Proposed Change - RFC - net-tools to iproute2

Matthew Burgess matthew at
Sun Jun 27 16:25:53 PDT 2004

On Sat, 26 Jun 2004 16:05:57 -0700
"Jim Gifford" <lfs at> wrote:

> I'm currently proposing a change, I have made this change on my system
> and it does effect performance.
> I propose the move from net-tools to iproute2.

I'd like to see this go in a.s.a.p.  I've looked over the thread and
there seem to be to be 3 main points against immediate inclusion:

1) tools provided by net-tools which don't have a replacement in

* I've had a look at and `netstat` `route` and
`ifconfig` would all appear to be covered by the `ip` binary, at least
the functionality I'd expect in a *base* system, i.e. LFS, is described
in  However, that
said, I'm am not by any means an authority when it comes to networking
issues, so feel free to point out that this isn't in fact adequate for a
base system.  My opinion is based on: 1) Can I bring an interface
up/down 2) Can I see which interfaces are up 3) Can I view & change the
routing tables.  I'd be interested to hear from you if there are any
core networking features I've left out here that a base system should be
able to handle.

2) Dependency on Berkeley DB

* If we suppress the building of `arp` then we no longer require db. 
I'd assume that ARP isn't too common a requirement for a base system,
and that you'll know if you need it.  As long as we point to BLFS (and
BLFS has instructions for rebuilding iproute2 with db support) then I
don't see this as an issue.

3) `hostname` binary

* This, of course, used to come from net-tools.  coreutils also offers
one, so we wouldn't be without it, although the buggy (or non-existent!)
"-f" switch may cause problems for some people.  Reading through the
discussions on the coreutils mailing-list hasn't made things any clearer
for me on whether one should even need `hostname` to have recognise
*any* arguments - it looks like it's another political issue, and hence
the subject of never-ending debates.  I'll think this over some more,
but I don't see this as a show-stopper for removing net-tools at the

One further point.  Whatever happens with net-tools or iproute2, I think
a link to the firewall section of BLFS is warranted - as the authors of
the iproute2 HOWTO also mention - routing & filtering go hand-in-hand.
 Maybe the link is best left for chapter 8 (configuring the network)

Best regards,


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