explanations

CXXFLAGS="-O2 -fPIC": These compiler options are necessary to build the Qt5 based examples.

--buildtype=release: Specify a buildtype suitable for stable releases of the package, as the default may produce unoptimized binaries.

-Ddocs=true: Use this switch to enable building man pages and documentation if GTK-Doc-1.33.2 is installed.

-Dnmtui=true: This switch enables building nmtui.

-Dovs=false: This switch disable the Open vSwitch integration because it needs jansson-2.14. Remove it if you have jansson-2.14 installed on your system.

-Dmodem_manager=false: This switch is required if ModemManager is not installed. Omit this switch if you have built ModemManager and mobile-broadband-provider-info.

-Dsession_tracking=systemd: This switch is used to set systemd-logind as the default program for session tracking.

-Dppp=false: This switch disables PPP support in NetworkManager since the programs necessary for it are not installed. Remove this switch if you need PPP support and have PPP installed.

-Dlibaudit=no and -Dselinux=false: This switch disables support for libaudit and SELinux since they are not used in BLFS.

-Dqt=false: This switch disables the Qt examples. Omit if you have Qt available and wish to install the examples.

-Dcrypto=gnutls: Use this switch if you have GnuTLS installed and want to use it for certificate and key operations in NetworkManager, instead of using NSS (the default).

-Dcrypto=null: Use this switch if neither NSS nor GnuTLS is installed but you want to build NetworkManager anyway. This switch will make NetworkManager lack some features (for example 802.1X).

-Dsuspend_resume=upower: Use this switch if you have UPower-1.90.2 installed and want to use it (instead of Systemd-255) for suspend and resume support.

Configuring NetworkManager

Config Files


Configuration Information

For NetworkManager to work, at least a minimal configuration file must be present. Such a file is not installed with make install. Issue the following command as the root user to create a minimal NetworkManager.conf file:

cat >> /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf << "EOF"

This file should not be modified directly by users of the system. Instead, system specific changes should be made using configuration files in the /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d directory.

To allow polkit to manage authorizations, add the following configuration file:

cat > /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/polkit.conf << "EOF"

To use something other than the built-in dhcp client (recommended if using only nmcli), use the following configuration (valid values include either dhcpcd or internal):

cat > /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/dhcp.conf << "EOF"

To prevent NetworkManager from updating the /etc/resolv.conf file, add the following configuration file:

cat > /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/no-dns-update.conf << "EOF"

For additional configuration options, see man 5 NetworkManager.conf.

To allow regular users to configure network connections, you should add them to the netdev group, and create a polkit rule that grants access. Run the following commands as the root user:

groupadd -fg 86 netdev &&
/usr/sbin/usermod -a -G netdev <username>

cat > /usr/share/polkit-1/rules.d/org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.rules << "EOF"
polkit.addRule(function(action, subject) {
    if ("org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.") == 0 && subject.isInGroup("netdev")) {
        return polkit.Result.YES;

Systemd Unit

To start the NetworkManager daemon at boot, enable the previously installed systemd unit by running the following command as the root user:



If using Network Manager to manage an interface, any previous configuration for that interface should be removed, and the interface brought down prior to starting Network Manager.

systemctl enable NetworkManager

Starting in version 1.11.2 of NetworkManager, a systemd unit named NetworkManager-wait-online.service is enabled, which is used to prevent services that require network connectivity from starting until NetworkManager establishes a connection. To disable this behavior, run the following command as the root user:

systemctl disable NetworkManager-wait-online


Installed Programs: NetworkManager, nmcli, nm-online, nmtui, and, symlinked to nmtui: nmtui-connect, nmtui-edit, and nmtui-hostname
Installed Libraries: and several modules under /usr/lib/NetworkManager
Installed Directories: /etc/NetworkManager, /usr/include/libnm, /usr/lib/NetworkManager, /usr/share/doc/NetworkManager-1.44.2, /usr/share/gtk-doc/html/{libnm,NetworkManager} (if the documentation is built), and /var/lib/NetworkManager

Short Descriptions


is a command-line tool for controlling NetworkManager and getting its status


is an utility to determine whether you are online


is an interactive ncurses-based user interface for nmcli


is an interactive ncurses-based user interface to activate/deactivate connections


is an interactive ncurses-based user interface to edit connections


is an interactive ncurses-based user interface to edit the hostname


is the network management daemon

contains functions used by NetworkManager