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Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2014 18:41:12 -0400
From: Rich Felker <>
Cc: Timo Teras <>
Subject: Re: if_nameindex/getifaddrs and dhcpcd issue

On Tue, Apr 08, 2014 at 05:19:12PM +0100, Justin Cormack wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 5:08 PM, Timo Teras <> wrote:
> > But as to netlink, all the addresses I've looked at are not wrapped in
> > struct sockaddr. They are netlink 'attributes' that are variable
> > length.
> >
> > The only ABI mess in netlink has been with 32-bit apps running on
> > 64-bit kernels. And it has been kernel header issue.
> >
> > Please let me know details on the claimed deficiency of netlink. It *a
> > lot* better (but also a bit complicated - and even more often
> > misunderstood [because the #define's exposed by kernel to use it is
> > garbage]) than the the traditional APIs IMHO. The 'on wire' protocol of
> > netlink is usable though.
> Yes I quite like netlink. If only it was documented it would be a lot
> nicer. It is more pleasant to implement it in a dynamicly typed
> language than in C with #defines. But I don't think it should be in
> libc if possible...

As an aside, whether netlink is essential for a full-function modern
linux system is orthogonal to whether libc should be using it. A
hypothetical non-linux kernel providing linux syscall abi could
provide completely different net config utils.


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