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What are interface labels for

Dear Lazyweb, for a long time I have been using iproute2's label feature to assign arbitrary labels to IP addresses configured on Interfaces:

40: int152@dotqa: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc noqueue state UP
link/ether 00:25:b3:01:e5:6c brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
inet brd scope global int152:98fe8

Recently, this has shown to at least confuse both isc-dhcp-relay (#617258) and dhcp-helper (#617264).

As I have never seen interfaces labels used outside my firewalls (which happen to use ifupdown-scripts-zg2 (Debian PTS)) and ifupdown's rather twisted handling of multiple IP addresses per interface (using Alias Interfaces), I'd like to know whether my usage is a legitimate one and whether there are other uses for interface labels.

At the moment, I'm tempted to remove label support from ifupdown-scripts-zg2 in the next release, or to make it optional. Please comment if you have an opinion.


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Simon on :

Avahi also creates interface labels, so tools that are getting confused will be getting confused anyway. I find the labels useful and think others might as well, so I'd like to see the option kept.

Marc 'Zugschlus' Haber on :

Can you give an example for avahi's use of labels?

In the mean time, isc-dhcp-server has joined the rank of software that refuses to work with labeled interfaces.

Simon on :

Sure, on my laptop eth0 has

inet brd scope link eth0:avahi

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