How about leaving the changing MAC address "bug" on the Librem 5 alone?

I noticed that on one of the dev pages, Guido Gunther and Bob Ham posted an issue that needed fixing with the Librem 5 dev kit. The issue was that the Librem 5 was changing the MAC address with each boot. I think this is a GREAT feature to have for anonymity purposes while using Wifi. Rather than “fix” or disable this feature, why not embrace it and make it an opt-in or opt-out feature on boot up? Is that possible?

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Interesting idea. If a feature, I’d prefer it be opt-in (rather than opt-out) since it may introduce issues at your network layer, e.g. firewalls/APs with MAC filtering, DHCP reservations breaking, DHCP pool exhaustion (with long lease times and many reboots), etc.

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Anyone else think this is a good idea?

Similar to Tails? More options are always good, but as @jon.armani said before it has to be opt-in because of the issues which would arise for not-so-technical users and networks they use.

Just thought I’d revisit this wth current Librem 5 users.

Is the default setting that the MAC address changes with each reboot?

Or if you want anonymity, do you have to manually change the MAC address using macchanger with each bootup?

And if you do use macchanger to change your MAC address, does your real MAC address automatically come back when you reboot?

Thanks to anyone who can answer.

I just tried some of this on my Chestnut L5. I only quickly read through the bug report, but it seemed they only mentioned the ethernet on the dev kit. I don’t have a way to connect my L5 to ethernet so I only tried with WiFi. It seems the WiFi MAC stays the same over reboots.

I also installed macchanger and changed the MAC then rebooted and it was back to the original MAC after the reboot.

Well that is unfortunate.

Yes, that is disappointing. Obviously the workaround is to use macchanger after each bootup, but that’s more work. If you leave the phone powered on but use the Wifi HW kill switch, does it retain the changed MAC address?

Nope, flipping the kill switch off then back on also resets the MAC to default.

Thanks for checking. Hopefully with future versions of PureOS, MAC address spoofing will be enabled by default or offered on an opt-in or opt-out basis on the Librem 5. You listening Purism?

It’s a bug not a feature if you want it, install macchanger and select yes when the terminal ask during installation.