Automate network configurations with dispatcher scripts


© Lead Image © Hannu Viitanen,

© Lead Image © Hannu Viitanen,

Article from Issue 239/2020

Use dispatcher scripts to mount a different network drive depending on the location or automatically start a VPN connection without lifting a finger.

Yesterday at a conference, today at a downtown office, tomorrow at a home office, the next day at an Internet cafe: Working life is no longer limited to a single desk. For many employees, a reliable Internet connection is all that is needed for a productive work day.

Although working from the road sounds simple, life on a laptop is often full of pitfalls and complications. On your home LAN, you will want to mount the file shares from your NAS, and on the open WiFi network of a cafe, you need a firewall to block all access. In the secure office, services that run locally are allowed to broadcast.

These different network-access use cases require continual adjustments. If a computer only connects to the network via a single wired Ethernet port, you can still mount a network drive via /etc/fstab, or you will want to use autofs if the desired server is not always connected to the network. But to start and stop services automatically depending on the situation, or to have certain configurations created automatically, you need an intelligent network manager.


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