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Enabling Connectivity Checking in NetworkManager

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Enabling Connectivity Checking in NetworkManager

Jeremy Bicha-2
Hi, back in July 2012 on this list, it was proposed that Ubuntu's
NetworkManager enable the new connectivity check feature by default.
Some concerns were raised and the feature never landed. I'd like to
reopen that discussion.

In 2014, Fedora enabled that feature by default but they did it using
a separate package. I really like this idea since it makes it very
easy for users to opt in or out of the connectivity check if they
choose.

I am proposing that we create a similar package. I would like to have
Ubuntu GNOME's metapackage recommend that config-connectivity package.
In GNOME Shell, when a captive portal is detected, the network status
icon changes to include a question mark and a login window pointed to
the portal's login/authorization webpage appears. The login window is
powered by webkit2gtk. This is very similar to the implementation by
most other operating systems.

Here's the Feature Freeze exception bug and merge proposal:
https://launchpad.net/bugs/997200

Jeremy Bicha

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Re: Enabling Connectivity Checking in NetworkManager

Dimitri John Ledkov
Do this by default. In Ubuntu desktop too.

Also we must auto change desktop timezone too... (Separate issue)

I am volunteering as a tribute for any demands.

On 22 Feb 2017 21:25, "Jeremy Bicha" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi, back in July 2012 on this list, it was proposed that Ubuntu's
NetworkManager enable the new connectivity check feature by default.
Some concerns were raised and the feature never landed. I'd like to
reopen that discussion.

In 2014, Fedora enabled that feature by default but they did it using
a separate package. I really like this idea since it makes it very
easy for users to opt in or out of the connectivity check if they
choose.

I am proposing that we create a similar package. I would like to have
Ubuntu GNOME's metapackage recommend that config-connectivity package.
In GNOME Shell, when a captive portal is detected, the network status
icon changes to include a question mark and a login window pointed to
the portal's login/authorization webpage appears. The login window is
powered by webkit2gtk. This is very similar to the implementation by
most other operating systems.

Here's the Feature Freeze exception bug and merge proposal:
https://launchpad.net/bugs/997200

Jeremy Bicha

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Re: Enabling Connectivity Checking in NetworkManager

Luke Faraone-2
In reply to this post by Jeremy Bicha-2
On 22/02/17 21:24, Jeremy Bicha wrote:

> Hi, back in July 2012 on this list, it was proposed that Ubuntu's
> NetworkManager enable the new connectivity check feature by default.
> Some concerns were raised and the feature never landed. I'd like to
> reopen that discussion.
>
> In 2014, Fedora enabled that feature by default but they did it using
> a separate package. I really like this idea since it makes it very
> easy for users to opt in or out of the connectivity check if they
> choose.
>
> I am proposing that we create a similar package. I would like to have
> Ubuntu GNOME's metapackage recommend that config-connectivity package.
Is there meaningful code included in ``config-connectivity``, or is it
just a config package (as the name suggests)? If the latter, why not
just make it a debconf question?

  -- Luke Faraone


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Re: Enabling Connectivity Checking in NetworkManager

Steve Langasek-6
On Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 05:54:40PM +0000, Luke W Faraone wrote:
> On 22/02/17 21:24, Jeremy Bicha wrote:
> > Hi, back in July 2012 on this list, it was proposed that Ubuntu's
> > NetworkManager enable the new connectivity check feature by default.
> > Some concerns were raised and the feature never landed. I'd like to
> > reopen that discussion.

> > In 2014, Fedora enabled that feature by default but they did it using
> > a separate package. I really like this idea since it makes it very
> > easy for users to opt in or out of the connectivity check if they
> > choose.

> > I am proposing that we create a similar package. I would like to have
> > Ubuntu GNOME's metapackage recommend that config-connectivity package.

> Is there meaningful code included in ``config-connectivity``, or is it
> just a config package (as the name suggests)? If the latter, why not
> just make it a debconf question?

As a debconf question, it's more awkward to pre-configure the default
behavior on a per-flavor basis, and for users to know how to override it.

It's also a question of whether you want the behavior change to be tied to
the installation method (debconf preseed in the ISO mastering) vs. the
metapackage.

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Re: Enabling Connectivity Checking in NetworkManager

Aron Xu
In reply to this post by Jeremy Bicha-2
Hi,

I'd like to see it get enabled by default eventually, but preferably
provide a toggle in Privacy tab for Unity desktop (and configurable
check URL) which provides better user experience without compromising
privacy needs. But there remains a question for other desktops flavors
how to handle it (which is worse than the config-connectivity package
approach).

Some facts about how to actually do the check:
1. iOS uses a similar approach via HTTPS like what we NM does
2. Android uses a 204 response from server via HTTPS, this would
reduce the server load and bandwidth requirement because there's no
HTTP body being transferred.

About whether we want to make it cacheable by proxies:
1. AFAIK none of other OS vendors make it cacheable (HTTPS)
2. But make it cacheable may not do a significant harm to connectivity check
3. Non-cacheable connectivity checks give vendors a possibility of
getting an active user number anonymously.

Thoughts?

Cheers,
Aron

On Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 5:24 AM, Jeremy Bicha <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi, back in July 2012 on this list, it was proposed that Ubuntu's
> NetworkManager enable the new connectivity check feature by default.
> Some concerns were raised and the feature never landed. I'd like to
> reopen that discussion.
>
> In 2014, Fedora enabled that feature by default but they did it using
> a separate package. I really like this idea since it makes it very
> easy for users to opt in or out of the connectivity check if they
> choose.
>
> I am proposing that we create a similar package. I would like to have
> Ubuntu GNOME's metapackage recommend that config-connectivity package.
> In GNOME Shell, when a captive portal is detected, the network status
> icon changes to include a question mark and a login window pointed to
> the portal's login/authorization webpage appears. The login window is
> powered by webkit2gtk. This is very similar to the implementation by
> most other operating systems.
>
> Here's the Feature Freeze exception bug and merge proposal:
> https://launchpad.net/bugs/997200
>
> Jeremy Bicha
>
> --
> ubuntu-devel mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Modify settings or unsubscribe at: https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-devel

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Re: Enabling Connectivity Checking in NetworkManager

Philipp Kern
On 02.03.2017 05:54, Aron Xu wrote:

> Hi,
>
> I'd like to see it get enabled by default eventually, but preferably
> provide a toggle in Privacy tab for Unity desktop (and configurable
> check URL) which provides better user experience without compromising
> privacy needs. But there remains a question for other desktops flavors
> how to handle it (which is worse than the config-connectivity package
> approach).
>
> Some facts about how to actually do the check:
> 1. iOS uses a similar approach via HTTPS like what we NM does
> 2. Android uses a 204 response from server via HTTPS, this would
> reduce the server load and bandwidth requirement because there's no
> HTTP body being transferred.

Huh, isn't it using http://www.gstatic.com/generate_204?

Kind regards
Philipp Kern

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Re: Enabling Connectivity Checking in NetworkManager

Julian Andres Klode-3
On Sun, Mar 05, 2017 at 06:07:02PM +0100, Philipp Kern wrote:

> On 02.03.2017 05:54, Aron Xu wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > I'd like to see it get enabled by default eventually, but preferably
> > provide a toggle in Privacy tab for Unity desktop (and configurable
> > check URL) which provides better user experience without compromising
> > privacy needs. But there remains a question for other desktops flavors
> > how to handle it (which is worse than the config-connectivity package
> > approach).
> >
> > Some facts about how to actually do the check:
> > 1. iOS uses a similar approach via HTTPS like what we NM does
> > 2. Android uses a 204 response from server via HTTPS, this would
> > reduce the server load and bandwidth requirement because there's no
> > HTTP body being transferred.
>
> Huh, isn't it using http://www.gstatic.com/generate_204?

Not really. Android uses connectivitycheck.gstatic.com since 6.0 or something
(not www :)). For example, see:

https://android.googlesource.com/platform/frameworks/base/+/b7c2487c8b5fbd154643b8ddade8d88507cae137

But more to the point, https was added at some point and turned on by
default:

https://android.googlesource.com/platform/frameworks/base/+/c5be12e7ac43cbe8c68219fa702c6fb7f06183c3

- same server though.

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Re: Enabling Connectivity Checking in NetworkManager

Philipp Kern
On 05.03.2017 19:13, Julian Andres Klode wrote:

> On Sun, Mar 05, 2017 at 06:07:02PM +0100, Philipp Kern wrote:
>> On 02.03.2017 05:54, Aron Xu wrote:
>>> I'd like to see it get enabled by default eventually, but preferably
>>> provide a toggle in Privacy tab for Unity desktop (and configurable
>>> check URL) which provides better user experience without compromising
>>> privacy needs. But there remains a question for other desktops flavors
>>> how to handle it (which is worse than the config-connectivity package
>>> approach).
>>>
>>> Some facts about how to actually do the check:
>>> 1. iOS uses a similar approach via HTTPS like what we NM does
>>> 2. Android uses a 204 response from server via HTTPS, this would
>>> reduce the server load and bandwidth requirement because there's no
>>> HTTP body being transferred.
>>
>> Huh, isn't it using http://www.gstatic.com/generate_204?
>
> Not really. Android uses connectivitycheck.gstatic.com since 6.0 or something
> (not www :)). For example, see:
>
> https://android.googlesource.com/platform/frameworks/base/+/b7c2487c8b5fbd154643b8ddade8d88507cae137
>
> But more to the point, https was added at some point and turned on by
> default:
>
> https://android.googlesource.com/platform/frameworks/base/+/c5be12e7ac43cbe8c68219fa702c6fb7f06183c3
>
> - same server though.

Hm, thanks. Note, however, that it does parallel probing on both HTTP
and HTTPS and takes whatever's first. It also contains a useful comment
for implementers of a captive portal notification of "disable HTTPS
checks if the captive portal login was taken care of".

Kind regards
Philipp Kern

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