Desired behaviour of "ifconfig -alias"

J. T. Farmer jfarmer at
Mon Feb 12 23:14:33 UTC 2007

Oliver Fromme wrote:
> In the case of adding something, what should be added if
> nothing is specified?  Should the tool invent an arbitrary
> IP address and add it?  Now that would be nonsensical.
> But when removing something without specifying which one,
> it makes some sense to simply remove the first existing
> address on that interface.  It would even be OK with me
> to remove the last one, or an arbitrary one -- I use that
> shortcut mostely when I need to remove the only address
> from an interface (or all existing addresses), so it
> doesn't matter.
Doing apparently random and arbitrary things is bad, regardless.  To
re-cast the argument, suppose you found out that your employer had
a command in the company accounting system called
"VacationConfig -transfer" that would transfer random days from your
vacation pot to some arbitrary receiver. ..

It is very clear that ifconfig does not behave in the manner that the man
pages claim.  Part of that appears to be simple bit-rot, part of it appears
to be an issue as to what it should do.  I suggest that everyone toss there
ideas over to -current/hackers and forge a consensus to what ifconfig
should do, and willing volunteers go off and mung the code & docs until 
that way in -current.  Then MFC it back to -stable...


John T. Farmer          Owner & CTO              GoldSword Systems
jfarmer at   865-691-6498             Knoxville TN
    Consulting, Design, & Development of Networks & Software

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