Desktop integration#

NetworkManager YAML settings backend (Netplan everywhere)#

NetworkManager is the tool used by Ubuntu Desktop systems to manage network devices such as Ethernet and Wifi adapters. While it is a great tool for the job and users can directly use it through the command line and the graphical interfaces to configure their devices, Ubuntu has its own way of describing and storing network configuration via Netplan.

On Ubuntu, NetworkManager uses (or will use, depending on when you are reading this) Netplan’s APIs to save the configuration created by the user using any of its interfaces. Our goal is to have a centralized place to store network configuration. In the Desktop it’s convenient to use graphical tools for configuration when they are available, so nothing will change from the user perspective, only the way the configuration is handled under the hood.

For more information on Netplan, check

For more information on NetworkManager, check

How it works#

Every time a non-temporary connection is created in NetworkManager, instead of persisting the original .nmconnection file, it will create a Netplan YAML at /etc/netplan called 90-NM-<connection UUID>.yaml. After creating the file, NetworkManager will call the Netplan generator to emit the configuration for that connection. Connections that are temporary, like the ones created for virtual network interfaces when you connect to a VPN for example, are not persisted as Netplan files. The reason for that is that these interfaces are usually managed by external services and we don’t want to cause any unexpected change that would affect them.

How to install it#

Creating a backup of your current configuration#

The new NetworkManager will remove connection profiles that you eventually modify from /etc/NetworkManager. So you might want to create a copy of all your connection profiles before installing the new network-manager package:

$ mkdir ~/NetworkManager.bak && cd ~/NetworkManager.bak/
$ sudo cp -r /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections .

In any case, a backup will be created automatically for you at /root/NetworkManager.bak during package installation.

And also keep a copy of all the original network-manager related packages in case you want to revert to the previous installation:

$ apt download gir1.2-nm-1.0 libnm0 network-manager network-manager-config-connectivity-ubuntu

Installing NetworkManager#

The NetworkManager 1.42.0 package containing the Netplan integration patch is currently available as a PPA. In order to install it, you will need to have >= 0.106 installed in your system (it is available in Lunar).

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:canonical-foundations/networkmanager-netplan
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install network-manager

How connections are managed from now on#

After installing the new NetworkManager, your existing connection profiles will not be imported to Netplan YAML files, only new connections and the existing ones you eventually modify.

For example, if you have a Wifi connection, you will find the connection profile file at /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections. If you modify it using one of the NetworkManager’s interfaces (or delete and create a new one), the respective file will be removed from /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections, a Netplan YAML called 90-NM-<connection UUID>.yaml will be created at /etc/netplan and a new profile will be generated and stored at /run/NetworkManager/system-connections.


Netplan doesn’t yet support all the configuration available in NetworkManager (or doesn’t know how to interpret some of the keywords found in the keyfile). After creating a new connection you might find a section called “passthrough” in your YAML file, like in the example below:

  version: 2
      renderer: NetworkManager
        name: "enp1s0"
      dhcp4: true
      wakeonlan: true
        uuid: "0f7a33ac-512e-4c03-b088-4db00fe3292e"
        name: "Ethernet connection 1"
          ethernet._: ""
          ipv4.ignore-auto-dns: "true"
          ipv6.addr-gen-mode: "default"
          ipv6.method: "disabled"
          ipv6.ip6-privacy: "-1"
          proxy._: ""

All the configuration under the “passthrough” mapping will be added to the .nmconnection file as they are.

In cases where the connection type is not supported by Netplan the nm-devices network type will be used. The example below is an OpenVPN client connection, which is not supported by Netplan at the moment.

  version: 2
      renderer: NetworkManager
        uuid: "db5f0f67-1f4c-4d59-8ab8-3d278389cf87"
        name: "myvpnconnection"
          connection.type: "vpn"
 "path to ca.crt"
          vpn.cert: "path to client.crt"
          vpn.cipher: "AES-256-GCM"
          vpn.connection-type: "tls"
          vpn.key: "path to client.key"
          vpn.remote: ""
          vpn.service-type: "org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.openvpn"
          ipv4.method: "auto"
          ipv6.addr-gen-mode: "default"
          ipv6.method: "auto"
          proxy._: ""