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The network administration GUI is the graphical equivalent to the network command-line interface (CLI). The network administration GUI enables you to view and monitor the status of your network from the desktop, as well as interact with reactive network profiles to manage your Ethernet and wireless configuration. In addition, you can perform various networking tasks from the desktop, such as connecting to a wired or wireless network at startup and configuring new wired or wireless networks. The network administration GUI can also be used to create and manage locations, which are profiles that simplify the complex task of system-wide network configurations, such as those configurations that require a different name server or security type, or a network interface configuration that must be enabled at different times. The GUI includes a feature that displays notifications about the current status of your network connection, as well as information about the overall condition of your network environment.
Basic capabilities of the network administration GUI include the following:
Network status notification
Detection of hot-plugged events
Creation and management of network profiles
Management of wireless networks
The network administration GUI manages network configuration the same way that the network CLI does, by storing desired property values in the form of profiles on the system. The system's network service determines which profile should be active at a given time, based on current network conditions, and then enables the most appropriate profile.
Two components make up the network administration GUI: the Network Status notification icon that is displayed continuously on the desktop panel and the network configuration dialogs. These dialogs can be accessed from the System → Administration menu or by right-clicking the notification icon. The network administration GUI behaves much the same as any other application that has a continuous status notification icon, for example, the power management icon. These applications enable you perform certain tasks by accessing their right-click (context) menu or by using configuration dialogs that are accessed from either the icon or from various preferences menus.
The panel icon is your most frequent point of contact with network configuration. The icon shows whether you are currently connected to a wired or wireless network. By hovering your mouse over the icon, a tool tip displays additional information, such as the currently active NCP and Location profile. By right-clicking the icon, you can change basic network configuration of your system, such as connecting to a different wireless network.
Clicking (left-clicking) the panel icon opens the Network Preferences dialog. This dialog can also be opened from the System →Administration menu. Here, you can perform more detailed network configuration such as defining static IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, setting connection priorities, managing external network modifiers (ENMs), and creating groups of network settings for use in different locations.
You can use either the network administration GUI or the network CLI to manage the network configuration and interact with the reactive network configuration. Whether you choose to use the GUI or the CLI to perform a particular task depends on the task and the given situation. For some tasks, the most logical choice is to use the network administration GUI. An example would be checking the status of your currently active network connection or choosing a wireless network to connect to at startup. These tasks can be more easily and quickly performed by directly interacting with reactive network configuration from the desktop through the GUI. For more complicated tasks, such as specifying a script as the start and stop method for a new ENM, you might choose to work in the command-line mode.
Although the CLI and GUI are essentially the same, the following differences should be noted:
The network administration GUI includes functionality that enables you to interact with reactive network configuration and check network connections from the desktop. How you obtain information regarding the status of your network varies slightly between the GUI and the CLI commands. If you are using the GUI, notifications are displayed on the desktop as they occur. If you are using the CLI, you can monitor the reactive networking events as they occur by using the netadm show-events command. For more information, see Monitoring the Current State of All Network Connections.
Also, to obtain information about the status of your network by using the network administration GUI, you would visually check, hover your mouse over, or click the Network Status notification icon that is displayed on the desktop. To obtain information about the status of your network from the command line, use the netadm command with the list subcommand. The output of this command provides information about the basic state of each network object that is configured on your system. However, the network administration GUI provides more complete information and details about your network status, such as which wireless network you are connected to and the IP address of your network connection.
Some commands that you can perform by using the CLI cannot be performed by using the GUI. For example, you cannot export a profile configuration by using the GUI. To export a profile configuration, use the netcfg export command. For more information, see Exporting and Restoring a Profile Configuration.
In addition, you cannot create or modify fixed network profiles by using the GUI. You can use the ipadm and dladm commands to modify the fixed profile.
For more information about the ipadm command, see the ipadm(1M) man page and Chapter 4, Working With IP Interfaces, in Connecting Systems Using Fixed Network Configuration in Oracle Solaris 11.1.
For more information about the dladm command, see the dladm(1M) man page and Chapter 3, Working With Datalinks, in Connecting Systems Using Fixed Network Configuration in Oracle Solaris 11.1.
In the GUI, a network configuration profile (NCP) is the same as a network profile. What are called network configuration units (NCUs) in the CLI are referred to as network connections in the GUI.
Enabling and disabling NCPs by using the CLI is the same as the task for switching network profiles or connections if you are using the GUI.