RHEL7 has deprecated ifconfig

Posted on 2015-09-06

ifconfig ip rhel7

If you’ve been following the developments of recent Linux distributions, this probably was news, last year. But for me it’s news today. So, since it’s officially news to me, I’m going to document this transition so that others might have an easier time with this transition, than I did. For starters, if all you want is to get your preferred command back for managing your network, the simple answer is to install the “net-tools” package, and ifconfig will be back on your system. A word of caution however, the reasoning given by the RHEL maintainers for deciding not to include net-tools in the core distribution, is that ifconfig is built upon the deprecated ioctl kernel interface, which means someday it will stop working. Eventually, you’ll have to move to the newer tools.

If you, like me, are ready to accept the direction of the package mantainers and embrace the replacement before it’s forced upon you, allow me to introduce you to ip. ip is distributed as part of the “iproute2” package. With the new command name, there is also a matching set of new arguments. As with ifconfig before it, there is a comprehensive man page that describes a seemingly limitless number of use cases. Fortunately, with just a couple examples we can get back up and running similarly to how we’re accustomed.

Display configured interfaces:

$ ifconfig -a
eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr c8:60:00:14:9d:e1
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: fe80::ca60:ff:fe14:9de1/64 Scope:Link
          RX packets:3322631 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:2041018 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
          RX bytes:3520175878 (3.5 GB)  TX bytes:258689433 (258.6 MB)
          Interrupt:18 Memory:fa700000-fa720000 
$ ip addr list
1: lo: <LOOPBACK,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 65536 qdisc noqueue state UNKNOWN group default
2: eth1: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc pfifo_fast state UP group default qlen 1000
    link/ether c8:60:00:14:9d:e1 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
    inet brd scope global eth1
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
    inet6 fe80::ca60:ff:fe14:9de1/64 scope link
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever

A new feature with the ip command, greppable interfaces!

$ ip -o addr list
2: eth1    inet brd scope global eth1\       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
$ ip -o link list
2: eth1: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc pfifo_fast state UP mode DEFAULT group default qlen 1000\    link/ether c8:60:00:14:9d:e1 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff

Adding a new route:

$ ip route add dev eth0
$ ip route list
default via dev eth1  proto static dev eth1  scope link             # This is the new one

For more information, including the discussion related to why net-tools is not longer in the core package list, you can see the RedHat discussion in their bugzilla. Hopefully, this helps soften the blow for your transition to RHEL7.