It’s easy to change your IP address using a graphic interface, but did you know that Linux also lets you change your network card’s IP address using a simple command from the command line?

This trick should work on all Debian-based Linux distros, including Ubuntu. To get started, type ifconfig at the terminal prompt, and then hit Enter. This command lists all network interfaces on the system, so take note of the name of the interface for which you want to change the IP address.

To change the settings, you also use the ifconfig command, this time with a few additional parameters. The following command changes the network interface named “eth0” to use the IP address, and assigns the subnet mask

sudo ifconfig eth0 netmask

You could, of course, substitute in whatever values you want. If you run ifconfig again, you will see that your interface has now taken on the new settings you assigned to it.

If you also need to change the Default Gateway used by the network interface, you can use the route command. The following command, for example, sets the default gateway for the “eth0” interface to

sudo route add default gw eth0

To see your new setting, you will need to display the routing table. Type the following command at the prompt, and then hit Enter:

route -n

RELATED: How to Work with the Network from the Linux Terminal: 11 Commands You Need to Know

That’s all there is to changing your IP address from the terminal. If you’re interested in other great networking tools you can use at the terminal, be sure to check out our guide to the subject.

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Profile Photo for Taylor Gibb Taylor Gibb
Taylor Gibb is a professional software developer with nearly a decade of experience. He served as Microsoft Regional Director in South Africa for two years and has received multiple Microsoft MVP (Most Valued Professional) awards. He currently works in R&D at Derivco International.
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