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6.2. Interface Configuration Files

Interface configuration files control the software interfaces for individual network devices. As the system boots, it uses these files to determine what interfaces to bring up and how to configure them. These files are usually named ifcfg-name , where name refers to the name of the device that the configuration file controls.

6.2.1. Ethernet Interfaces

One of the most common interface files is ifcfg-eth0, which controls the first Ethernet network interface card or NIC in the system. In a system with multiple NICs, there are multiple ifcfg-ethX files (where X is a unique number corresponding to a specific interface). Because each device has its own configuration file, an administrator can control how each interface functions individually.
The following is a sample ifcfg-eth0 file for a system using a fixed IP address:
DEVICE=eth0
BOOTPROTO=none
ONBOOT=yes
NETMASK=255.255.255.0
IPADDR=10.0.1.27
USERCTL=no
The values required in an interface configuration file can change based on other values. For example, the ifcfg-eth0 file for an interface using DHCP looks different because IP information is provided by the DHCP server:
DEVICE=eth0
BOOTPROTO=dhcp
ONBOOT=yes
The Network Administration Tool (system-config-network) is an easy way to make changes to the various network interface configuration files.
However, it is also possible to manually edit the configuration files for a given network interface.
Below is a listing of the configurable parameters in an Ethernet interface configuration file:
BONDING_OPTS=parameters
sets the configuration parameters for the bonding device, and is used in /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-bondN (see Section 6.2.2, “Channel Bonding Interfaces”). These parameters are identical to those used for bonding devices in /sys/class/net/bonding device/bonding, and the module parameters for the bonding driver as described in bonding Module Directives.
This configuration method is used so that multiple bonding devices can have different configurations. It is highly recommended to place all of your bonding options after the BONDING_OPTS directive in ifcfg-name. Do not specify options for the bonding device in /etc/modprobe.d/bonding.conf, or in the deprecated /etc/modprobe.conf file.
BOOTPROTO=protocol
where protocol is one of the following:
  • none — No boot-time protocol should be used.
  • bootp — The BOOTP protocol should be used.
  • dhcp — The DHCP protocol should be used.
BROADCAST=address
where address is the broadcast address. This directive is deprecated, as the value is calculated automatically with ipcalc.
DEVICE=name
where name is the name of the physical device (except for dynamically-allocated PPP devices where it is the logical name).
DHCP_HOSTNAME=name
where name is a short hostname to be sent to the DHCP server. Use this option only if the DHCP server requires the client to specify a hostname before receiving an IP address.
DNS{1,2}=address
where address is a name server address to be placed in /etc/resolv.conf if the PEERDNS directive is set to yes.
ETHTOOL_OPTS=options
where options are any device-specific options supported by ethtool. For example, if you wanted to force 100Mb, full duplex:
ETHTOOL_OPTS="autoneg off speed 100 duplex full"
Instead of a custom initscript, use ETHTOOL_OPTS to set the interface speed and duplex settings. Custom initscripts run outside of the network init script lead to unpredictable results during a post-boot network service restart.

Set "autoneg off" before changing speed or duplex settings

Changing speed or duplex settings almost always requires disabling autonegotiation with the autoneg off option. This needs to be stated first, as the option entries are order-dependent.
GATEWAY=address
where address is the IP address of the network router or gateway device (if any).
HOTPLUG=answer
where answer is one of the following:
  • yes — This device should be activated when it is hot-plugged (this is the default option).
  • no — This device should not be activated when it is hot-plugged.
The HOTPLUG=no option can be used to prevent a channel bonding interface from being activated when a bonding kernel module is loaded.
Refer to Section 6.2.2, “Channel Bonding Interfaces” for more information about channel bonding interfaces.
HWADDR=MAC-address
where MAC-address is the hardware address of the Ethernet device in the form AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF. This directive must be used in machines containing more than one NIC to ensure that the interfaces are assigned the correct device names regardless of the configured load order for each NIC's module. This directive should not be used in conjunction with MACADDR.
IPADDR=address
where address is the IP address.
LINKDELAY=time
where time is the number of seconds to wait for link negotiation before configuring the device.
MACADDR=MAC-address
where MAC-address is the hardware address of the Ethernet device in the form AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF. This directive is used to assign a MAC address to an interface, overriding the one assigned to the physical NIC. This directive should not be used in conjunction with HWADDR.
MASTER=bond-interface
where bond-interface is the channel bonding interface to which the Ethernet interface is linked.
This directive is used in conjunction with the SLAVE directive.
Refer to Section 6.2.2, “Channel Bonding Interfaces” for more information about channel bonding interfaces.
NETMASK=mask
where mask is the netmask value.
NETWORK=address
where address is the network address. This directive is deprecated, as the value is calculated automatically with ipcalc.
ONBOOT=answer
where answer is one of the following:
  • yes — This device should be activated at boot-time.
  • no — This device should not be activated at boot-time.
PEERDNS=answer
where answer is one of the following:
  • yes — Modify /etc/resolv.conf if the DNS directive is set. If using DHCP, then yes is the default.
  • no — Do not modify /etc/resolv.conf.
SLAVE=answer
where answer is one of the following:
  • yes — This device is controlled by the channel bonding interface specified in the MASTER directive.
  • no — This device is not controlled by the channel bonding interface specified in the MASTER directive.
This directive is used in conjunction with the MASTER directive.
Refer to Section 6.2.2, “Channel Bonding Interfaces” for more about channel bonding interfaces.
SRCADDR=address
where address is the specified source IP address for outgoing packets.
USERCTL=answer
where answer is one of the following:
  • yes — Non-root users are allowed to control this device.
  • no — Non-root users are not allowed to control this device.