One of GNU/Linux’s most important networking components just got an update

NetworkManager 1.2 debuts with improved security, Wi-Fi usability and more

The software framework that powers the network connections on many GNU/Linux systems just got its second major update in less than a year and a half, with the version 1.2 release of NetworkManager.

Version 1.2 brings several improvements to NetworkManager, including better security and usability for Wi-Fi. The changes should make the list of available access points more responsive and manageable, save energy on mobile devices and laptops, and even improve privacy by MAC address randomization, according to an official announcement.

Screenshot of older version of NetworkManager Luisalvaradox\Wikipedia

An earlier version of NetworkManager

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NetworkManager 1.2 also now includes improved support for complex virtualized network functions, such as vxlan, macvlan, tun, tap and IP tunnel devices. There are also updates for the command-line interface, and a new level of modularization for the service – various networking functions and hardware support can now be used a la carte.

“This makes sense on server or minimal installations — e.g don’t need containers to support Wi-Fi, or servers to run Bluetooth,” developer Lubomir Rintel wrote in the announcement.

To that end, NetworkManager 1.2 reduces the use of external libraries, slimming down installation requirements and letting it operate more independently.

Finally, the new version offers upgraded VPN support – where NetworkManager previously could only run one instance of any given VPN plugin, which would work for one connection only, version 1.2 removes that limitation. VPN command-line support also adds a new layer of flexibility.

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