Python API to talk to NetworkManager

NetworkManager provides a detailed and capable D-Bus interface on the system bus. You can use this interface to query NetworkManager about the overall state of the network and details of network devices like current IP addresses or DHCP options, and to activate and deactivate network connections.

python-networkmanager takes this D-Bus interface and wraps D-Bus interfaces in classes and D-Bus properties in python properties. It also provides a command-line utility to inspect the configuration and (de-)activate connections.

The NetworkManager module

All the code is contained in one module: NetworkManager. Using it is as simple as you think it is:

>>> import NetworkManager
>>> NetworkManager.NetworkManager.Version
'1.0.4'

NetworkManager exposes a lot of information via D-Bus and also allows full control of network settings. The full D-Bus API can be found on NetworkManager project website. All interfaces listed there have been wrapped in classes as listed below. With a few exceptions, they behave exactly like the D-Bus methods. These exceptions are for convenience and limited to this list:

  • IP addresses are returned as strings of the form 1.2.3.4 instead of network byte ordered integers.
  • Route metrics are returned in host byte order, so you can use them as integers.
  • Mac addresses and BSSIDs are always returned as strings of the form 00:11:22:33:44:55 instead of byte sequences.
  • Wireless SSID’s are returned as strings instead of byte sequences. They will be decoded as UTF-8 data, so using any other encoding for your SSID will result in errors.
class NetworkManager.NMDbusInterface

This is the base class for all interface wrappers. It adds a few useful features to standard D-Bus interfaces:

  • All D-Bus properties are exposed as python properties
  • Return values are automatically converted to python basic types (so no more dbus.String, but simple str (python 3) or unicode (python 2))
  • Object paths in return values are automatically replaced with proxy objects, so you don’t need to do that manually
  • ...and vice versa when sending
  • And also when receiving signals
NetworkManager.const(prefix, value)

Many of NetworkManagers D-Bus methods expect or return numeric constants, for which there are enums in the C source code. These constants, such as NM_STATE_CONNECTED_GLOBAL, can all be found in the NetworkManager module as well. The const() function can help you translate them to text. For example:

>>> NetworkManager.const('state', 40)
'connecting'
>>> NetworkManager.const('device_type', 2)
'wifi'

List of classes

class NetworkManager.NetworkManager

This class represents the org.freedesktop.NetworkManager interface. Note that NetworkManager.NetworkManager actually is the singleton instance of this class.

class NetworkManager.Settings

This class represents the org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.Settings interface. Note that NetworkManager.Settings actually is the singleton instance of this class.

class NetworkManager.Connection

This class represents the org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.Settings.Connection interface.

class NetworkManager.ActiveConnection

This class represents the org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.Connection.Active interface.

class NetworkManager.AccessPoint

This class represents the org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.AccessPoint interface.

class NetworkManager.Device
class NetworkManager.Wired
class NetworkManager.Wireless
class NetworkManager.Modem
class NetworkManager.Bluetooth
class NetworkManager.OlpcMesh
class NetworkManager.Wimax
class NetworkManager.Infiniband
class NetworkManager.Bond
class NetworkManager.Bridge
class NetworkManager.Vlan
class NetworkManager.Adsl
class NetworkManager.Generic

These classes represent D-Bus interfaces for various types of hardware. Note that methods such as NetworkManager.GetDevices() will only return Device instances. To get the hardware-specific class, you can call the Device.SpecificDevice() method.

>>> [(dev.Interface, dev.SpecificDevice().__class__.__name__)
...  for dev in NetworkManager.NetworkManager.GetDevices()]
[('eth0', 'Wired'), ('wlan0', 'Wireless'), ('wwan0', 'Modem')]
class NetworkManager.IP4Config
class NetworkManager.IP6Config
class NetworkManager.DHCP4Config
class NetworkManager.DHCP6Config

These classes represent the various IP configuration interfaces.

class NetworkManager.AgentManager
class NetworkManager.SecretAgent

Classes that can be used to handle and store secrets. Note that these are not for querying NetworkManager’s exisiting secret stores. For that the GetSecrets() method of the Connection class can be used.

class NetworkManager.VPNConnection

This class represents the org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.VPN.Connection interface.

class NetworkManager.VPNPlugin

A class that can be used to query VPN plugins.

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