NOTE: click here if you get an empty page.

IFCONFIG(8)		   Linux Programmer's Manual		   IFCONFIG(8)


ifconfig - configure a network interface


ifconfig [interface] ifconfig interface [aftype] options | address ...


Ifconfig is used to configure the kernel-resident network interfaces. It is used at boot time to set up interfaces as necessary. After that, it is usually only needed when debugging or when system tuning is needed. If no arguments are given, ifconfig displays the status of the cur- rently active interfaces. If a single interface argument is given, it displays the status of the given interface only; if a single -a argu- ment is given, it displays the status of all interfaces, even those that are down. Otherwise, it configures an interface. Address Families If the first argument after the interface name is recognized as the name of a supported address family, that address family is used for decoding and displaying all protocol addresses. Currently supported address families include inet (TCP/IP, default), inet6 (IPv6), ax25 (AMPR Packet Radio), ddp (Appletalk Phase 2), ipx (Novell IPX) and netrom (AMPR Packet radio). All numbers supplied as parts in IPv4 dot- ted decimal notation may be decimal, octal, or hexadecimal, as speci- fied in the ISO C standard (that is, a leading 0x or 0X implies hex- adecimal; otherwise, a leading '0' implies octal; otherwise, the number is interpreted as decimal). Use of hexamedial and octal numbers is not RFC-compliant and therefore its use is discouraged and may go away.


interface The name of the interface. This is usually a driver name fol- lowed by a unit number, for example eth0 for the first Ethernet interface. up This flag causes the interface to be activated. It is implic- itly specified if an address is assigned to the interface. down This flag causes the driver for this interface to be shut down. [-]arp Enable or disable the use of the ARP protocol on this interface. [-]promisc Enable or disable the promiscuous mode of the interface. If selected, all packets on the network will be received by the interface. [-]allmulti Enable or disable all-multicast mode. If selected, all multi- cast packets on the network will be received by the interface. metric N This parameter sets the interface metric. mtu N This parameter sets the Maximum Transfer Unit (MTU) of an inter- face. dstaddr addr Set the remote IP address for a point-to-point link (such as PPP). This keyword is now obsolete; use the pointopoint keyword instead. netmask addr Set the IP network mask for this interface. This value defaults to the usual class A, B or C network mask (as derived from the interface IP address), but it can be set to any value. add addr/prefixlen Add an IPv6 address to an interface. del addr/prefixlen Remove an IPv6 address from an interface. tunnel Create a new SIT (IPv6-in-IPv4) device, tunnelling to the given destination. irq addr Set the interrupt line used by this device. Not all devices can dynamically change their IRQ setting. io_addr addr Set the start address in I/O space for this device. mem_start addr Set the start address for shared memory used by this device. Only a few devices need this. media type Set the physical port or medium type to be used by the device. Not all devices can change this setting, and those that can vary in what values they support. Typical values for type are 10base2 (thin Ethernet), 10baseT (twisted-pair 10Mbps Ethernet), AUI (external transceiver) and so on. The special medium type of auto can be used to tell the driver to auto-sense the media. Again, not all drivers can do this. [-]broadcast [addr] If the address argument is given, set the protocol broadcast address for this interface. Otherwise, set (or clear) the IFF_BROADCAST flag for the interface. [-]pointopoint [addr] This keyword enables the point-to-point mode of an interface, meaning that it is a direct link between two machines with nobody else listening on it. If the address argument is also given, set the protocol address of the other side of the link, just like the obsolete dstaddr keyword does. Otherwise, set or clear the IFF_POINTOPOINT flag for the interface. hw class address Set the hardware address of this interface, if the device driver supports this operation. The keyword must be followed by the name of the hardware class and the printable ASCII equivalent of the hardware address. Hardware classes currently supported include ether (Ethernet), ax25 (AMPR AX.25), ARCnet and netrom (AMPR NET/ROM). multicast Set the multicast flag on the interface. This should not nor- mally be needed as the drivers set the flag correctly them- selves. address The IP address to be assigned to this interface. txqueuelen length Set the length of the transmit queue of the device. It is useful to set this to small values for slower devices with a high latency (modem links, ISDN) to prevent fast bulk transfers from disturbing interactive traffic like telnet too much.


Since kernel release 2.2 there are no explicit interface statistics for alias interfaces anymore. The statistics printed for the original address are shared with all alias addresses on the same device. If you want per-address statistics you should add explicit accounting rules for the address using the ipchains(8) command. Interrupt problems with Ethernet device drivers fail with EAGAIN. See for more information.


/proc/net/socket /proc/net/dev /proc/net/if_inet6


While appletalk DDP and IPX addresses will be displayed they cannot be altered by this command.


route(8), netstat(8), arp(8), rarp(8), ipchains(8)


Fred N. van Kempen, <> Alan Cox, <> Phil Blundell, <> Andi Kleen net-tools 14 August 2000 IFCONFIG(8)

1994 Man-cgi 1.15, Panagiotis Christias <>