Network Configuration Report

Question: what would be the six key sections of a report given out by the ifconfig command on a linux machine

Answer: Typing ifconfig by itself (or with just an interface name) at a command prompt will produce a report on the networking that is configured on the system in question (for the specified interface). On a stand alone system this report might look something like the following:

lo   Link encap:Local Loopback
inet addr: Mask:
Rx packets:14 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
Tx packets:14 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:0

This is reporting on an inet (tcp/ip) loopback definition set up on a stand alone system. On a networked system you can expect the report to give information about the networking that is set up on the system for example:

eth0 Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:00:C1:8A:E2:D9
inet addr: Bcast: Mask:
Rx packets:12347234 errors:12 dropped:98 overruns:0 frame:30
Tx packets:102376 errors:9 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:29
collisions:3460 txqueuelen:100
Interrupt:10 Base address:0x1400

There are six sections in this report when the tcp/ip protocol is used on an ethernet network as it is in the above example:

There are six different networking protocols that ifconfig can report on. The protocols that will be reported on are inet (tcp/ip), inet6 (ipv6), ax25 (AMPR Packet Radio - AX25), ddp (AppleTalk), ipx (Novell IPX), and netrom (AMPR Packet Radio - NET/ROM). What appears on the report will vary depending on which of these protocols is used but the types of information supplied should still include each of the above six types of information.

The ifconfig command can also be used to configure four of these six protocols. The two it can't configure are ddp and ipx.

To get more information about the ifconfig command type man ifconfig at the command prompt.


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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