February 23, 2009 posted by Roy Marples
So one of the highlights of NetBSD-5 is dhcpcd-4, a light weight alternative to the venerable ISC dhclient.
dhcpcd-5 is nearing completion and will be rolled into NetBSD -current soon after NetBSD-5 is released. Some of the new features in dhcpcd-5 include the ability to manage more than one interface, listen and act on kernel events (such as adding a new interface or the link going up and down) and a control socket so other application can hook into dhcpcd. One such application is dhcpcd-dbus.
The goal of dhcpcd-dbus is to provide a DBus interface to dhcpcd. It also provides a DBus interface to wpa_supplicant because the base install in NetBSD does not support DBus. DBus allows other applications to trivially hook into dhcpcd. One such application is dhcpcd-gtk.
The goal of dhcpcd-gtk is to show the user the state of dhcpcd via a systray icon and to provide a GUI which allows the configuration of dhcpcd. It will also show a list of wireless access points in range and allow you to configure a WEP or WPA PSK key for each.
Linux has already had this functionality in NetworkManager for some time, but that is very Linux only, depending on libnl and hal. dhcpcd-gtk differs in that it only requires the OS to support dhcpcd (which is much simpler to port than hal). Then it's just a matter of ensuring that the base GNOME libraries work. A KDE/QT or EFL port of dhcpcd-gtk should also be possible.
Anyway, enough natter, here's some screenshots
The menu showing wireless networks is almost complete. The quality bar only shows if the driver reports quality. We need to show history of relative signal strength for the drivers which don't report quality.
The preferences screen is incomplete, but does read the dhcpcd-config correctly. The drop down boxes have configuration blocks for global, interface and ssid, the right hand block showing the interface or ssid in question.
It will also have windows to request specific DHCP options and configure static IP, route and DHCP options.