I have a problem with ubuntu server (16.10) and network manager.

The system is freshly installed (an offline install, with no ethernet cable attached) and at the first boot I plugged the cable into the ethernet port, I simply issued a dhclient; apt-get update; apt-get install network-manager, then I filled a file (/etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/EthernetInterface) with this data:

mac-address=<<ethernet card mac address>>

uuid=<<randomly generated uuid>>



(the ethernet MAC and UUID were properly filled).

Now, this was enough to make the PC automatically connect at boot, but now... No way.

The nmcli d command outputs all the network interfaces as unmanaged. File /etc/network/interfaces contains only the loopback device.

I tried also to edit the NetworkManager.conf file, setting managed=true, but without any luck.

How can I enable the interface? Or how can I track the problem?

Best regards


I know that usually the server it is not managed by NM (in fact it is not even pre-installed).

However I need the NetworkManager features (DBUS interface, automatic fallback on other connections when using mobile interfaces, integration with ModemManager). That's why I installed network-manager. However it is not working: maybe I have to change some default configuration, maybe I have to enable it, or maybe there is some rule somewhere to make it the default network connections handler. Do you know where? Otherwise I'll have to get a desktop version, but I preferred the server version since I didn't need a GUI

3 Answers 3


The Ubuntu Server edition isn't managed by the networkmanager. It's managed from the /etc/network/interfaces.

Look here to configure the interfaces file:

German wiki (cant find the english one now): https://wiki.ubuntuusers.de/interfaces/

  • 2
    I was about to say the same thing. The page you link to, however, is in German.
    – Jos
    Oct 28, 2016 at 11:26
  • help.ubuntu.com/lts/serverguide/network-configuration.html Might be a useful link in English.
    – Arronical
    Oct 28, 2016 at 11:38
  • 1
    Thank you for your answer. I added some info on the question: mainly I need NM features, so I actually need it to manage the interfaces. That's why I installed it. But it appears that I have to enable it or to make it the default manager, so... Do you know how I can do that? Thank you
    – frarugi87
    Oct 28, 2016 at 13:31

After comparing the configuration of two machines (one with ubuntu server 16.10 and NetworkManager, the other with Xubuntu 16.10) I found how to enable NetworkManager on the server version too.

You have to create a file /etc/netplan/01-network-manager-all.yaml and then write in it:

# Let NetworkManager manage all devices on this system
  version: 2
  renderer: NetworkManager

Reboot (or maybe just restart the appropriate service(s), I simply rebooted) and then NetworkManager will start managing all the devices in your system.

DO NOT write managed=true in the configuration file, though. This way if you write an interface in /etc/network/interfaces you will have it managed by ifupdown instead of NetworkManager (default behavior for nm).


I think answers are here: Network Manager refusing to manage wired interfaces


Create empty /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/10-globally-managed-devices.conf It should override default configuration in /usr/lib and enable wired devices. (it works for me)

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