Creating a Netplan enabled system through Debian-Installer

With the work that has been done in the debian-installer/netcfg merge-proposal !9 it is possible to install a standard Debian system, using the normal Debian-Installer (d-i) mini.iso images, that will come pre-installed with Netplan and all network configuration structured in /etc/netplan/.

In this write-up, I’d like to run you through a list of commands for experiencing the Netplan enabled installation process first-hand. For now, we’ll be using a custom ISO image, while waiting for the above-mentioned merge-proposal to be landed. Furthermore, as the Debian archive is going through major transitions builds of the “unstable” branch of d-i don’t currently work. So I implemented a small backport, producing updated netcfg and netcfg-static for Bookworm, which can be used as localudebs/ during the d-i build.

Let’s start with preparing a working directory and installing the software dependencies for our virtualized Debian system:

$ mkdir d-i_bookworm && cd d-i_bookworm
$ apt install ovmf qemu-utils qemu-system-x86

Now let’s download the custom mini.iso, linux kernel image and initrd.gz containing the Netplan enablement changes, as mentioned above.

$ wget
$ wget
$ wget

Next we’ll prepare a VM, by copying the EFI firmware files, preparing some persistent EFIVARs file, to boot from FS0:\EFI\debian\grubx64.efi, and create a virtual disk for our machine:

$ cp /usr/share/OVMF/OVMF_CODE_4M.fd .
$ cp /usr/share/OVMF/OVMF_VARS_4M.fd .
$ qemu-img create -f qcow2 ./data.qcow2 5G

Finally, let’s launch the installer using a custom preseed.cfg file, that will automatically install Netplan for us in the target system. A minimal preseed file could look like this:

# Install minimal Netplan generator binary
d-i preseed/late_command string in-target apt-get -y install netplan-generator

For this demo, we’re installing the full package (incl. Python CLI), as the netplan-generator package was not yet split out as an independent binary in the Bookworm cycle. You can choose the preseed file from a set of different variants to test the different configurations:

We’re using the custom linux kernel and initrd.gz here to be able to pass the preseed URL as a parameter to the kernel’s cmdline directly. Launching this VM should bring up the normal debian-installer in its netboot/gtk form:

$ export U=
$ qemu-system-x86_64 \
	-M q35 -enable-kvm -cpu host -smp 4 -m 2G \
	-drive if=pflash,format=raw,unit=0,file=OVMF_CODE_4M.fd,readonly=on \
	-drive if=pflash,format=raw,unit=1,file=OVMF_VARS_4M.fd,readonly=off \
	-device qemu-xhci -device usb-kbd -device usb-mouse \
	-vga none -device virtio-gpu-pci \
	-net nic,model=virtio -net user \
	-kernel ./linux -initrd ./initrd.gz -append "url=$U" \
	-hda ./data.qcow2 -cdrom ./mini.iso;

Now you can click through the normal Debian-Installer process, using mostly default settings. Optionally, you could play around with the networking settings, to see how those get translated to /etc/netplan/ in the target system.

After you confirmed your partitioning changes, the base system gets installed. I suggest not to select any additional components, like desktop environments, to speed up the process.

During the final step of the installation (finish-install.d/55netcfg-copy-config) d-i will detect that Netplan was installed in the target system (due to the preseed file provided) and opt to write its network configuration to /etc/netplan/ instead of /etc/network/interfaces or /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/.

Done! After the installation finished, you can reboot into your virgin Debian Bookworm system.

To do that, quit the current Qemu process, by pressing Ctrl+C and make sure to copy over the EFIVARS.fd file that was written by grub during the installation, so Qemu can find the new system. Then reboot into the new system, not using the mini.iso image any more:

$ cp ./OVMF_VARS_4M.fd ./EFIVARS.fd
$ qemu-system-x86_64 \
        -M q35 -enable-kvm -cpu host -smp 4 -m 2G \
        -drive if=pflash,format=raw,unit=0,file=OVMF_CODE_4M.fd,readonly=on \
        -drive if=pflash,format=raw,unit=1,file=EFIVARS.fd,readonly=off \
        -device qemu-xhci -device usb-kbd -device usb-mouse \
        -vga none -device virtio-gpu-pci \
        -net nic,model=virtio -net user \
        -drive file=./data.qcow2,if=none,format=qcow2,id=disk0 \
        -device virtio-blk-pci,drive=disk0,bootindex=1
        -serial mon:stdio

Finally, you can play around with your Netplan enabled Debian system! As you will find, /etc/network/interfaces exists but is empty, it could still be used (optionally/additionally). Netplan was configured in /etc/netplan/ according to the settings given during the d-i installation process.

In our case, we also installed the Netplan CLI, so we can play around with some of its features, like netplan status:

Thank you for following along the Netplan enabled Debian installation process and happy hacking! If you want to learn more, join the discussion at Salsa:installer-team/netcfg and find us at GitHub:netplan.

Netplan v1.0 paves the way to stable, declarative network management

New “netplan status –diff” subcommand, finding differences between configuration and system state

As the maintainer and lead developer for Netplan, I’m proud to announce the general availability of Netplan v1.0 after more than 7 years of development efforts. Over the years, we’ve so far had about 80 individual contributors from around the globe. This includes many contributions from our Netplan core-team at Canonical, but also from other big corporations such as Microsoft or Deutsche Telekom. Those contributions, along with the many we receive from our community of individual contributors, solidify Netplan as a healthy and trusted open source project. In an effort to make Netplan even more dependable, we started shipping upstream patch releases, such as 0.106.1 and 0.107.1, which make it easier to integrate fixes into our users’ custom workflows.

With the release of version 1.0 we primarily focused on stability. However, being a major version upgrade, it allowed us to drop some long-standing legacy code from the libnetplan1 library. Removing this technical debt increases the maintainability of Netplan’s codebase going forward. The upcoming Ubuntu 24.04 LTS and Debian 13 releases will ship Netplan v1.0 to millions of users worldwide.

Highlights of version 1.0

In addition to stability and maintainability improvements, it’s worth looking at some of the new features that were included in the latest release:

  • Simultaneous WPA2 & WPA3 support.
  • Introduction of a stable libnetplan1 API.
  • Mellanox VF-LAG support for high performance SR-IOV networking.
  • New hairpin and port-mac-learning settings, useful for VXLAN tunnels with FRRouting.
  • New netplan status –diff subcommand, finding differences between configuration and system state.

Besides those highlights of the v1.0 release, I’d also like to shed some light on new functionality that was integrated within the past two years for those upgrading from the previous Ubuntu 22.04 LTS which used Netplan v0.104:

  • We added support for the management of new network interface types, such as veth, dummy, VXLAN, VRF or InfiniBand (IPoIB). 
  • Wireless functionality was improved by integrating Netplan with NetworkManager on desktop systems, adding support for WPA3 and adding the notion of a regulatory-domain, to choose proper frequencies for specific regions. 
  • To improve maintainability, we moved to Meson as Netplan’s buildsystem, added upstream CI coverage for multiple Linux distributions and integrations (such as Debian testing, NetworkManager, snapd or cloud-init), checks for ABI compatibility, and automatic memory leak detection. 
  • We increased consistency between the supported backend renderers (systemd-networkd and NetworkManager), by matching physical network interfaces on permanent MAC address, when the match.macaddress setting is being used, and added new hardware offloading functionality for high performance networking, such as Single-Root IO Virtualisation virtual function link-aggregation (SR-IOV VF-LAG).

The much improved Netplan documentation, that is now hosted on “Read the Docs”, and new command line subcommands, such as netplan status, make Netplan a well vested tool for declarative network management and troubleshooting.


Those changes pave the way to integrate Netplan in 3rd party projects, such as system installers or cloud deployment methods. By shipping the new python3-netplan Python bindings to libnetplan, it is now easier than ever to access Netplan functionality and network validation from other projects. We are proud that the Debian Cloud Team chose Netplan to be the default network management tool in their official cloud-images for Debian Bookworm and beyond. Ubuntu’s NetworkManager package now uses Netplan as it’s default backend on Ubuntu 23.10 Desktop systems and beyond. Further integrations happened with cloud-init and the Calamares installer.

Please check out the Netplan version 1.0 release on GitHub! If you want to learn more, follow our activities on, GitHub, Launchpad, IRC or our Netplan Developer Diaries blog on discourse.

Netplan brings consistent network configuration across Desktop, Server, Cloud and IoT

Ubuntu 23.10 “Mantic Minotaur” Desktop, showing network settings

We released Ubuntu 23.10 ‘Mantic Minotaur’ on 12 October 2023, shipping its proven and trusted network stack based on Netplan. Netplan is the default tool to configure Linux networking on Ubuntu since 2016. In the past, it was primarily used to control the Server and Cloud variants of Ubuntu, while on Desktop systems it would hand over control to NetworkManager. In Ubuntu 23.10 this disparity in how to control the network stack on different Ubuntu platforms was closed by integrating NetworkManager with the underlying Netplan stack.

Netplan could already be used to describe network connections on Desktop systems managed by NetworkManager. But network connections created or modified through NetworkManager would not be known to Netplan, so it was a one-way street. Activating the bidirectional NetworkManager-Netplan integration allows for any configuration change made through NetworkManager to be propagated back into Netplan. Changes made in Netplan itself will still be visible in NetworkManager, as before. This way, Netplan can be considered the “single source of truth” for network configuration across all variants of Ubuntu, with the network configuration stored in /etc/netplan/, using Netplan’s common and declarative YAML format.

Netplan Desktop integration

On workstations, the most common scenario is for users to configure networking through NetworkManager’s graphical interface, instead of driving it through Netplan’s declarative YAML files. Netplan ships a “libnetplan” library that provides an API to access Netplan’s parser and validation internals, which is now used by NetworkManager to store any network interface configuration changes in Netplan. For instance, network configuration defined through NetworkManager’s graphical UI or D-Bus API will be exported to Netplan’s native YAML format in the common location at /etc/netplan/. This way, the only thing administrators need to care about when managing a fleet of Desktop installations is Netplan. Furthermore, programmatic access to all network configuration is now easily accessible to other system components integrating with Netplan, such as snapd. This solution has already been used in more confined environments, such as Ubuntu Core and is now enabled by default on Ubuntu 23.10 Desktop.

Migration of existing connection profiles

On installation of the NetworkManager package (network-manager >= 1.44.2-1ubuntu1) in Ubuntu 23.10, all your existing connection profiles from /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/ will automatically and transparently be migrated to Netplan’s declarative YAML format and stored in its common configuration directory /etc/netplan/

The same migration will happen in the background whenever you add or modify any connection profile through the NetworkManager user interface, integrated with GNOME Shell. From this point on, Netplan will be aware of your entire network configuration and you can query it using its CLI tools, such as “sudo netplan get” or “sudo netplan status” without interrupting traditional NetworkManager workflows (UI, nmcli, nmtui, D-Bus APIs). You can observe this migration on the apt-get command line, watching out for logs like the following:

Setting up network-manager (1.44.2-1ubuntu1.1) ...
Migrating HomeNet (9d087126-ae71-4992-9e0a-18c5ea92a4ed) to /etc/netplan
Migrating eduroam (37d643bb-d81d-4186-9402-7b47632c59b1) to /etc/netplan
Migrating DebConf (f862be9c-fb06-4c0f-862f-c8e210ca4941) to /etc/netplan

In order to prepare for a smooth transition, NetworkManager tests were integrated into Netplan’s continuous integration pipeline at the upstream GitHub repository. Furthermore, we implemented a passthrough method of handling unknown or new settings that cannot yet be fully covered by Netplan, making Netplan future-proof for any upcoming NetworkManager release.

The future of Netplan

Netplan has established itself as the proven network stack across all variants of Ubuntu – Desktop, Server, Cloud, or Embedded. It has been the default stack across many Ubuntu LTS releases, serving millions of users over the years. With the bidirectional integration between NetworkManager and Netplan the final piece of the puzzle is implemented to consider Netplan the “single source of truth” for network configuration on Ubuntu. With Debian choosing Netplan to be the default network stack for their cloud images, it is also gaining traction outside the Ubuntu ecosystem and growing into the wider open source community.

Within the development cycle for Ubuntu 24.04 LTS, we will polish the Netplan codebase to be ready for a 1.0 release, coming with certain guarantees on API and ABI stability, so that other distributions and 3rd party integrations can rely on Netplan’s interfaces. First steps into that direction have already been taken, as the Netplan team reached out to the Debian community at DebConf 2023 in Kochi/India to evaluate possible synergies.


Netplan can be used transparently to control a workstation’s network configuration and plays hand-in-hand with many desktop environments through its tight integration with NetworkManager. It allows for easy network monitoring, using common graphical interfaces and provides a “single source of truth” to network administrators, allowing for configuration of Ubuntu Desktop fleets in a streamlined and declarative way. You can try this new functionality hands-on by following the “Access Desktop NetworkManager settings through Netplan” tutorial.

If you want to learn more, feel free to follow our activities on, GitHub, Launchpad, IRC or our Netplan Developer Diaries blog on discourse.

Netplan v0.107 is now available

I’m happy to announce that Netplan version 0.107 is now available on GitHub and is soon to be deployed into a Linux installation near you! Six months and more than 200 commits after the previous version (including a .1 stable release), this release is brought to you by 8 free software contributors from around the globe.


Highlights of this release include the new configuration types for veth and dummy interfaces:

  version: 2
      peer: veth1
      peer: veth0

Furthermore, we implemented CFFI based Python bindings on top of libnetplan’s API, that can easily be consumed by 3rd party applications (see full example):

from netplan import Parser, State, NetDefinition
from netplan import NetplanException, NetplanParserException

parser = Parser()

# Parse the full, existing YAML config hierarchy

# Validate the final parser state
state = State()
    # validation of current state + new settings
except NetplanParserException as e:
    print('Error in', e.filename, 'Row/Col', e.line, e.column, '->', e.message)
except NetplanException as e:
    print('Error:', e.message)

# Walk through ethernet NetdefIDs in the state and print their backend
# renderer, to demonstrate working with NetDefinitionIterator &
# NetDefinition
for netdef in state.ethernets.values():
    print('Netdef',, 'is managed by:', netdef.backend)
    print('Is it configured to use DHCP?', netdef.dhcp4 or netdef.dhcp6)


Bug fixes:

Netplan 0.106.1 stable release

We are happy to announce that Netplan 0.106.1 is available for download on Ubuntu Mantic Minotaur and Debian testing.

This release includes some improvements in our documentation and CI infrastructure and a number of bug fixes.

What’s new in Netplan 0.106.1?



  • canonical/setup-lxd GitHub action. The autopkgtest environment creation was standardized to use Canonical’s setup-lxd action.
  • Snapd integrations tests with spread. A new test set for the Snapd integration with Netplan was introduced using the spread tool.
  • DBus. A number of DBus integration tests were added to the Debian package.

New features

  • Keyfile parser improvements. Our Network Manager keyfile parser (the capability of loading Network Manager configuration to Netplan YAML) was expanded to support all the types of tunnels supported by Netplan.


  • Ubuntu’s Code of Conduct 2.0 was added to the code repository.
  • We added a new bash autocompletion script with all the Netplan’s subcommands.
  • The new release package was synchronized with Debian.

Bug fixes

  • Keyfile parser. This release contains a couple of important fixes for the NetworkManager integration stability: 1) adding WPA enterprise connections is now working fine and new test cases were added to the package; 2) a WireGuard peer with allowed IPs that don’t include the network prefix are now accepted.
  • Netplan parser. A number of memory leaks and stability issues were fixed.
  • DBus. An issue related to how directory paths are built in the Netplan DBus service was causing issues in the Snapd integration and was fixed.

For the complete list of changes please consult the debian/changelog file in

Netplan v0.106 is now available

I’m happy to announce that Netplan version 0.106 is now available on GitHub and is soon to be deployed into an Ubuntu/Debian/Fedora installation near you! Six months and 65 commits after the previous version, this release is brought to you by 4 free software contributors from around the globe.


Highlights of this release include the new netplan status command, which queries your system for IP addresses, routes, DNS information, etc… in addition to the Netplan backend renderer (NetworkManager/networkd) in use and the relevant Netplan YAML configuration ID. It displays all this in a nicely formatted way (or alternatively in machine readable YAML/JSON format).

Furthermore, we implemented a clean libnetplan API which can be used by external tools to parse Netplan configuration, migrated away from non-inclusive language (PR#303) and improved the overall Netplan documentation. Another change that should be noted, is that the match.macaddress stanza now only matches on PermanentMACAddress= on the systemd-networkd backend, as has been the case on the NetworkManager backend ever since (see PR#278 for background information on this slight change in behavior).


Bug fixes:

Netplan v0.105 is now available

I’m happy to announce that Netplan version 0.105 is now available on GitHub and is soon to be deployed into an Ubuntu/Debian installation near you! Six month and exactly 100 commits after the previous version, this release is brought to you by 7 free software contributors from around the globe.


  • Add support for VXLAN tunnels (#288), LP#1764716
  • Add support for VRF devices (#285), LP#1773522
  • Add support for InfiniBand (IPoIB) (#283), LP#1848471
  • Allow key configuration for GRE tunnels (#274), LP#1966476
  • Allow setting the regulatory domain (#281), LP#1951586
  • Documentation improvements & restructuring (#287)
  • Add meson build system (#268)
  • Add abigail ABI compatibility checker (#269)
  • Update of Fedora RPM spec (#264)
  • CI improvements (#265#282)
  • Netplan set uses the consolidated libnetplan YAML parser (#254)
  • Refactor ConfigManager to use the libnetplan YAML parser (#255)
  • New netplan_netdef_get_filepath API (#275)
  • Improve NetworkManager device management logic (#276), LP#1951653

Bug fixes

Updated: Openmoko Community Survey 2011

Update 9.1.2012: results are updated.

As the year 2011 nears it’s end, we – the Openmoko Community – did a poll [0] about which is the most popular hardware and which is the most popular software in our community. The poll was open for one week now and we got votes from 73 people.

I decided to close the poll now and release the results to the public. To create a ranking I gave 1 point to a “YES” vote and 0.5 points to a “(YES)” vote. The maximum (100%) is 73 points.


Software Side:

1. SHR                  112.5 points    (61%)
2. QtMoko                99.5 points    (54%)
3. Debian                75.5 points    (41%)
4. Other Distro          40.0 points    (22%)

Hardware Side:

1. Om GTA02             158.5 points    (86%)
2. Goldelico GTA04       71.0 points    (38%)
3. Nokia N900            34.0 points    (18%)
4. Other Device          26.0 points    (14%)
5. Palm Pre (+variants)  14.5 points    ( 8%)
6. Om GTA01               9.5 points    ( 5%)
7. Google Nexus S         7.0 points    ( 4%)


On the software side SHR is still the most popular distro, directly followed by QtMoko. Quiet a few people commented, that they intend to code their own software/GUI mostly to educated themselves.

On the hardware side the Om GTA02 is the clear winner (which was expected). Surprisingly the Goldelico GTA04 is the 2nd most interesting device in this community, even though very few people have one, yet. Still, most of the developers already own one and you should get yours soon [1], as it seems to become a common target of this community. The Palm Pre, Om GTA01 and Google Nexus S got very few points and thus are probably not worth to support…

Happy New Year

Now, i’d like to wish all you Open Hard- and Software-Enthusiasts out there a good start into the year 2012. I hope the GTA04 project will flourish in 2012 and will help our community to grow and free the phone again!


[1] Group Tour

Creative Commons Lizenzvertrag