I have three network cards in my laptop. Two built-in and one PCMCIA card. I’m currently investigating how I can migrate from using the slow and tedious gnome-network & C:o tools to the more integrated Debian/Ubuntu tools ifupdown, guessnet, ifplugd and waproamd instead. As usual Debian has a fine and clever way of handling all this with their /etc/network/interface file. To learn more about this fine management interface I’m reading the well written book The Debian System by Martin F. Krafft. I highly recommend it to others wanting to learn the essentials of their Debian (based) system.

What I wanted to do is quite simple actually: the built-in wired interface, named eth0, should on link-up default to a specific IP address if ARP reveals a certain MAC on the network. If plugged in to an unknown net eth0 should go up with DHCP. If eth0 is not up then the built-in wlan card, eth1, should be tried with two different ESSID’s, work and home, in that order. If none of the ESSID’s could be found any open WiFi access point should be the tried with DHCP. The last interface, eth2, is the PCMCIA card and is only used for the lab net and always have the same IP address if plugged in completely ignoring link status.

When I’ve implemented the above I’ll post the result here.