Desired behaviour of "ifconfig -alias"

Oliver Fromme olli at
Tue Feb 13 10:47:29 UTC 2007

J. T. Farmer wrote:
 > Oliver Fromme wrote:
 > > 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.

I agree that it's bad if it's not well documented, which
is the case here, unfortunately.

 > 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. ..

Well, if it was documented ...  But it would probably
violate my work contract, so he'd better not use the
command.  ;-)

 > It is very clear that ifconfig does not behave in the manner that the man
 > pages claim.

It's true that the manpage is very unclear and needs to be

It's also true that the command line parser of ifconfig is
a rather complex beast that has grown in nasty ways over
the years.

Maybe now would be the right time to completely redesign
the ifconfig tool.  Only in -current, of course, with very
big HEADS-UP warning in the lists and in UPDATING.  But I
fear that there are no devloper resources to do that right,
so any change will end up as just another patch work that
won't really clean things up, but instead make it worse. :-/

 > that way in -current.  Then MFC it back to -stable...

I don't think that any significant changes in the behaviour
of such an important tool will be MFC'ed to a stable branch.

Best regards

Oliver Fromme, secnetix GmbH & Co. KG, Marktplatz 29, 85567 Grafing b. M.
Handelsregister: Registergericht Muenchen, HRA 74606,  Geschäftsfuehrung:
secnetix Verwaltungsgesellsch. mbH, Handelsregister: Registergericht Mün-
chen, HRB 125758,  Geschäftsführer: Maik Bachmann, Olaf Erb, Ralf Gebhart
Any opinions expressed in this message are personal to the author and may
not necessarily reflect the opinions of secnetix GmbH & Co KG in any way.
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