SETNET(8) System Manager’s Manual SETNET(8)

NAME — minimalist shell script for network configuration with dialog interface

SYNOPSIS [-c config_file] [-d trace_file] [-h] [-v]

DESCRIPTION is a shell script for network management, with a terminal user interface based on dialog(1). It works as a wrapper around the basic tools for the configuration of Ethernet and Wi-Fi interfaces, including ip(8), dhclient(8), and wpa_cli(8). allows to configure static and/or DHCP-based connections to a LAN/WLAN, and to manage the authentication to a Wi-Fi network. At present, open (no key), WPA-Personal (WPA-PSK and WPA2-PSK), and WPA-Enterprise (EAP/PEAP or EAP/TLS) are supported. can be also used as a minimal interface to basic network diagnostics tools, including ping(8), host(1), traceroute(1), and netstat(8). It allows to show some information about network status, including the routing table, content of resolv.conf and nsswitch.conf, active TCP/IP connections, running daemons, etc., and to dump those information to a file. Support for posting a dump of network status to websites like is under development. uses /bin/sh by default. It has been tested with several standard shells, including bash, busybox, dash, ksh, mksh, posh, sh, yash, and zsh but it should work correctly with any POSIX-compliant shell. recognises the following options:

-c config_file

specify a configuration file

-d trace_file

enable dialog debug, and write the trace to the provided trace_file


print a minimal help and exit


show version and exit

The main menu allows to choose from five sections, as described below:


This section allows to configure a network interface, selected from the list of available network devices (as returned by "ip -o link"). Once a device has been selected, it is possible to choose on of the following functions


View current device configuration, i.e., MAC address, link status, IP address, etc.


(available only for wi-fi devices) Manage the association to a Wi-Fi network. This allows to restart wpa_supplicant, to manage the currently configured networks, to add a new network, and to show (and modify) the configuration file used by wpa_supplicant.


Configure the IP address of the device. It is possible to choose between DHCP-based and Static IP configuration.


Bring the interface up (using "ip link set <DEVNAME> up").


Bring the interface down (using "ip link set <DEVNAME> down").


Restart the interface by putting it first down and then up again.


This section provides information about the current network status and allows to perform basic diagnostic tasks. The following functions are available:


Show the current ARP table


List active network connections by running "netstat -tnp"


List the configured DNS, by showing the "nameserver" entries in /etc/resolv.conf.


Perform a DNS lookup through "host <HOST>". If <HOST> is a FQDN, the result will be the IP address(es) associated to that domain name. If <HOST> is an IP address, the result is the list of FQDNs associated to that address.


Ping a host, using its IP of FQDN (Fully-Qualified Domain Name) by running "ping -c 5 <HOST>".


Show the system resolver configuration, i.e. the content of the file /etc/nsswitch.conf


Show the current routing table


Show a list of processes (daemons) listening on TCP ports, by running "netstat -ltnp".


Show the route to a given host, as obtained by running the command "traceroute <HOST>".


Dump information about current network status to a file. The user can choose which information to include from a checklist. The support for dumping network information to web applications like pastebin is currently under development.


Show the logfile written by


Provide information about copyright, contributors, and license.

ENVIRONMENT uses the following environment variables:


The configuration file for wpa_supplicant(1) (default to /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_setnet.conf ).


The file used by for logging (default to /var/log/setnet.log ).


If it is set to "yes" or "YES", the log file is truncated when starts.


List of wifi devices. This list is used only when automatic detection of wifi devices fails.


If set to "yes" or "YES", setnet will suppress verbose notifications.


If set to "yes" or "YES" setnet will include the loopback device in the list of available network devices.

These variables are normally set in the setnetrc configuration file (see FILES below). will exit if either WPA_FILE or LOGFILE are undefined.

FILES uses a configuration file which defines the environment variables described in ENVIRONMENT above. looks for the following files:

the config_file provided through the option -c (if any).

the file /etc/setnetrc (if it exists)

the file ~/.setnetrc (if it exists)

in that order. If a config_file is provided, the other files are ignored. Otherwise, if ~/.setnetrc exists, it takes precedence over /etc/setnetrc.


ip(8), iw(8), dhclient(8), wpa_supplicant(8), wpa_cli(8), netstat(8).

AUTHORS is Free Software, distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL), version 3 of the License. is copyleft (c) 2016-2018 by Vincenzo (KatolaZ) Nicosia <>


At present, can reliably manage no more than one Wi-Fi device at a time. This is due to the fact that the configuration file for wpa_supplicant is defined in the environment variable WPA_FILE. There is no limitation on the number of Ethernet devices that can manage, but you should be careful with having more than one dhclient processes running, since each of them will try to add a default gateway to the kernel routing table.


Configuring networking is an administration task, and requires root privileges to work properly. It is possible to allow a regular user to run, e.g. by using sudo(8) or sup(1) (see for more information about sup). can recognise if it is running under sudo(8) or sup(1), by looking at the content of the environment variables SUDO_UID/SUP_UID, SUDO_GID/SUP_GID, and SUDO_USER/SUP_USER. When is run under sudo(8) or sup(1), some functionalities are disabled. In particular, loading and editing an alternate wpa_supplicant configuration file is forbidden (and for obvious reasons, since this would in principle allow the sudoer to edit *any* file in your system).

Linux May 03, 2018 Linux