To view the route run:

netstat -r 

 Optionally, to prevent reverse dns lookups which may slow down the execution of the command:

 netstat -rn  

read more to know how to change routes and for a Guide in IP layer networking on linux visit http://linux-ip.net/

1.3. Changing IP Addresses and Routes

This section introduces changing the IP address on an interface, changing the default gateway, and adding and removing a static route. With the knowledge of ifconfig and route output it's a small step to learn how to change IP configuration with these same tools.

1.3.1. Changing the IP on a machine

For a practical example, let's say that the branch office server, morgan, needs to visit the main office for some hardware maintenance. Since the services on the machine are not in use, it's a convenient time to fetch some software updates, after configuring the machine to join the LAN.

Once the machine is booted and connected to the Ethernet, it's ready for IP reconfiguration. In order to join an IP network, the following information is required. Refer to the network map and appendix to gather the required information below.

  • An unused IP address (Use 192.168.99.14.)

  • netmask (What's your guess?)

  • IP address of the default gateway (What's your guess?)

  • network address [5] (What's your guess?)

  • The IP address of a name resolver. (Use the IP of the default gateway here [6]. )

Example 1.5. ifconfig and route output before the change

[root@morgan]# ifconfig eth0
eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:80:C8:F8:4A:53
inet addr:192.168.98.82 Bcast:192.168.98.255 Mask:255.255.255.0
UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1
RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:100
RX bytes:0 (0.0 b) TX bytes:0 (0.0 b)
Interrupt:9 Base address:0x5000

[root@morgan]# route -n
Kernel IP routing table
Destination Gateway Genmask Flags Metric Ref Use Iface
192.168.98.0 0.0.0.0 255.255.255.0 U 0 0 0 eth0
127.0.0.0 0.0.0.0 255.0.0.0 U 0 0 0 lo
0.0.0.0 192.168.98.254 0.0.0.0 UG 0 0 0 eth0

The process of readdressing for the new network involves three steps. It is clear in Example 1.5, “ifconfig and route output before the change”, that morgan is configured for a different network than the main office desktop network. First, the active interface must be brought down, then a new address must be configured on the interface and brought up, and finally a new default route must be added. If the networking configuration is correct and the process is successful, the machine should be able to connect to local and non-local destinations.

Example 1.6. Bringing down a network interface with ifconfig

[root@morgan]# ifconfig eth0 down

This is a fast way to stop networking on a single-homed machine such as a server or workstation. On multi-homed hosts, other interfaces on the machine would be unaffected by this command. This method of bringing down an interface has some serious side effects, which should be understood. Here is a summary of the side effects of bringing down an interface.

Side effects of bringing down an interface with ifconfig

  • all IP addresses on the specified interface are deactivated and removed

  • any connections established to or from IPs on the specified interface are broken [7]

  • all routes to any destinations through the specified interface are removed from the routing tables

  • the link layer device is deactivated

The next step, bringing up the interface, requires the new networking configuration information. It's a good habit to check the interface after configuration to verify settings.

Example 1.7. Bringing up an Ethernet interface with ifconfig

[root@morgan]# ifconfig eth0 192.168.99.14 netmask 255.255.255.0 up
[root@morgan]# ifconfig eth0
eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:80:C8:F8:4A:53
inet addr:192.168.99.14 Bcast:192.168.99.255 Mask:255.255.255.0
UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1
RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:100
RX bytes:0 (0.0 b) TX bytes:0 (0.0 b)
Interrupt:9 Base address:0x5000

The second call to ifconfig allows verification of the IP addressing information. The currently configured IP address on eth0 is 192.168.99.14. Bringing up an interface also has a small set of side effects.

Side effects of bringing up an interface

  • the link layer device is activated

  • the requested IP address is assigned to the specified interface

  • all local, network, and broadcast routes implied by the IP configuration are added to the routing tables

Use ping to verify the reachability of other locally connected hosts or skip directly to setting the default gateway.

1.3.2. Setting the Default Route

It should come as no surprise to a close reader (hint), that the default route was removed at the execution of ifconfig eth0 down. The crucial final step is configuring the default route.

Example 1.8. Adding a default route with route

[root@morgan]# route -n
Kernel IP routing table
Destination Gateway Genmask Flags Metric Ref Use Iface
192.168.99.0 0.0.0.0 255.255.255.0 U 0 0 0 eth0
127.0.0.0 0.0.0.0 255.0.0.0 U 0 0 0 lo
[root@morgan]# route add default gw 192.168.99.254
[root@morgan]# route -n
Kernel IP routing table
Destination Gateway Genmask Flags Metric Ref Use Iface
192.168.99.0 0.0.0.0 255.255.255.0 U 0 0 0 eth0
127.0.0.0 0.0.0.0 255.0.0.0 U 0 0 0 lo
0.0.0.0 192.168.99.254 0.0.0.0 UG 0 0 0 eth0

The routing table on morgan should look exactly like the initial routing table on tristan. Compare the routing tables in Example 1.1, “Sample ifconfig output” and Example 1.8, “Adding a default route with route.

These changes to the routing table on morgan will stay in effect until they are manually changed, the network is restarted, or the machine reboots. With knowledge of the addressing scheme of a network, and the use of ifconfig and route it's simple to readdress a machine on just about any Ethernet you can attach to. The benefits of familiarity with these commands extend to non-Ethernet IP networks as well, because these commands operate on the IP layer, independent of the link layer.

1.3.3. Adding and removing a static route

Now that morgan has joined the LAN at the main office and can reach the Internet, a static route to the branch office would be convenient for accessing resources on that network.

A static route is any route entered into a routing table which specifies at least a destination address and a gateway or device. Static routes are special instructions regarding the path a packet should take to reach a destination and are usually used to specify reachability of a destination through a router other than the default gateway.

As we saw above, in Section 1.2.3, “Static Routes to Networks”, a static route provides a specific route to a known destination. There are several pieces of information we need to know in order to be able to add a static route.

  • the address of the destination (192.168.98.0)

  • the netmask of the destination (255.255.255.0)

    • EITHER the IP address of the router through which the destination (192.168.99.1) is reachable

    • OR the name of the link layer device to which the destination is directly connected

     

Example 1.9. Adding a static route with route

[root@morgan]# route -n
Kernel IP routing table
Destination Gateway Genmask Flags Metric Ref Use Iface
192.168.99.0 0.0.0.0 255.255.255.0 U 0 0 0 eth0
127.0.0.0 0.0.0.0 255.0.0.0 U 0 0 0 lo
0.0.0.0 192.168.99.254 0.0.0.0 UG 0 0 0 eth0
[root@morgan]# route add -net 192.168.98.0 netmask 255.255.255.0 gw 192.168.99.1
[root@morgan]# route -n
Kernel IP routing table
Destination Gateway Genmask Flags Metric Ref Use Iface
192.168.99.0 0.0.0.0 255.255.255.0 U 0 0 0 eth0
192.168.98.0 192.168.99.1 255.255.255.0 UG 0 0 0 eth0
127.0.0.0 0.0.0.0 255.0.0.0 U 0 0 0 lo
0.0.0.0 192.168.99.254 0.0.0.0 UG 0 0 0 eth0

Example 1.9, “Adding a static route with route shows how to add a static route to the 192.168.98.0/24 network. In order to test the reachability of the remote network, ping any machine on the 192.168.98.0/24 network. Routers are usually a good choice, since they rarely have packet filters and are usually alive.

Because a more specific route is always chosen over a less specific route, it is even possible to support host routes. These are routes for destinations which are single IP addresses. This can be accomplished with a manually added static route as below.

Example 1.10. Removing a static network route and adding a static host route

[root@morgan]# route del -net 192.168.98.0 netmask 255.255.255.0 gw 192.168.99.1
[root@morgan]# route add -net 192.168.98.42 netmask 255.255.255.255 gw 192.168.99.1
[root@morgan]# route add -host 192.168.98.42 gw 192.168.99.1
SIOCADDRT: File exists
[root@morgan]# route -n
Kernel IP routing table
Destination Gateway Genmask Flags Metric Ref Use Iface
192.168.99.0 0.0.0.0 255.255.255.0 U 0 0 0 eth0
192.168.98.42 192.168.99.1 255.255.255.255 UGH 0 0 0 eth0
127.0.0.0 0.0.0.0 255.0.0.0 U 0 0 0 lo
0.0.0.0 192.168.99.254 0.0.0.0 UG 0 0 0 eth0

This should serve as an illustration that there is no difference to the kernel in selecting a route between a host route and a network route with a host netmask. If this is a surprise or is at all confusing, review the use of netmasks in IP networking. Some collected links on general IP networking are available in Section I.1.3, “General IP Networking Resources”.



[5] The network address can be calculated from the IP address and netmask. Refer to Section H.1, “ipcalc and other IP addressing calculators”. Especially handy is the variable length subnet mask RFC, RFC 1878.

[6] Many networks are configured with the name resolution services on a publicly connected host. See Section 12.6, “DNS Troubleshooting”.

[7] It is possible for a linux box which meets the following three criteria to maintain connections and provide services without having the service IP configured on an interface. It must be functioning as a router, be configured to support non-local binding and be in the route path of the client machine. This is an uncommon need, frequently accomplished by the use of transparent proxying software.

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