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documentation.suse.com / SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro Documentation / Administration Guide / Networking / NetworkManager and wicked
Applies to SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro 5.3

6 NetworkManager and wicked

This chapter focuses on the difference between NetworkManager and wicked.

NetworkManager is a program that manages the primary network connection and other connection interfaces. NetworkManager has been designed to be fully automatic by default. NetworkManager is handled by systemd and is shipped with all necessary service unit files.

wicked is a network management tool that provides network configuration as a service and enables changing the network configuration dynamically.

NetworkManager and wicked provide similar functionality; however, they differ in the following points:

root privileges

If you use NetworkManager for network setup, you can easily switch, stop, or start your network connection at any time. NetworkManager also makes it possible to change and configure wireless card connections without requiring root privileges.

wicked also provides some ways to switch, stop, or start the connection with or without user intervention, like user-managed devices. However, this always requires root privileges to change or configure a network device.

Types of network connections

Both wicked and NetworkManager can handle network connections with a wireless network (with WEP, WPA-PSK, and WPA-Enterprise access) and wired networks using DHCP and static configuration. They also support connection through dial-up and VPN. With NetworkManager, you can also connect a mobile broadband (3G) modem or set up a DSL connection, which is not possible with the traditional configuration.

NetworkManager tries to keep your computer connected at all times using the best connection available. If the network cable is accidentally disconnected, it tries to reconnect. NetworkManager can find the network with the best signal strength from the list of your wireless connections and automatically use it to connect. To get the same functionality with wicked, more configuration effort is required.

k8s integration

Some k8s plugins require NetworkManager to run and are not compatible with wicked.

Even though NetworkManager and wicked are managed by systemd and are similar in functionalities, we do not recommend migrating to NetworkManager from wicked. Perform a new installation of SLE Micro with the default network management service—NetworkManager. If you upgraded your system from a previous release, we recommend keeping wicked as the network managing service.