How to Use IP Command in Linux with Examples

linux ip command

The ip command used to display, configure or manipulate routing, network interfaces, and tunnels in Linux operating systems. This comes with iproute2 collections of tools that have replaced net-tools utilities.

We have traditionally used ifconfig command which is now deprecated and now it is encouraged to use iproute2 tools.

In this tutorial, I will go through examples with explanations of how to use the ip command for administrating your Linux TCP/IP network.

1) Show IP Address assigned on interface

You can use ip command to retrieve the IP address, MAc address and more information of a specified network interface on your Linux system.

Assuming that you want to get the IP of ens160 interface, run the following command:

$ ip addr show dev ens160


$ ip addr show ens160
2: ens160: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 8000 qdisc mq state UP group default qlen 1000
    link/ether 00:50:56:9a:f8:ad brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
    inet brd scope global ens160
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
    inet6 fe80::250:56ff:fe9a:f8ad/64 scope link 
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever

To show all the interface details, run:

$ ip addr show

2) Assign IP address to interface

In order to set an IP address to a specified interface, you can use the command as follows:

$ sudo ip addr add dev wlan0

After you have set the IP address you can confirm by ip addr show, whether the changes have taken effect, run the following command:

$ ip addr show wlan0
set ip address
set ip address

3) Set multiple ip addresses to same interface

In some cases, you want to set multiple IP addresses to the same network interface. You can easily do it with ip command by running:

$ sudo ip addr add dev ens160
$ sudo ip addr add dev ens160

To verify that the IP addresses are assigned to network interface ens160, run the following command:

$ ip -4 addr show dev ens160

The output indicates that ens160 has two ip addresses:

2: ens160: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc mq state UP group default qlen 1000
    inet brd scope global ens160
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
    inet scope global secondary ens160
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever

4) Delete IP address on interface

You can also use the same procedure to delete an IP address by just replacing 'add' with 'del':

$ sudo ip addr del dev wlan0
delete ip address
delete ip address

5) Show Routing Table

Some computers have multiple default gateways and static gateways, to display default gateway and static gateway information ip route. Basically, it will show the current routing table:

$ ip route show
ip route show

To show the route taken for an IP address, run the following command:

$ ip route get
ip route get

To get the default gateway IP address, run the command:

$ ip route | grep default

6) How to add static route

You can use ip command to add static route on Linux system by running the following command:

$ sudo ip route add via dev ens160

To verify the command, run:

$ ip r

default via dev ens160 proto static via dev ens160 dev ens160 proto kernel scope link src dev docker0 proto kernel scope link src linkdown

In order to add the default gateway, run the command:

$ sudo ip route add default via
default route
default route

7) Delete a route

If you want to delete a route from the routing table, you can run the following command:

$ sudo ip route delete via

Moreover, in order to delete the default gateway, run the below command:

$ sudo ip route delete default

8) Show network statistics

The ip command can also be used to show the statistics of the various network interfaces. To do this you can use the ip command with the option -s and then specify the network device.

$ ip -s link
ip statistics all interfaces
show ip statistics all interfaces

When you need to get information about a particular network interface, add the option ls followed by the name of the network interface. The option -s when used more than once gives you more information about that particular interface. This can be very useful especially when troubleshooting errors in network connectivity.

$ ip -s -s link ls p2p1
ip link statistics
ip link statistics

9) ARP entries

With ip command you can view the MAC address of the devices connected in your LAN by using the option neigh or neighbour.

$ ip neighbour
ip neighbour

6) Monitor netlink messages

It is also possible to view netlink messages with ip command. The monitor option allows you to see the state of your network devices.

For instance, a computer on your LAN could be categorized as REACHABLE or STALE depending on its status. The command can be used as follows:

$ ip monitor all
ip monitor all

7) Enable and Disable Network Interface

To activate a particular interface you can use the ip command with options up and down, almost similar to how ifconfig is used.

In this example you can see the routing table entry when the ppp0 interface is activated and after it is deactivated and activated once again. The interface can be wlan0 or eth0. Change ppp0 to whatever interface is available in your case.

$ sudo ip link set ppp0 down
$ sudo ip link set ppp0 up
ip link set up and down

8) Enable TCP delayed ACK

From RHEL 7.1 iproute package added support for TCP Delayed ACK. Use below command to enable it

$ ip route quickack

9) Change the MTU on interface

MTU stands for Maximum Transmission Unit - the largest size of the data can be transmitted through a network interface. Assuming that you want to change the MTU of network interface ens160 to 8000, run:

$ sudo ip link set mtu 8000 dev ens160

Verify that the ip command has successfully changed the MTU of ens160:

$ ip -4 addr list ens160

2: ens160: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 8000 qdisc mq state UP group default qlen 1000
    inet brd scope global ens160
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever

10) IP command Help

In case you get stuck and do not know how a particular option works you can use the help option. The man page does not give a lot of information on how to use the ip options and this is where help comes to the rescue.

For example, to know more about the route option:

$ ip route help
ip route help


In this tutorial, we learned how to use Linux IP command to display and configure networking in Linux systems. It's really a powerful tool for any Linux administrator/user.

ip command cheat sheet

The ip command cheat sheet shows net-tools vs iproute2 commands.

Thanks for reading and please leave your suggestion in the below comment section.

10 Comments... add one

  1. I often use ifconfig to create alias interface (when I have to configure new router with factory setting, etc). I miss similar example using ip command. Syntax with ipconfig is simple:

    ifconfig eth0:0

    I found that I can do that with ip command too, but it not simple command: :-(

    ip addr add brd dev eth0 label eth0:0

  2. Has it occurred to you that when you write an article like this one (that isn't full of content-free fluff) your readers might want to save the information it presents for later reference? As one such reader I typically keep a crib sheet with useful examples that I've cut'n'pasted from various sources. But here you are, perversely using PNG images to present (some of the) info in an article about inherently textual command line tools, thereby making it difficult for us to preserve the info in question. >-/

    Good work, nevertheless...

  3. Thanks for the info, this is a good walkthrough of iproute, but I'm not sure(or convinced) of why ifconfig is now considered harmful.

    I mean, okay, woohoo progress, but as your table shows, you need two different commands to do what netstat does by itself. You also still need to use command like iw(1) to configure the underlying properties of WLAN devices, the BlueZ suite for bluetooth devices, etc.

    Removing net-tools as a package is certainly one way to force users to use iproute, but I remain unconvinced that it's actually materially *better*.

    • iproute2 is actively maintained. net-tools has not been maintained since 2001.

      I haven't used ifconfig in years. I use ip; it can do far more than I typically need it to do.


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