How-To Geek

Change Ubuntu Desktop from DHCP to a Static IP Address

If you’ve installed your Ubuntu installation with DHCP, it’s really easy to reconfigure your system to use a static IP address with the GUI based Network Settings dialog.

To open the utility, go to System \ Administration \ Networking

You’ll see your network adapter in the list. Click the Properties button, and you’ll see this dialog:

Just change the drop-down box to Static IP address, and then put in your static settings. Ubuntu is so easy, isn’t it ?

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 12/13/06

Comments (14)

  1. michas

    any possibility to do it from command line?

  2. Andrew Roazen

    FWIW this set of instructions works reliably ONLY with wired connections. Wireless desktops and laptops require additional configuration (i.e. config file hacking) which may be chipset-specific. Wireless users may be better off configuring MAC-based static IPs inside their routers.

  3. Tony

    I tried this out on “Feisty” and lost my internet connection (Im on pppoe)

  4. Tom

    Just a (perhaps dumb) question: what is the benefit of doing this?

  5. Andrew Roazen

    Tom: media server in living room too far from wired connection, must have persistent IP for other PCs to connect to it reliably.

  6. Adam

    If anyone ever finds out how to create static ip for wifi, heeeeelp! Thx.

    @Tom: also need it to Port Forward, which you need to enable fast BitTorrenting, which you need to (legally) exchange large files.

  7. Josh

    If you need a static ip, you can do a static lease on your router, and tie the IP address to the MAC address on the wireless interface. I use this on my home system with a variety of devices. Also the router config will manage Port Forwarding and Quality of Service parameters for large file transfers. (like legal BitTorrent). Check out the dd-wrt or tomato if your router’s basic firmware doesn’t support this.

  8. Brent

    Thanks for the help, just what I was looking for!

  9. Mike

    No, Ubuntu isn’t easy. Login as root and run the GUI program to change to static. Everything is fine until you want to apply or save the changes. You can’t. Awful huh? Now what? grrr. Ubuntu is anything but user friendly. I had heard good things, but it’s so difficult it’s not wonder that Windows still rules the world.

  10. John

    This simply does not work on Ubuntu 1010. The path is wrong. It should say system \ preferences \ network connections. There is nothing listed under wired. If I choose “ADD” I can then create a new interface but this seems to have absolutely no effect on my network adapter settings. My network adapter is called eth3 for reasons which I don’t understand. Could it be because I used to have a dial up modem and have used a bluetooth adapter in the past? I can only assume they were eth1 and eth2 so my card is eth3. But what of eth0?

    eth3 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:(I’ve removed this portion for security reasons)
    inet addr: Bcast: Mask:
    inet6 addr: fe80::20f:20ff:fe74:9693/64 Scope:Link
    RX packets:6777 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
    TX packets:6855 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
    collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
    RX bytes:5817577 (5.8 MB) TX bytes:1159912 (1.1 MB)

    I’m not too bothered about what the interface card is called but I would like it to always have the same ip address. However, I have tried to follow some instructions from the internet which tell you how to write the configuration file held at /etc/network/interfaces but then I couldn’t get any connection at all.

    Have I forked it up? I have it working again now as I was able to put the couple of lines back to their original settings and I am back online.

    Any idea?

    Many thanks!

  11. John

    Mike says that Ubuntu isn’t user friendly but I disagree. It is just that you need to know what to do in order to achieve what you want. Most brand new windows users could not successfully set a static ip address for themselves in windows either for the same reason. You need to know what to do. Just because I don’t know how to set a static ip address, doesn’t make it a system fault or an unfriendly O/S. It just means that I need to find out how to tell my computer what I want it to do in a way that it will understand. It’s a bit like talking to a two year old. You never hear someone saying, “flaming two year olds, they are so unfriendly, I get on much better with my eight year old. I think I’ll stick with him!” Just chillax and with the help of the community, all things will be resolved and the learning curve will be less curvy once you have had as much experience with Ubuntu as you have had with windows.


  12. mik

    $+h!5->[]_AyO\_/T = ‘|\|AM3’;

  13. david boring


  14. Jeff O

    Wondering if anyone has attempted to change to static ip in 11.10? The interface is different enough that I’m not finding the instructions easy to follow.


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