netifd is an RPC-capable daemon written in C for better access to kernel APIs with the ability to listen on netlink events.
Netifd has replaced the old OpenWrt-network configuration scripts, the actual scripts that configured the network, e.g.
netifd is intended to stay compatible with the existing format of
/etc/config/network, the only exceptions being rare special cases like
aliases or the overlay variables in
/var/state (though even most of those can be easily emulated).
One thing that
netifd does much better then old OpenWrt-network configuration scripts is handling configuration changes. With
netfid, when the file
/etc/config/network changes, you no longer have to restart all interfaces. Simply run
/etc/init.d/network reload. This will issue an
netifd, telling it to figure out the difference between runtime state and the new config and apply only that. This works on a per-interface level, even with protocol handlers written as shell scripts.
It boils down to the fact that the current network and interface setup mechanisms (via network configuration scripts) are rather constrained and inflexible:
Netifd will be able to manage even complex interface configurations with a mix of bonding, vlans, bridges, etc. and handle the dependencies
between interfaces properly - and of course all that without adding unnecessary bloat. AFAIK there are no alternatives to netifd, e.g. connman seems to be centered around one specifific use case only: having a mobile device access the internet through multiple connections.
Whereas desktop distributions use glib+dbus+udev(part of systemd), OpenWrt uses libubox+ubus+hotplug2. This provides some pretty awesome functionality without requiring huge libraries with huge dependencies (*cough* glib).
|Typical main memory size||128 MiB to 16 GiB (or more)||32 MiB to 512 MiB1)|| min 92 MiB for Android 2.1 |
min 340 MiB for Android 4.0
|Supported instruction sets||almost anything||almost anything||x86, 86-64, ARM, MIPS32|
|non-volatile storage space||100 MiB||8 MiB2)|| 150MiB for Android 2.1|
512MiB for Android 4.0
|FOSS and binary drivers||FOSS drivers: e.g. 802.11; Iaccess||Android binary drivers|
|C standard library||glibc||uClibc, musl||bionic||glibc + libhybris||eglibc 2.15|
| ||busybox-initd|| ||Android init-fork||
|rsyslog / syslog-ng||busybox-klogd, busybox-syslogd|
|network configuration||NetworkManager + GUI|| || ConnectivityManager|
(not ConnMan = ConnectionManager!)
| GLib |
(GObject, Glib, GModule, GThread, GIO)
|Package management system|| dpkg/APT|
libubox(~ 12KiB) is a general purpose library which provides things like an event loop, binary blob message formatting and handling, the Linux linked list implementation, and some JSON helpers. The functions in
libuboxare used to write the other software in LuCI2
dbus is bloated, its C API is very annoying to use and requires writing large amounts of boilerplate code. In fact, the pure C API is so annoying that its own API documentation states: “If you use this low-level API directly, you're signing up for some pain.”
ubus is tiny and has the advantage of being easy to use from regular C code, as well as automatically making all exported API functionality also available to shell scripts with no extra effort.
“Of course, NetworkManager should be renamed to
“unetwork”, dbus to
“ubus”, PulseAudio to
“usound”, and X.Org-Server/Wayland-Compositor to
“udisplay”; and then indescribable happiness would come down to all people of this world.” – Lennart Poettering