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I'm using the latest (Stretch) version of Raspbian (2018-11) on both Raspberry PI 2B and 3B hardware, one with working WLAN dongle and the other with internal WLAN.

For the last three weeks or so I've been trying to figure out how to use the Graphical WLAN setup and also set static bridged br0 bridged with eth0 (and eventually openvpn tun0).

It seems to me that /etc/network/interfaces and dhcpcd are diametrically opposed to each other.

I can disable all entries in /etc/network/interfaces and have the graphical WLAN set and working or I can manually set eth0 and br0 but that stops WLAN (graphical) interface and settings from working, they show a red double X in place of the Wifi signal).

There might be some other network setting that is involved as well, I'm not sure how the Graphical (WLAN) setting sets the WLAN address.

I've tried to manually set br0 address in /etc/dhcpcd.conf but it doesn't do anything.

My goal is to have the user be able to set and change WLAN settings in the Graphical GUI and still be able to manually set up a bridge (br0) with eth0 and (eventually) openvpn tun0 in the br0 set.

How can I accomplish this?

I'm trying to set up the networking for VPN so I can have Warhawk game running on PS3 attached to Raspberry PI eth0 and bridge that with the OpenVPN tun0 which is connected over the internet to another instance of the same so Warhawk can be played as if it is on the local network but it is remote.

If there is an easier way to accomplish this then I don't have to do it this way, this was the first thing I thought of to try.

I'm VERY familiar with networking and Linux (Since 1991) but I've not been able to figure out what is causing the interference between /etc/network/interfaces, dhcpd (/etc/dhcpd.conf) and the WLAN setup.

Please help and advise.

Thanks in advance.

Here is my /etc/network/interfaces that has the config for bridge br0:

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet manual

auto br0
iface br0 inet static
  address 10.11.8.1
  netmask 255.255.255.0
  bridge_ports eth0

But when I do that it disables the Graphical WIFI.

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Most importantly there are two separate services that can configure networking "dhcpcd" and "networking". First one is enabled by default and graphical tools are capable of configuring it. By default "networking" subsystem is disabled and /etc/network/interfaces will not be evaluated. You can switch to "networking" by:

#systemctl disable dhcpcd
#systemctl enable networking

Make sure that you mention all interfaces that you want to have configured in /etc/network/interfaces. dhcpcd is trying to configure all available interfaces while networking will not. Dhcpcd is more than dhcp client (look at project's page) but I don't think it can configure virtual interfaces like br0 or tunnels. For those I would revert to networking.

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I will try to give an overview over the network possibilities with Raspbian. In general you have three networking systems build in a default Raspbian image. This are

  • dhcpcd - the default networking system on Raspbian
  • networking from the package ifupdown - this is the classic networking managed in the file /etc/network/interfaces with ifup and ifdown
  • systemd-networkd - Raspbian comes since version Jessie with the new init system systemd. systemd-networkd is integrated part of it.

I have covered this a bit closer at this answer How to correctly restart wpa_supplicant debug with networkd-systemd?.

You may also think about Network Manager as fourth system and mainly graphical centered but it is not direct supported by Raspbian. You have to install it from the repositories and manage it by yourself. You will find some answers to it but for my feeling there is not much experience about it here.

And to get it a bit more complicated dhcpcd and networking are both running by default and interact together. When and how you have to use what configuration file you can read at Differences between /etc/dhcpcd.conf and /etc/network/interfaces?.

So now coming to the graphical user interface (GUI). On Unix systems GUIs are only hooks on the underlaying system. You can completely switch it off on a running system or just change it by selecting another window manager. The "machine room" is the command line oriented operating system. For this reason most system management tools are only wrapper with a GUI to the command line tools. I'm not very familiar with the Raspbian GUIs but it seems that the network management tool is also only a wrapper to dhcpcd so you cannot manage other network systems with it.

To get a GUI network management tool you could first check if dhcpcd can do what you want and if the default GUI manager works with it. For a setup you can look at How do I set up networking/WiFi/static IP address? but it does not cover running advanced networking on the Pi (e.g. DHCP servers, Tunnelling, VPN, Access Point).

If you cannot get it to work with dhcpcd I would give Network Manager a try but I'm afraid you are fairly alone with it.

You may also consider to write your own GUI network management wrapper.

If you cannot get a GUI tool and stuck with command line management I would prefer systemd-networkd and why you can read at the "intro" of Howto migrate from networking to systemd-networkd with dynamic failover.

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