netctl: One for the Archers

I count myself as an Arch Linux user, even if more machines in the house run Linux Mint than Arch at the moment.

And after skimming through aptitude and some other Debian-centric tools, it’s time we got one that’s listed among the blue and not among the red. Or magenta. Or whatever color it’s supposed to be. 🙄

netctl isn’t much to start off with though.


If you know systemd, and if you’re an Archer you probably do, then you know this is remarkably similar to systemctl. Start. Stop. Restart. Et cetera.

Which only makes sense, I suppose. The self-styled “network control utility based on systemd” doesn’t step on any toes by following suit. And wifi-menu, its wireless corollary, does an admirable job for its part.

I’ve used netctl only briefly though, and only in the most cursory fashion. I’ll be honest and admit that most of my Arch systems, once they’re installed and online, get a healthy injection of wicd, instead of the default tools.

Not that there’s anything wrong with netctl, I just need a little more information than it (or wifi-menu, for that matter) offers, and I like the way wicd-curses presents it.

Other than that, I can tell you I’ve never had any problems with netctl (or wifi-menu, for that matter) and at times when wicd fell flat, both netctl and wifi-menu were there to pick up the slack.

If, and/or when, systemd is drawn into the Debian corpus, it will be interesting to see if netctl is likewise adopted. I have no opinion either way, but I shall get out my popcorn and watch just the same.

3 thoughts on “netctl: One for the Archers

  1. Curtis

    Netctl is really just a set of shell scripts that wrap the various core networking tools. It mainly relies on iproute2, but can be extended when you add the optional dependencies, such as giving it wpa{,2} support by simply installing wpa_supplicant. So as long as the packages on a given system are not too old, netctl should in theory work on any other systemd machine.

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