Ubuntu ships with a number of graphical utilities to configure your network devices. This document is geared toward server administrators and will focus on managing your network on the command line.
Ethernet interfaces are identified by the system using predictable network interface names. These names can appear as eno1 or enp0s25. However, in some cases an interface may still use the kernel eth# style of naming.
Identify Ethernet interfaces
To quickly identify all available Ethernet interfaces, you can use the ip command as shown below.
ip a 1: lo: <LOOPBACK,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 65536 qdisc noqueue state UNKNOWN group default qlen 1000 link/loopback 00:00:00:00:00:00 brd 00:00:00:00:00:00 inet 127.0.0.1/8 scope host lo valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever inet6 ::1/128 scope host valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever 2: enp0s25: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc noqueue state UP group default qlen 1000 link/ether 00:16:3e:e2:52:42 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff link-netnsid 0 inet 10.102.66.200/24 brd 10.102.66.255 scope global dynamic eth0 valid_lft 3257sec preferred_lft 3257sec inet6 fe80::216:3eff:fee2:5242/64 scope link valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
Another application that can help identify all network interfaces available to your system is the
lshw command. This command provides greater details around the hardware capabilities of specific adapters. In the example below,
lshw shows a single Ethernet interface with the logical name of eth4 along with bus information, driver details and all supported capabilities.
sudo lshw -class network *-network description: Ethernet interface product: MT26448 [ConnectX EN 10GigE, PCIe 2.0 5GT/s] vendor: Mellanox Technologies physical id: 0 bus info: pci@0004:01:00.0 logical name: eth4 version: b0 serial: e4:1d:2d:67:83:56 slot: U78CB.001.WZS09KB-P1-C6-T1 size: 10Gbit/s capacity: 10Gbit/s width: 64 bits clock: 33MHz capabilities: pm vpd msix pciexpress bus_master cap_list ethernet physical fibre 10000bt-fd configuration: autonegotiation=off broadcast=yes driver=mlx4_en driverversion=4.0-0 duplex=full firmware=2.9.1326 ip=192.168.1.1 latency=0 link=yes multicast=yes port=fibre speed=10Gbit/s resources: iomemory:24000-23fff irq:481 memory:3fe200000000-3fe2000fffff memory:240000000000-240007ffffff
Ethernet Interface logical names
Interface logical names can also be configured via a Netplan configuration. If you would like control which interface receives a particular logical name use the
set-name keys. The
match key is used to find an adapter based on some criteria like MAC address, driver, etc. The
set-name key can be used to change the device to the desired logical name.
network: version: 2 renderer: networkd ethernets: eth_lan0: dhcp4: true match: macaddress: 00:11:22:33:44:55 set-name: eth_lan0
Ethernet Interface settings
ethtool is a program that displays and changes Ethernet card settings such as auto-negotiation, port speed, duplex mode, and Wake-on-LAN. The following is an example of how to view the supported features and configured settings of an Ethernet interface.
sudo ethtool eth4 Settings for eth4: Supported ports: [ FIBRE ] Supported link modes: 10000baseT/Full Supported pause frame use: No Supports auto-negotiation: No Supported FEC modes: Not reported Advertised link modes: 10000baseT/Full Advertised pause frame use: No Advertised auto-negotiation: No Advertised FEC modes: Not reported Speed: 10000Mb/s Duplex: Full Port: FIBRE PHYAD: 0 Transceiver: internal Auto-negotiation: off Supports Wake-on: d Wake-on: d Current message level: 0x00000014 (20) link ifdown Link detected: yes
The following section describes the process of configuring your system’s IP address and default gateway needed for communicating on a local area network and the Internet.
Temporary IP address assignment
For temporary network configurations, you can use the
ip command which is also found on most other GNU/Linux operating systems. The
ip command allows you to configure settings which take effect immediately – however they are not persistent and will be lost after a reboot.
To temporarily configure an IP address, you can use the
ip command in the following manner. Modify the IP address and subnet mask to match your network requirements.
sudo ip addr add 10.102.66.200/24 dev enp0s25
ip can then be used to set the link up or down.
ip link set dev enp0s25 up ip link set dev enp0s25 down
To verify the IP address configuration of
enp0s25, you can use the
ip command in the following manner:
ip address show dev enp0s25 10: enp0s25: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc noqueue state UP group default qlen 1000 link/ether 00:16:3e:e2:52:42 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff link-netnsid 0 inet 10.102.66.200/24 brd 10.102.66.255 scope global dynamic eth0 valid_lft 2857sec preferred_lft 2857sec inet6 fe80::216:3eff:fee2:5242/64 scope link valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever6
To configure a default gateway, you can use the
ip command in the following manner. Modify the default gateway address to match your network requirements.
sudo ip route add default via 10.102.66.1
You can also use the
ip command to verify your default gateway configuration, as follows:
ip route show default via 10.102.66.1 dev eth0 proto dhcp src 10.102.66.200 metric 100 10.102.66.0/24 dev eth0 proto kernel scope link src 10.102.66.200 10.102.66.1 dev eth0 proto dhcp scope link src 10.102.66.200 metric 100
If you require DNS for your temporary network configuration, you can add DNS server IP addresses in the file
/etc/resolv.conf. In general, editing
/etc/resolv.conf directly is not recommended, but this is a temporary and non-persistent configuration. The example below shows how to enter two DNS servers to
/etc/resolv.conf, which should be changed to servers appropriate for your network. A more lengthy description of the proper (persistent) way to do DNS client configuration is in a following section.
nameserver 220.127.116.11 nameserver 18.104.22.168
If you no longer need this configuration and wish to purge all IP configuration from an interface, you can use the
ip command with the flush option:
ip addr flush eth0
Flushing the IP configuration using the
ipcommand does not clear the contents of
/etc/resolv.conf. You must remove or modify those entries manually (or re-boot), which should also cause
/etc/resolv.conf, which is a symlink to
/run/systemd/resolve/stub-resolv.conf, to be re-written.
Dynamic IP address assignment (DHCP client)
To configure your server to use DHCP for dynamic address assignment, create a Netplan configuration in the file
/etc/netplan/99_config.yaml. The following example assumes you are configuring your first Ethernet interface identified as
network: version: 2 renderer: networkd ethernets: enp3s0: dhcp4: true
The configuration can then be applied using the
sudo netplan apply
Static IP address assignment
To configure your system to use static address assignment, create a
netplan configuration in the file
/etc/netplan/99_config.yaml. The example below assumes you are configuring your first Ethernet interface identified as
eth0. Change the
nameservers values to meet the requirements of your network.
network: version: 2 renderer: networkd ethernets: eth0: addresses: - 10.10.10.2/24 routes: - to: default via: 10.10.10.1 nameservers: search: [mydomain, otherdomain] addresses: [10.10.10.1, 22.214.171.124]
The configuration can then be applied using the
sudo netplan apply
netplanin Ubuntu Bionic 18.04 LTS doesn’t understand the “
to: default” syntax to specify a default route, and should use the older
gateway4: 10.10.10.1key instead of the whole
The loopback interface is identified by the system as
lo and has a default IP address of 127.0.0.1. It can be viewed using the
ip address show lo 1: lo: <LOOPBACK,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 65536 qdisc noqueue state UNKNOWN group default qlen 1000 link/loopback 00:00:00:00:00:00 brd 00:00:00:00:00:00 inet 127.0.0.1/8 scope host lo valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever inet6 ::1/128 scope host valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
Name resolution (as it relates to IP networking) is the process of mapping hostnames to IP addresses, and vice-versa, making it easier to identify resources on a network. The following section will explain how to properly configure your system for name resolution using DNS and static hostname records.
DNS client configuration
Traditionally, the file
/etc/resolv.conf was a static configuration file that rarely needed to be changed, or it automatically changed via DCHP client hooks.
systemd-resolved handles nameserver configuration, and it should be interacted with through the
systemd-resolve command. Netplan configures
systemd-resolved to generate a list of nameservers and domains to put in
/etc/resolv.conf, which is a symlink:
/etc/resolv.conf -> ../run/systemd/resolve/stub-resolv.conf
To configure the resolver, add the IP addresses of the appropriate nameservers for your network to the
netplan configuration file. You can also add optional DNS suffix search-lists to match your network domain names. The resulting file might look like the following:
network: version: 2 renderer: networkd ethernets: enp0s25: addresses: - 192.168.0.100/24 routes: - to: default via: 192.168.0.1 nameservers: search: [mydomain, otherdomain] addresses: [126.96.36.199, 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206]
The search option can also be used with multiple domain names so that DNS queries will be appended in the order in which they are entered. For example, your network may have multiple sub-domains to search; a parent domain of
example.com, and two sub-domains,
If you have multiple domains you wish to search, your configuration might look like the following:
network: version: 2 renderer: networkd ethernets: enp0s25: addresses: - 192.168.0.100/24 routes: - to: default via: 192.168.0.1 nameservers: search: [example.com, sales.example.com, dev.example.com] addresses: [220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168, 22.214.171.124]
If you try to ping a host with the name
server1, your system will automatically query DNS for its Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) in the following order:
If no matches are found, the DNS server will provide a result of notfound and the DNS query will fail.
Static hostnames are locally defined hostname-to-IP mappings located in the file
/etc/hosts. Entries in the
hosts file will have precedence over DNS by default. This means that if your system tries to resolve a hostname and it matches an entry in
/etc/hosts, it will not attempt to look up the record in DNS. In some configurations, especially when Internet access is not required, servers that communicate with a limited number of resources can be conveniently set to use static hostnames instead of DNS.
The following is an example of a
hosts file where a number of local servers have been identified by simple hostnames, aliases and their equivalent Fully Qualified Domain Names (FQDN’s):
127.0.0.1 localhost 127.0.1.1 ubuntu-server 10.0.0.11 server1 server1.example.com vpn 10.0.0.12 server2 server2.example.com mail 10.0.0.13 server3 server3.example.com www 10.0.0.14 server4 server4.example.com file
In this example, notice that each of the servers were given aliases in addition to their proper names and FQDN’s. Server1 has been mapped to the name vpn, server2 is referred to as mail, server3 as www, and server4 as file.
Name Service Switch (NSS) configuration
The order in which your system selects a method of resolving hostnames to IP addresses is controlled by the Name Service Switch (NSS) configuration file
/etc/nsswitch.conf. As mentioned in the previous section, typically static hostnames defined in the systems
/etc/hosts file have precedence over names resolved from DNS. The following is an example of the line responsible for this order of hostname lookups in the file
hosts: files mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns mdns4
filesfirst tries to resolve static hostnames located in
mdns4_minimalattempts to resolve the name using Multicast DNS.
[NOTFOUND=return]means that any response of
notfoundby the preceding
mdns4_minimalprocess should be treated as authoritative and that the system should not try to continue hunting for an answer.
dnsrepresents a legacy unicast DNS query.
mdns4 represents a multicast DNS query.
To modify the order of these name resolution methods, you can simply change the
hosts: string to the value of your choosing. For example, if you prefer to use legacy unicast DNS versus multicast DNS, you can change the string in
/etc/nsswitch.conf as shown below:
hosts: files dns [NOTFOUND=return] mdns4_minimal mdns4
Bridging multiple interfaces
Bridging is a more advanced configuration, but is very useful in multiple scenarios. One scenario is setting up a bridge with multiple network interfaces, then using a firewall to filter traffic between two network segments. Another scenario is using bridge on a system with one interface to allow virtual machines direct access to the outside network. The following example covers the latter scenario:
Configure the bridge by editing your
netplan configuration found in
/etc/netplan/, entering the appropriate values for your physical interface and network:
network: version: 2 renderer: networkd ethernets: enp3s0: dhcp4: no bridges: br0: dhcp4: yes interfaces: - enp3s0
Now apply the configuration to enable the bridge:
sudo netplan apply
The new bridge interface should now be up and running. The
brctl provides useful information about the state of the bridge, controls which interfaces are part of the bridge, etc. See
man brctl for more information.
networkd-dispatcher for hook scripts
Users of the former
ifupdown may be familiar with using hook scripts (e.g., pre-up, post-up) in their interfaces file. Netplan configuration does not currently support hook scripts in its configuration definition.
Instead, to achieve this functionality with the
networkd renderer, users can use networkd-dispatcher. The package provides both users and packages with hook points when specific network states are reached, to aid in reacting to network state.
If you are on Desktop (not Ubuntu Server) the network is driven by Network Manager - in that case you need NM Dispatcher scripts instead.
The Netplan FAQ has a great table that compares event timings between
It is important to be aware that these hooks run asynchronously; i.e. they will not block transition into another state.
The Netplan FAQ also has an example on converting an old
ifupdown hook to
The Ubuntu Wiki Network page has links to articles covering more advanced network configuration.
The Netplan website has additional examples and documentation.
The Netplan man page has more information on Netplan.
The systemd-resolved man page has more information on systemd-resolved service.
For more information on bridging see the netplan.io examples page