Default IP Address on All Distributions

Thomas Otterbein th.otterbein at
Tue Jan 6 11:02:01 CET 2009

> wrote:
> > flamma at wrote:
> >>> Sure. And if we go that way, why not use the proper way of setting a
> >>> link-local address?
> >>> * Pick a random address
> >>> * check that it is free (arp, ping,...)
> >>> * take it.
> >>>
> >>> That has a good chance of working, even for those who
> >>> routinely connect two phones to the same pc at the same time.
> >>>
> >>> Helge Hafting
> >>
> >> I'm not sure to have fully understood you, but I like having the phone
> >> always on the same address.
> >
> > There was a suggestion of using link-local addresses.
> > If we do that, then we had better do it properly, because you
> > aren't supposed to grab the same link-local address every time. If that
> > is a problem, the solution is to not use link-local addresses.
> >
> > As long as you have one phone, a fixed IP address works well. If you
> > have two or more, it is better if they are different or resolves the
> > colission automatically. And then we might as well use existing
> > standards. But perhaps there aren't that many people
> > managing several phones from one pc.
> >
> > Helge Hafting
> Certainly there will be far less, proportionally, with Openmoko success.
> If Openmoko succeeds - which I presume we all want - then we, the linux
> hackers, will be the minority of users.  The community as it exists right
> now cannot be considered the long-term target userbase.  The more things
> deviate from 'just works' the more Joe Smartphone-user will consider broken
> when he can't figure it out.  I'm not saying "dumb it down", just
> reiterating my mantra of "simple working defaults".
> I think we need to set a default IP pair in a /30 subnet or at least
> designate a subnet NOT commonly used, and UI network controls can allow to
> alter them at need.  (or for those who perversely eschew UIs on a
> touchscreen phone, you can edit the config :)  For 'backward-compatibility'
> (read: our convenience ;) I suggest on the FR, .201 on
> host - machines with .200 can still communicate on this subnet.  But my gut
> tells me we need a clean break and a clean subnet, like or
> ;)
> Something that works for a linux hacker works for us, something that works
> for the average smartphone user works for Openmoko.  But by virtue of who
> and where we are, we can influence this and hopefully end up with something
> that just works.
> j

Now when it comes to "real users" I believe the discussion about the best fixed 
IP-Number or a pool of dynamic numbers is far too short-sighted. As a true 
linux user by hard for many year now I have no problem in running a couple of 
commands to connect my Freerunner to my machine and configure it's internet 
connection to get some updates. However on the long run, if I will have to 
continue doing it like that I consider it a confession of failure.

M$ and Apple are successful with their devices because users do not have to 
care at all about IP-Numbers or editing /etc/resolv.conf. Neither do today's 
Linux-Users as the vast majority is using DHCP on their DSL-(WiFi)-Routers 
They plug it in or move into a certain location and things just happen as 

Believe me I don't like the side effects that come with all this automatisms, 
which is why I bought the freerunner so I have the freedom to change it. 
However as I sit in front of my desktop day by day already strangling with a 
more or less constant level of "configuration problems" (network gone, faulty 
acpi, xorg update broke screen resolution, etc.). I would really love to have 
my phone "just work" sometime in the relatively near future.

For example a user friendly but still linux-like phone could ask me: 
"Hey, while you already have decided to go on the internet (via usb or wifi or 
gprs, it's my decision and not limited by design flaws) shouldn't I download 
the latest updates in the background?"
"Um, I sense your bluetooth-enabled desktop is nearby. Shall I quickly sync 
your appointments and contacts with your favourite OpenSync-enabled PIM-Suite 
(or even with nasty Outlook)?" 

Sorry for pouring out all that stuff here but I felt the urgent need to try to 
refocus on the efforts. I know it's a lot of work to which I haven't 
contributed much (yet), but if the Freerunner is supposed do revolutionize the 
mobile world it needs to do things better or smarter or at leased as good but 
with more freedom than it's competitors (Windows Mobile, IPhone, Blackberry 
from my point of view).


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