How to Install ifconfig on an Ubuntu Server

How to Install ifconfig on Ubuntu

In web hosting, understanding and managing your server’s network configuration is crucial. Whether you’re on a dedicated server, a VPS server, cloud hosting, or even shared hosting, tools that provide insights into your network settings can be invaluable.

One such tool that has been traditionally used on Linux systems is ifconfig. However, in recent versions of Ubuntu, ifconfig is no longer installed by default, having been replaced by the ip command.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to install ifconfig on Ubuntu.

Let’s get started.

Step 1: Update Your System

Before installing any new software, it’s a good practice to update your system’s package list. This ensures that you’re fetching the latest version of the software.

sudo apt update

Step 2: Install net-tools Package

ifconfig is part of the net-tools package. To install it, run the following command:

sudo apt install net-tools

Step 3: Verify the Installation

After installing the net-tools package, you can verify that ifconfig has been installed by running:


This should display a list of all active network interfaces along with their configuration.

root@geeks:~# ifconfig
eth0: flags=4163  mtu 1500
        RX packets 3649121  bytes 340874633 (340.8 MB)
        RX errors 0  dropped 0  overruns 0  frame 0
        TX packets 1519298  bytes 1155190746 (1.1 GB)
        TX errors 0  dropped 0 overruns 0  carrier 0  collisions 0

lo: flags=73  mtu 65536
        RX packets 874929  bytes 730840536 (730.8 MB)
        RX errors 0  dropped 0  overruns 0  frame 0
        TX packets 874929  bytes 730840536 (730.8 MB)
        TX errors 0  dropped 0 overruns 0  carrier 0  collisions 0

Step 4: Understanding Basic ifconfig Commands

While ifconfig is primarily used to display network configuration, it also offers other functionalities:

ifconfig [interface]     # Display configuration for a specific interface
ifconfig [interface] up  # Enable a network interface
ifconfig [interface] down  # Disable a network interface

Commands Mentioned

  • sudo apt update – Updates the package list for upgrades and new package installations.
  • sudo apt install net-tools – Installs the net-tools package which includes ifconfig.
  • ifconfig – Displays network configuration for all active interfaces.
  • ifconfig [interface] – Shows configuration for a specific interface.
  • ifconfig [interface] up – Enables a specific network interface.
  • ifconfig [interface] down – Disables a specific network interface.


  1. Why isn’t ifconfig installed by default on newer versions of Ubuntu?

    In newer versions of Ubuntu, `ifconfig` has been replaced by the `ip` command as the default tool for network interface configuration. The `ip` command provides more features and is considered to be more powerful and versatile than `ifconfig`.

  2. Can I use both ifconfig and ip commands on the same system?

    Yes, you can use both `ifconfig` and `ip` commands on the same system. They can coexist without any issues, and users can choose whichever tool they are more comfortable with.

  3. Is there any advantage to using ifconfig over the ip command?

    While `ifconfig` is older and less feature-rich than the `ip` command, many administrators and users are familiar with its syntax and output. It’s often a matter of personal preference and familiarity. However, for advanced network configurations, the `ip` command is more versatile.

  4. How can I uninstall ifconfig if I no longer need it?

    To uninstall `ifconfig`, you can remove the `net-tools` package by running `sudo apt remove net-tools`.

  5. Are there any security concerns with using ifconfig?

    `ifconfig` itself does not have inherent security concerns. However, like any tool, it’s essential to ensure that unauthorized users do not have access to critical system commands. Always follow best security practices, such as using strong passwords and limiting root access.


Understanding and managing your server’s network configuration is a fundamental skill for any webmaster or server administrator. While ifconfig might not be the default tool in newer versions of Ubuntu, its familiarity and straightforward output make it a favorite for many.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily install ifconfig on your Ubuntu system.

Whether you’re working on a dedicated server or a shared hosting environment, tools like ifconfig can provide valuable insights into your network settings, helping you optimize and troubleshoot as needed.


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