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Basically, you just need to use the CLI command “ifconfig” which stands for interface configuration. It uses
to configure and query TCP/IP network interface parameters

ifconfig interface [aftype] options

where:

interface: eth0,eth1, em0
aftype: inet (default,TCP/IP), inet6(IPV6)
options: up,down, arp,promisc, mtu ##, broadcast xx.xx.xx.xx , netmask xx.xx.xx.xx

See the man page for more details

Common use of ifconfig:

Display info on all network interfaces, including active and active
#ifconfig -a

View network settings of specific interface
#ifconfig eth0

Disable an Interface
#ifconfig eth0 down

Enable an Interface
#ifconfig eth0 up

Assign IP address to interface
#ifconfig eth0 172.28.0.134

Assign IP, netmask and broadcast address at the same time to interface
e.g. eth0
#ifconfig eth0 172.28.0.134 netmask 255.255.255.240 broadcast 172.28.0.143

Normally, when I want to add or change IP address, I used this command, this should be enough even without adding the broadcast options
#ifconfig eth0 172.28.0.134 netmask 255.255.255.240 up

Notice I added the up at the end of the command to activates the interface

Semi-advanced commands like changing media type, speed and duplex settings is not covered on this tutorial. I’ll post another topic about it, but to give you a hint, you need to use mii-tool or the newer command ethtool.

Redhat/Fedora/CentOS

If you don’t want to use a menu type configuration via “setup” command, then you can configure manually by editing the files under /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts directory

[darwin@freelinux]$ ls /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/
ifcfg-eth0 ifdown-aliases ifdown-isdn ifdown-sl ifup-ipsec ifup-plip ifup-routes init.ipv6-global
ifcfg-eth1 ifdown-ippp ifdown-post ifup ifup-ipv6 ifup-plusb ifup-sit network-functions
ifcfg-lo ifdown-ipsec ifdown-ppp ifup-aliases ifup-ipx ifup-post ifup-sl network-functions-ipv6
ifdown ifdown-ipv6 ifdown-sit ifup-ippp ifup-isdn ifup-ppp ifup-wireless

Edit the ifcfg-eth0 using your favorite text editor, here’s the sample:

DEVICE=eth0
BOOTPROTO=static
HWADDR=00:AB:CD:EF:00:FL
IPADDR=172.28.0.134
NETMASK=255.255.255.240
ONBOOT=yes
TYPE=Ethernet

To take effect the changes, restart the network service

#service network restart

Debian/Ubuntu

For Debian & Ubuntu, network settings to edit is the
/etc/network/interfaces using your favorite text editor.

Here’s a sample content of /etc/network/interfaces

Static:
auto eth0
iface eth1 inet static
address 172.28.0.132
netmask 255.255.255.240

Dynamic or DHCP:
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp

To apply changes, restart the networking process
# /etc/init.d/networking restart

Gentoo

Network interfaces are configured under /etc/conf.d/net

Sample configuration:
Static
/etc/conf.d/net

#sample using netmask
config_eth0=”172.28.0.134 netmask 255.255.255.240″
routes_eth0=”default via 172.28.0.129″
dns_servers_eth0=”172.28.0.132″

#sample using CIDR
config_eth0=”172.28.0.134/28″
routes_eth0=”default via 172.28.0.129″
dns_servers_eth0=”172.28.0.132″

Dynamic
#sample dhcp config
config_eth0=”dhcp”

To apply changes, stop & start the interface
# /etc/init.d/net.eth0 stop
# /etc/init.d/net.eth0 start

Quick Tip:
Configure to load at boot
# rc-update add net.eth0 default
# rc

Suse/OpenSuse

Network configuration files are under the directory /etc/sysconfig/network/

Basically under this folder, you should look for ifcfg-eth*

Sample content for STATIC configuration:

BOOTPROTO=’static’
BROADCAST=”
ETHTOOL_OPTIONS=”
IPADDR=’172.28.0.134′
MTU=”
NAME=’Broadcom NetXtreme II BCM5708 Gigabit Ethernet’
NETMASK=’255.255.255.240′
NETWORK=”
REMOTE_IPADDR=”
STARTMODE=’auto’

Sample content for DHCP configuration:

DEVICE=eth0
BOOTPROTO=dhcp
ONBOOT=yes

To apply changes, restart networking service

# /etc/init.d/networking restart

Slackware

For wired configuration, a preferred way is to use “netconfig” tool to configure eth0. This will edit the rc.inet1.conf file which would be the same by editing manually the /etc/rc.d/rc.inet1.conf

Sample configuration for /etc/rc.d/rc.inet1.conf as follows:

# Config information for eth0:
IPADDR[0]=”172.28.0.134″
NETMASK[0]=”255.255.255.240″
USE_DHCP[0]=”no”
DHCP_HOSTNAME[0]=””

# Default gateway IP address:
GATEWAY=”172.28.0.129″

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1 Response to “Basic Wired network interface configuration for popular Linux distribution”

  1. Hannan Ahmad

    on June 21 2015

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