How to Identify Network Manager for Ubuntu


There have been three approaches to managing network configurations in Linux:

  1. The oldest uses the /etc/network/interfaces file and ifup/ifdown scripts to manage network interfaces.
  2. After that came the network-manager daemon (often written Network-Manager or NetworkManager), which has a GUI available to manage interfaces.
  3. And most recently the systemd-networkd daemon (sometimes abbreviated just ‘networkd’) which is based on systemd unit files.

In this post, we will explain how to identify which network manager your system is currently using.

Check Netplan Configuration

If your system is fairly new, there’s a good chance it’s running netplan. In such case, you can check the *.yaml config file under /etc/netplan and see if the renderer is set to networkd or NetworkManager.

Check Running Service

Another way to identify the network manager is to check the running process.

First, you’ll need to determine whether your system is initialized by systemd or init. Current Debian and Ubuntu distros use systemd instead of init. Run the following command to check:

root@localsharespace:~# pidof systemd &&  echo "systemd"  || echo "other"

If you are NOT running systemd, then your system is obviously NOT running systemd-networkd. That means your system is using either (a) the /etc/network/interfaces file and ifup/ifdown scripts or (b) network-manager.

If you ARE running systemd, then use the following two commands to check which network service daemons are running:

systemctl status systemd-networkd
systemctl status network-manager

Following each command, you’ll see either Active: active (running) or Active: inactive (dead).

If the above commands don’t work on your system, you can try the following alternative commands:

sudo service systemd-networkd status
sudo service network-manager  status


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