It's been a long time since net-tools were deprecated, to the point even the conservative RHEL is not installing them by default anymore.
Currently, net-tools is included in the inetutils package. This tasks proposes to remove the collection from the inetutils package, so that it'll eventually only provide common and still-relevant tools like ping and hostname, to name a few. Other distros like Arch Linux, in fact, split net-tools and inetutils.
iproute2 is the direct replacement of net-tools and it's already in our package repository. inetutils,is in the system.base group, while iproute2 is in the network.base group.
The deprecation of inetutils is made difficult because we don't track build dependencies and runtime dependencies for packages that rely on other packages in the system.base, so there's a risk of breaking stuff if we deprecate net-tools (we don't know where it's being used!), but sooner or later we'll have to. Debian kindly provides a scan of packages that rely on these old commands, along with suggestions on how to migrate them.
Some packages are written to use iproute2 in place of net-tools, if installed on the running system, other aren't. Here's the list of Solus packages that require intervention:
- vpnc: vpnc-script depends on ifconfig, but it's easy to patch. The code is simple.
- mininet: Too complex to patch. It uses both ifconfig and ip.