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INTERFACES

Section: File formats (5)

Updated: 5 April 2004

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NAME

/etc/network/interfaces - network interface configuration for ifup and ifdown

DESCRIPTION

/etc/network/interfaces contains network interface configuration information for the ifup?(8) and ifdown?(8) commands. This is where you configure how your system is connected to the network.

Lines starting with `#' are ignored. Note that end-of-line comments are NOT supported, comments must be on a line of their own.

A line may be extended across multiple lines by making the last character a backslash.

The file consists of zero or more "iface", "mapping", "auto", "allow-", "source" and "source-directory" stanzas. Here is an example.

Lines beginning with the word "auto" are used to identify the physical interfaces to be brought up when ifup is run with the -a option. (This option is used by the system boot scripts.) Physical interface names should follow the word "auto" on the same line. There can be multiple "auto" stanzas. ifup brings the named interfaces up in the order listed.

Lines beginning with "allow-" are used to identify interfaces that should be brought up automatically by various subsytems. This may be done using a command such as "ifup --allow=hotplug eth0 eth1", which will only bring up eth0 or eth1 if it is listed in an "allow-hotplug" line. Note that "allow-auto" and "auto" are synonyms.

Lines beginning with "source" are used to include stanzas from other files, so configuration can be split into many files. The word "source" is followed by the path of file to be sourced. Shell wildcards can be used. (See wordexp?(3) for details.)

Similarly, "source-directory" keyword is used to source multiple files at once, without specifying them individually or using shell globs. Additionally, when "source-directory" is used, names of the files are checked to match the following regular expression: ^[a-zA-Z0-9_-]+$. In other words, the names must consist entirely of ASCII upper- and lower-case letters, ASCII digits, ASCII underscores, and ASCII minus-hyphens. In the directory path, shell wildcards may be used as well.

When sourcing files or directories, if a path doesn't have a leading slash, it's considered relative to the directory containing the file in which the keyword is placed. In the example above, if the file is located at /etc/network/interfaces, paths to the included files are understood to be under /etc/network.

Currently, "source-directory" isn't supported by network-manager and guessnet.

By default, on a freshly installed Debian system, the interfaces file includes a line to source files in the /etc/network/interfaces.d directory.

Stanzas beginning with the word "mapping" are used to determine how a logical interface name is chosen for a physical interface that is to be brought up. The first line of a mapping stanza consists of the word "mapping" followed by a pattern in shell glob syntax. Each mapping stanza must contain a script definition. The named script is run with the physical interface name as its argument and with the contents of all following "map" lines (without the leading "map") in the stanza provided to it on its standard input. The script must print a string on its standard output before exiting. See /usr/share/doc/ifupdown/examples for examples of what the script must print.

Mapping a name consists of searching the remaining mapping patterns and running the script corresponding to the first match; the script outputs the name to which the original is mapped.

ifup is normally given a physical interface name as its first non-option argument. ifup also uses this name as the initial logical name for the interface unless it is accompanied by a suffix of the form =LOGICAL, in which case ifup chooses LOGICAL as the initial logical name for the interface. It then maps this name, possibly more than once according to successive mapping specifications, until no further mappings are possible. If the resulting name is the name of some defined logical interface then ifup attempts to bring up the physical interface as that logical interface. Otherwise ifup exits with an error.

Stanzas defining logical interfaces start with a line consisting of the word "iface" followed by the name of the logical interface. In simple configurations without mapping stanzas this name should simply be the name of the physical interface to which it is to be applied. (The default mapping script is, in effect, the echo command.) The interface name is followed by the name of the address family that the interface uses. This will be "inet" for TCP/IP networking, but there is also some support for IPX networking ("ipx"), and IPv6 networking ("inet6"). Following that is the name of the method used to configure the interface.

Additional options can be given on subsequent lines in the stanza. Which options are available depends on the family and method, as described below. Additional options can be made available by other Debian packages. For example, the wireless-tools package makes available a number of options prefixed with "wireless-" which can be used to configure the interface using iwconfig?(8). (See wireless?(7) for details.)

Options are usually indented for clarity (as in the example above) but are not required to be.

VLAN AND BRIDGE INTERFACES

To ease the configuration of VLAN interfaces, interfaces having . (full stop character) in the name are configured as 802.1q tagged virtual LAN interface. For example, interface eth0.1 is a virtual interface having eth0 as physical link, with VLAN ID 1.

For compatibility with bridge-utils package, if bridge_ports option is specified, VLAN interface configuration is not performed.

IFACE OPTIONS

The following "command" options are available for every family and method. Each of these options can be given multiple times in a single stanza, in which case the commands are executed in the order in which they appear in the stanza. (You can ensure a command never fails by suffixing them with "|| true".)

pre-up command
Run command before bringing the interface up. If this command fails then ifup aborts, refraining from marking the interface as configured, prints an error message, and exits with status 0. This behavior may change in the future.:

:up command

post-up command
Run command after bringing the interface up. If this command fails then ifup aborts, refraining from marking the interface as configured (even though it has really been configured), prints an error message, and exits with status 0. This behavior may change in the future.:

:down command

pre-down command
Run command before taking the interface down. If this command fails then ifdown aborts, marks the interface as deconfigured (even though it has not really been deconfigured), and exits with status 0. This behavior may change in the future.:
post-down command
Run command after taking the interface down. If this command fails then ifdown aborts, marks the interface as deconfigured, and exits with status 0. This behavior may change in the future.:

There exists for each of the above mentioned options a directory /etc/network/if-<option>.d/ the scripts in which are run (with no arguments) using run-parts?(8) after the option itself has been processed. Please note that as post-up and pre-down are aliases, no files in the corresponding directories are processed. Please use if-up.d and if-down.d directories instead.

All of these commands have access to the following environment variables.

IFACE
physical name of the interface being processed:
LOGICAL
logical name of the interface being processed:
ADDRFAM
address family of the interface:
METHOD
method of the interface (e.g., static):
MODE
start if run from ifup, stop if run from ifdown:
PHASE
as per MODE, but with finer granularity, distinguishing the pre-up, post-up, pre-down and post-down phases.:
VERBOSITY
indicates whether --verbose was used; set to 1 if so, 0 if not.:
PATH
the command search path: /usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:

Additionally, all options given in an interface definition stanza are exported to the environment in upper case with "IF_" prepended and with hyphens converted to underscores and non-alphanumeric characters discarded.

When ifupdown is being called with the --all option, before doing anything to interfaces, if calls all the hook scripts (pre-up or down) with IFACE set to "--all", LOGICAL set to the current value of --allow parameter (or "auto" if it's not set), ADDRFAM="meta" and METHOD="none". After all the interfaces have been brought up or taken down, the appropriate scripts (up or post-down) are executed.

INET ADDRESS FAMILY

This section documents the methods available in the inet address family.

The loopback Method

This method may be used to define the IPv4 loopback interface.

Options

:

:(No options)

The static Method

This method may be used to define Ethernet interfaces with statically allocated IPv4 addresses.

Options

:

address address
Address (dotted quad/netmask) required:
netmask mask
Netmask (dotted quad or CIDR):
broadcast broadcast_address
Broadcast address (dotted quad, + or -). Default value: "+":
metric metric
Routing metric for default gateway (integer):
gateway address
Default gateway (dotted quad):
pointopoint address
Address of other end point (dotted quad). Note the spelling of "point-to".:
hwaddress address
Link local address.:
mtu size
MTU size:
scope
Address validity scope. Possible values: global, link, host:

The manual Method

This method may be used to define interfaces for which no configuration is done by default. Such interfaces can be configured manually by means of up and down commands or /etc/network/if-*.d scripts.

Options

:

:(No options)

The dhcp Method

This method may be used to obtain an address via DHCP with any of the tools: dhclient, pump, udhcpc, dhcpcd. (They have been listed in their order of precedence.) If you have a complicated DHCP setup you should note that some of these clients use their own configuration files and do not obtain their configuration information via ifup.

Options

:

hostname hostname
Hostname to be requested (pump, dhcpcd, udhcpc):
metric metric
Metric for added routes (dhclient):
leasehours leasehours
Preferred lease time in hours (pump):
leasetime leasetime
Preferred lease time in seconds (dhcpcd):
vendor vendor
Vendor class identifier (dhcpcd):
client client
Client identifier (dhcpcd):
hwaddress address
Hardware address.:

The bootp Method

This method may be used to obtain an address via bootp.

Options

:

bootfile file
Tell the server to use file as the bootfile.:
server address
Use the IP address address to communicate with the server.:
hwaddr addr
Use addr as the hardware address instead of whatever it really is.:

The tunnel Method

This method is used to create GRE or IPIP tunnels. You need to have the ip binary from the iproute package. For GRE tunnels, you will need to load the ip_gre module and the ipip module for IPIP tunnels.

Options

:

address address
Local address (dotted quad) required:
mode type
Tunnel type (either GRE or IPIP) required:
endpoint address
Address of other tunnel endpoint required:
dstaddr address
Remote address (remote address inside tunnel):
local address
Address of the local endpoint:
gateway address
Default gateway:
ttl time
TTL setting:
mtu size
MTU size:

The ppp Method

This method uses pon/poff to configure a PPP interface. See those commands for details.

Options

:

provider name
Use name as the provider (from /etc/ppp/peers).:
unit number
Use number as the ppp unit number.:
options string
Pass string as additional options to pon.:

The wvdial Method

This method uses wvdial to configure a PPP interface. See that command for more details.

Options

:

provider name
Use name as the provider (from /etc/wvdial.conf).:

The ipv4ll Method

This method uses avahi-autoipd to configure an interface with an IPv4 Link-Layer address (169.254.0.0/16 family). This method is also known as APIPA or IPAC, and often colloquially referred to as "Zeroconf address".

Options

:

:(No options)

IPX ADDRESS FAMILY

This section documents the methods available in the ipx address family.

The static Method

This method may be used to setup an IPX interface. It requires the ipx_interface command.

Options

:

frame type
type of Ethernet frames to use (e.g. 802.2):
netnum id
Network number:

The dynamic Method

This method may be used to setup an IPX interface dynamically.

Options

:

frame type
type of Ethernet frames to use (e.g. 802.2):

INET6 ADDRESS FAMILY

This section documents the methods available in the inet6 address family.

The auto Method

This method may be used to define interfaces with automatically assigned IPv6 addresses. Using this method on its own doesn't mean that RDNSS options will be applied, too. To make this happen, rdnssd daemon must be installed, properly configured and running. If stateless DHCPv6 support is turned on, then additional network configuration parameters such as DNS and NTP servers will be retrieved from a DHCP server. Please note that on ifdown, the lease is not currently released (a known bug).

Options

:

privext int
Privacy extensions (RFC4941) (0=off, 1=assign, 2=prefer):
accept_ra int
Accept router advertisements (0=off, 1=on, 2=on+forwarding). Default value: "2":
dhcp int
Use stateless DHCPv6 (0=off, 1=on):

The loopback Method

This method may be used to define the IPv6 loopback interface.

Options

:

:(No options)

The static Method

This method may be used to define interfaces with statically assigned IPv6 addresses. By default, stateless autoconfiguration is disabled for this interface.

Options

:

address address
Address (colon delimited/netmask) required:
netmask mask
Netmask (number of bits, eg 64):
gateway address
Default gateway (colon delimited):
media type
Medium type, driver dependent:
hwaddress address
Hardware address:
mtu size
MTU size:
accept_ra int
Accept router advertisements (0=off, 1=on, 2=on+forwarding):
autoconf int
Perform stateless autoconfiguration (0=off, 1=on). Default value: "0":
privext int
Privacy extensions (RFC3041) (0=off, 1=assign, 2=prefer):
scope
Address validity scope. Possible values: global, site, link, host:
preferred-lifetime int
Time that address remains preferred:
dad-attempts
Number of attempts to settle DAD (0 to disable). Default value: "60":
dad-interval
DAD state polling interval in seconds. Default value: "0.1":

The manual Method

This method may be used to define interfaces for which no configuration is done by default. Such interfaces can be configured manually by means of up and down commands or /etc/network/if-*.d scripts.

Options

:

:(No options)

The dhcp Method

This method may be used to obtain network interface configuration via stateful DHCPv6 with dhclient. In stateful DHCPv6, the DHCP server is responsible for assigning addresses to clients.

Options

:

hwaddress address
Hardware address:
accept_ra int
Accept router advertisements (0=off, 1=on, 2=on+forwarding). Default value: "1":
autoconf int
Perform stateless autoconfiguration (0=off, 1=on):

The v4tunnel Method

This method may be used to setup an IPv6-over-IPv4 tunnel. It requires the ip command from the iproute package.

Options

:

address address
Address (colon delimited) required:
netmask mask
Netmask (number of bits, eg 64):
endpoint address
Address of other tunnel endpoint (IPv4 dotted quad) required:
local address
Address of the local endpoint (IPv4 dotted quad):
gateway address
Default gateway (colon delimited):
ttl time
TTL setting:
mtu size
MTU size:
preferred-lifetime int
Time that address remains preferred:

The 6to4 Method

This method may be used to setup an 6to4 tunnel. It requires the ip command from the iproute package.

Options

:

local address
Address of the local endpoint (IPv4 dotted quad) required:
ttl time
TTL setting:
mtu size
MTU size:
preferred-lifetime int
Time that address remains preferred:

CAN ADDRESS FAMILY

This section documents the methods available in the can address family.

The static Method

This method may be used to setup an Controller Area Network (CAN) interface. It requires the the ip command from the iproute package.

Options

:

bitrate bitrate
bitrate (1..1000000) required

:

samplepoint samplepoint
sample point (0.000..0.999):
loopback loopback
loop back CAN Messages (on|off)

:

listenonly listenonly
listen only mode (on|off):
triple triple
activate triple sampling (on|off)

:

oneshot oneshot
one shot mode (on|off)

:

berr berr
activate berr reporting (on|off)

:

KNOWN BUGS/LIMITATIONS

The ifup and ifdown programs work with so-called "physical" interface names. These names are assigned to hardware by the kernel. Unfortunately it can happen that the kernel assigns different physical interface names to the same hardware at different times; for example, what was called "eth0" last time you booted is now called "eth1" and vice versa. This creates a problem if you want to configure the interfaces appropriately. A way to deal with this problem is to use mapping scripts that choose logical interface names according to the properties of the interface hardware. See the get-mac-address.sh script in the examples directory for an example of such a mapping script. See also Debian bug #101728.

AUTHOR

The ifupdown suite was written by Anthony Towns <[email protected]>. This manpage was contributed by Joey Hess <[email protected]>.

SEE ALSO

ifup?(8), ip?(8), ifconfig?(8), run-parts?(8), resolvconf?(8).

For advice on configuring this package read the Network Configuration chapter of the Debian Reference manual, available at http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/debian-reference/ch05.en.html or in the debian-reference-en package.

Examples of how to set up interfaces can be found in /usr/share/doc/ifupdown/examples/network-interfaces.gz.


Index

NAME

DESCRIPTION

VLAN AND BRIDGE INTERFACES

IFACE OPTIONS

INET ADDRESS FAMILY

The loopback Method

The static Method

The manual Method

The dhcp Method

The bootp Method

The tunnel Method

The ppp Method

The wvdial Method

The ipv4ll Method

IPX ADDRESS FAMILY

The static Method

The dynamic Method

INET6 ADDRESS FAMILY

The auto Method

The loopback Method

The static Method

The manual Method

The dhcp Method

The v4tunnel Method

The 6to4 Method

CAN ADDRESS FAMILY

The static Method

KNOWN BUGS/LIMITATIONS

AUTHOR

SEE ALSO