integration with /etc/network/interfaces

I depend heavily on network-manager for my laptops as it just works, but I am concerned that it does not seem to integrate well, if at all, with /etc/network/interfaces, but that there are still many apps that rely on /etc/network/interfaces.


If I need to restart the entire networking stack, I have to do “/etc/init.d/networking restart”.  When something borks, it is extremely easy to restart the network stack instead of rebooting.  However I do not know if this can be done with an equivalent command toll with network-manager?


If there is an equivalent tool supplied with network-manager, does it do exactly the same thing that “/etc/init.d/networking restart” does, including restarting the nm-applet stuff?


On my server I have configured the interfaces file manually and do not use nm-applet, so that I can easily restart the stack if something fails.  My server is an old laptop with an 802.11g Broadcom but as I do not know how to easily restart nm-applet from the console, I configure everything via iwconfig in /etc/network/interfaces.  When  say that something may bork, I mean that sometimes, I need to reload the bcm43xx module and it is so easy to script this into the interfaces file with pre-up etc.


Another thing that I wonder about is why there has to be specific driver support within nm-applet?  I heard on an ubuntu forum when they were getting ready to release 70.4 that network-manager 0.64 was required because that version had support for ipw3945.  The ipw3945 driver was included already in the kernel that was used for 7.04, but they still had nm-applet 0.63 in the repositories during the alpha phase.  Why does nm-applet need specific support for drivers or have I misunderstood this?  As long as the driver exists in the kernel, shouldn’t that be enough?




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