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Date:	Thu, 10 Jul 2014 17:53:29 +0200
From:	Nicolas Dichtel <>
To:	Tom Gundersen <>,
CC:, David Miller <>,
	David Herrmann <>,
	Kay Sievers <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH v7 01/33] net: add name_assign_type netdev attribute

Le 10/07/2014 10:17, Tom Gundersen a écrit :
> Based on a patch by David Herrmann.
> The name_assign_type attribute gives hints where the interface name of a
> given net-device comes from. These values are currently defined:
>      The ifname is provided by the kernel with an enumerated
>      suffix, typically based on order of discovery. Names may
>      be reused and unpredictable.
>      The ifname has been assigned by the kernel in a predictable way
>      that is guaranteed to avoid reuse and always be the same for a
>      given device. Examples include statically created devices like
>      the loopback device and names deduced from hardware properties
>      (including being given explicitly by the firmware). Names
>      depending on the order of discovery, or in any other way on the
>      existence of other devices, must not be marked as PREDICTABLE.
>      The ifname was provided by user-space during net-device setup.
>      The net-device has been renamed from userspace. Once this type is set,
>      it cannot change again.
>      This is an internal placeholder to indicate that we yet haven't yet
>      categorized the name. It will not be exposed to userspace, rather
>      -EINVAL is returned.
> The aim of these patches is to improve user-space renaming of interfaces. As
> a general rule, userspace must rename interfaces to guarantee that names stay
> the same every time a given piece of hardware appears (at boot, or when
> attaching it). However, there are several situations where userspace should
> not perform the renaming, and that depends on both the policy of the local
> admin, but crucially also on the nature of the current interface name.
> If an interface was created in repsonse to a userspace request, and userspace
> already provided a name, we most probably want to leave that name alone. The
> main instance of this is wifi-P2P devices created over nl80211, which currently
> have a long-standing bug where they are getting renamed by udev. We label such
> names NET_NAME_USER.
> If an interface, unbeknown to us, has already been renamed from userspace, we
> most probably want to leave also that alone. This will typically happen when
> third-party plugins (for instance to udev, but the interface is generic so could
> be from anywhere) renames the interface without informing udev about it. A
> typical situation is when you switch root from an installer or an initrd to the
> real system and the new instance of udev does not know what happened before
> the switch. These types of problems have caused repeated issues in the past. To
> solve this, once an interface has been renamed, its name is labelled
> In many cases, the kernel is actually able to name interfaces in such a
> way that there is no need for userspace to rename them. This is the case when
> the enumeration order of devices, or in fact any other (non-parent) device on
> the system, can not influence the name of the interface. Examples include
> statically created devices, or any naming schemes based on hardware properties
> of the interface. In this case the admin may prefer to use the kernel-provided
> names, and to make that possible we label such names NET_NAME_PREDICTABLE.
> We want the kernel to have tho possibilty of performing predictable interface
> naming itself (and exposing to userspace that it has), as the information
> necessary for a proper naming scheme for a certain class of devices may not
> be exposed to userspace.
> The case where renaming is almost certainly desired, is when the kernel has
> given the interface a name using global device enumeration based on order of
> discovery (ethX, wlanY, etc). These naming schemes are labelled NET_NAME_ENUM.
> Lastly, a fallback is left as NET_NAME_UNKNOWN, to indicate that a driver has
> not yet been ported. This is mostly useful as a transitionary measure, allowing
> us to label the various naming schemes bit by bit.
> Signed-off-by: Tom Gundersen <>
> Reviewed-by: David Herrmann <>
> Reviewed-by: Kay Sievers <>
> ---
>   Documentation/ABI/testing/sysfs-class-net | 11 +++++++++++
>   include/linux/netdevice.h                 |  2 ++
>   include/uapi/linux/netdevice.h            |  6 ++++++
>   net/core/net-sysfs.c                      | 20 ++++++++++++++++++++
>   4 files changed, 39 insertions(+)
> diff --git a/Documentation/ABI/testing/sysfs-class-net b/Documentation/ABI/testing/sysfs-class-net
> index 416c5d5..d34280a 100644
> --- a/Documentation/ABI/testing/sysfs-class-net
> +++ b/Documentation/ABI/testing/sysfs-class-net
> @@ -1,3 +1,14 @@
> +What:		/sys/class/net/<iface>/name_assign_type
> +Date:		July 2014
> +KernelVersion:	3.2
> +Contact:
> +Description:
> +		Indicates the name assignment type. Possible values are:
> +		1: enumerated by the kernel, possibly in an unpredictable way
> +		2: predictably named by the kernel
> +		3: named by userspace
> +		4: renamed
> +
>   What:		/sys/class/net/<iface>/addr_assign_type
>   Date:		July 2010
>   KernelVersion:	3.2
> diff --git a/include/linux/netdevice.h b/include/linux/netdevice.h
> index 66f9a04..551e187 100644
> --- a/include/linux/netdevice.h
> +++ b/include/linux/netdevice.h
> @@ -1379,6 +1379,8 @@ struct net_device {
>   	struct kset		*queues_kset;
>   #endif
> +	unsigned char		name_assign_type;
> +
>   	bool			uc_promisc;
>   	unsigned int		promiscuity;
>   	unsigned int		allmulti;
> diff --git a/include/uapi/linux/netdevice.h b/include/uapi/linux/netdevice.h
> index fdfbd1c..82e630a 100644
> --- a/include/uapi/linux/netdevice.h
> +++ b/include/uapi/linux/netdevice.h
> @@ -37,6 +37,12 @@
>   #define INIT_NETDEV_GROUP	0
> +/* interface name assignment types (sysfs name_assign_type attribute) */
> +#define NET_NAME_UNKNOWN	0	/* unknown origin (not exposed to userspace) */
> +#define NET_NAME_ENUM		1	/* enumerated by kernel */
> +#define NET_NAME_PREDICTABLE	2       /* predictably named by the kernel */
Nitpicking: there is spaces instead tabs between '2' and the comment.
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