Saturday, March 15, 2008

Habemus DHCP

Alain Greppin has made network configuration on AROS a kid's play, thanks to his brand new DHCP client. I don't know exactly how it works, but the most important thing is it works properly, at least on a well-configured VmwAROS installation. With this wonderful piece of software, we can partially forget about all those 80's-like configuration files, and let AROS choose an IP address by itself. Partially, because configuring a network still need to specify the adapter to use, which is done editing the interfaces file. A day in the future, however, someone will write a good GUI for all these tasks. Luckily, this is not needed in a pre-defined environment like VmwAROS, since the network adapter is the same for everyone. So I've rewritten ConfigIP to let the user decide whether using DHCP or the old-style manual IP configuration. If you want VmwAROS to use DHCP, just click on Automatic and reboot, your network will be fine.

There is a payoff, however. One of the most useful features of VmwAROS is file sharing with the host operating system, and this is done using YAFS, a simple but good FTP server. The problem here is that YAFS requires the IP address of the AROS machine being specified in its configuration file. And, if you have ever launched ConfigIP at least once, you'll surely have noticed it. With DHCP I don't know exactly how to bring this information to YAFS, so for now it will be automatically didsabled at startup when DHCP is selected. Users which want to use YAFS and DHCP at the same time, will be required to launch ifconfig -a and properly edit yafs.ini before starting it in a shell.

Here's a screenshot of a work-in-progress VmwAROS version with DHCP running.

PS: I would like to thank Alain also for having helped me fixing the Theme Manager in order to make it work again in VmwAROS, since on the latest AROS builds it has some problems.