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Here is the problem I am trying to solve. I have a little appliance like server. It has no UI, but I tend to move it around. Sometimes I connect it with wifi and sometimes lan. Right now I have configured all three (wlan0, p1p1, p3p1) in /etc/network/interface to be dhcp. But that means the appliance takes a long time to boot. I poked around and people recommend using nmcli for servers like mine. It sounded like a good idea.

I first tried installing it with the following command:

sudo apt-get install network-manager

However that was going to install a ton of packages, most of them looked GUI related. So instead I tried the following command:

sudo apt-get install network-manager --no-install-recommends

That worked great, it has a small package list, didn't seem to include a bunch of unnecessary GUI packages.

But now when I run nmcli:

sudo nmcli c

I get this:

** (process:10709): WARNING **: Could not initialize NMClient /org/freedesktop/NetworkManager: The name org.freedesktop.NetworkManager was not provided by any .service files
Error: nmcli ( and NetworkManager (unknown) versions don't match. Force execution using --nocheck, but the results are unpredictable.

Well okay I can run --nocheck:

sudo nmcli --nocheck c

But now I get the following output:

** (process:10738): WARNING **: Could not initialize NMClient /org/freedesktop/NetworkManager: The name org.freedesktop.NetworkManager was not provided by any .service files
Error: Can't obtain connections: settings service is not running.

It is not running? I tried to start it but there is no NetworkManager in /etc/init.d

Is running nmcli on Ubuntu server something people just recommend but have never tried? It does not seem to work.

Per steeldriver I was able to start network-manager with

sudo service network-manager start

For some reason network-manager did not start on boot, probably had something to do with the interfaces being half configured in the /etc/network/interfaces file.

Once interfaces were removed from /etc/network/interfaces file machine boots quickly and network-manager uses dhcp to bring up the plugged in interfaces.

However what I need to do is clone the mac address for one of the interfaces. I have a ubuntu laptop running 13.10 which I have done the same thing. I copied the file from the laptop to the appliance. But the appliance does not seem to detect the file.

Here is the file: /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/Ethernet\ connection\ 1


id=Ethernet connection 1



But now if I try to list this connection then I get no results for it:

sudo nmcli c list
NAME                      UUID                                   TYPE              TIMESTAMP-REAL                    
Wired connection 1        e9765519-1188-4ef6-9153-77c8c99f59bf   802-3-ethernet    Sat 22 Mar 2014 12:55:44 PM PDT

And if I try to connect to the connection it tells me it does not exist.

sudo nmcli c up uuid da7dd579-235a-4588-a8ee-583d44a7b09d
Error: Unknown connection: da7dd579-235a-4588-a8ee-583d44a7b09d.
share|improve this question
the network-manager service is started as an upstart job (from /etc/init not /etc/init.d) - try sudo service network-manager start and then re-try your nmcli c command (shouldn't need sudo btw). –  steeldriver Mar 21 '14 at 17:17
Yes, that helps a lot. I am not familiar with upstart yet. But I see I can get a list of the jobs via: initctl list instead of ls /etc/init.d –  dodtsair Mar 22 '14 at 5:02
I was actually sceptical that nmcli would work at all without a running desktop/dbus-session - but I tried it on a 12.04 server VM and both it and nm-tool seemed to work once I started the network-manager service. –  steeldriver Mar 22 '14 at 13:09
Well I have made a lot of progress. network-manager is managing the two ethernet interfaces. However I want to be able to clone an mac address and use it on one of the interfaces. I have a laptop with the same Ubuntu version 13.10. So I copied its Ethernet connection 1 over to the new computer. However network-manager or nmcli does not use this file. –  dodtsair Mar 22 '14 at 19:39
Have you removed any competing ethX definitions from your /etc/network/interfaces file? –  steeldriver Mar 22 '14 at 19:53

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