IFRENAME(8) Linux Programmer’s Manual IFRENAME(8)
ifrename - rename network interfaces based on various static criteria
ifrename [-c configfile] [-p] [-d] [-v] [-V] [-D]
ifrename [-c configfile] [-i interface] [-n newname]
Ifrename is a tool allowing you to assign a consistent name to each of
your network interface.
By default, interface names are dynamic, and each network interface is
assigned the first available name (eth0, eth1...). The order network
interfaces are created may vary. For built-in interfaces, the kernel
boot time enumeration may vary. For removable interface, the user may
plug them in any order.
Ifrename allow the user to decide what name a network interface will
have. Ifrename can use a variety of selectors to specify how interface
names match the network interfaces on the system, the most common
selector is the interface MAC address.
Ifrename must be run before interfaces are brought up, which is why
it’s mostly useful in various scripts (init, hotplug) but is seldom
used directly by the user. By default, ifrename renames all present
system interfaces using mappings defined in /etc/iftab.
Set the configuration file to be used (by default /etc/iftab).
The configuration file define the mapping between selectors and
interface names, and is described in iftab(5).
If configfile is "-", the configuration is read from stdin.
-p Probe (load) kernel modules before renaming interfaces. By
default ifrename only check interfaces already loaded, and
doesn’t auto-load the required kernel modules. This option
enables smooth integration with system not loading modules
before calling ifrename.
-d Enable various Debian specific hacks. Combined with -p, only
modules for interfaces specified in /etc/network/interface are
Only rename the specified interface as opposed to all interfaces
on the system. The new interface name is printed.
When used with -i, specify the new name of the interface. The
list of mappings from the configuration file is bypassed, the
interface specified with -i is renamed directly to newname. The
new name may be a wildcard containing a single ’*’.
When used without -i, rename interfaces by using only mappings
that would rename them to newname. The new name may not be a
wildcard. This use of ifrename is discouraged, because ineffi-
cient (-n without -i). All the interfaces of the system need to
be processed at each invocation, therefore in most case it is
not faster than just letting ifrename renaming all of them
(without both -n and -i).
-t Enable name takeover support. This allow interface name swapping
between two or more interfaces.
Takeover enable an interface to ’steal’ the name of another
interface. This works only with kernel 2.6.X and if the other
interface is down. Consequently, this is not compatible with
Hotplug. The other interface is assigned a random name, but may
be renamed later with ’ifrename’.
The number of takeovers is limited to avoid circular loops, and
therefore some complex multi-way name swapping situations may
not be fully processed.
In any case, name swapping and the use of this feature is dis-
couraged, and you are invited to choose unique and unambiguous
names for your interfaces...
-D Dry-run mode. Ifrename won’t change any interface, it will only
print new interface name, if applicable, and return.
In dry-run mode, interface name wildcards are not resolved. New
interface name is printed, even if it is the same as the old
-V Verbose mode. Ifrename will display internal results of parsing
its configuration file and querying the interfaces selectors.
Combined with the dry-run option, this is a good way to debug
complex configurations or trivial problems.
Jean Tourrilhes - firstname.lastname@example.org
ifconfig(8), ip(8), iftab(5).
wireless-tools 01 March 2004 IFRENAME(8)
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