Install Missing ifconfig Command on Debian

Debian 10 (codenamed Debian Buster) is finally here with awesome cool features and a new look and feel theme. However, you may have run into an error trying to check the IP address of your network interface(s) when running the ifconfig command, indicating that "ifconfig command not found".

-bash: ifconfig: command not found

So, what do you from there?

In Debian 10 (from Debian 9 stretch),ifconfig command has been deprecated. This is why you get the error about the missing ifconfig command.  A workaround to this obstacle is the ip addr which will pretty much perform the same task as the ifconfig command as shown in the snippet below.

# ip addr

Sample Output

ip addr command

As you can see from the output in the snippet above, the command will still display the IP address and other statistics of all of your network interfaces.

If you still insist on using the good old ifconfig command, you need to install the net tools package. The net-tools package is a toolkit that ships a spectrum of programs which form the base of Linux networking. These include

  • ifconfig
  • netstat
  • dig
  • hostname
  • route
  • arp
  • iptunnel

Fixing missing ifconfig command on Debian

To fix the above error, install the net-tools package as shown

# sudo apt install net-tools -y

This triggers the installation of the net-tools packages alongside other software dependencies as shown

Sample output

missing ifconfig command in Debian10

Once the installation is complete and successful, try running ifconfig command again and this time, your network statistics will be displayed on the terminal as seen in the last section of the snippet above.

Closing thoughts

This was a brief guide on how you can remediate the missing ifconfig command error on Debian 10. We hope that you now have adequate knowledge needed to circumvent this error. Alternatively, you can use the ip addr command to get your interfaces statistics without much hassle.

If you have any questions on this topic, do not hesitate to leave us some feedback. Thanks for your time and don't forget to share this guide on your social media handles.

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6 Comments... add one

  1. Nice article - thanks :)

    Just a heads up that since Buster was released, Debian appear to have backported the deprecation to Stretch (I have v9.8) and its updates, so that both ifconfig and its brother/sister iwconfig are no longer available, without something like the solution proposed above.

    Keep up the good work!


  2. Unfortunately, it did not install ifconfig on Debian. Even tried removing and reinstalling net-tools.

    My OS:
    Linux debian2 4.19.0-5-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 4.19.37-5+deb10u2 (2019-08-08) x86_64 GNU/Linux

  3. Hello there!
    Sorry, this did not work for on debian 10.
    I installed net-tools without errors but ifconfig is still not available.

    • Hi Hans,

      I just created a cloud instance on Linode with Debian 10 and installed 'net-tools' using the command 'apt-get install net-tools'. Installation went good and ifconfig command is working. Try
      sudo /sbin/ifconfig -a


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