New Naming Scheme for the Network Interface on RHEL 7/CentOS 7

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Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 (RHEL 7) and CentOS 7 come with the new naming scheme for the network devices.

These features change the name of network interfaces on a system in order to make the network interfaces fully predictable, fully automatic, easier to differentiate and that broken hardware can be replaced seamlessly.

This affects both network adapters embedded on the motherboard (Lan-on-Motherboard, or additional adapters such as PCI network card and etc.

Traditionally, network interfaces in Linux used eth[0123…]. In RHEL7/CentOS7, the default network interface name is based on firmware, topology, and location information.

The following different naming schemes for network interfaces are now supported by udev natively:

  • Names incorporating Firmware or BIOS provided index numbers for on-board devices (example: eno1)
  • Names incorporating Firmware or BIOS provided PCI Express hotplug slot index numbers (example: ens1)
  • Names incorporating physical location of the connector of the hardware (example: enp2s0)
  • Names incorporating the interface’s MAC address (example: enx78e7d1ea46da)
  • The traditional unpredictable kernel-native ethX naming (example: eth0)

The names have two character prefixes based on the type of interface:

  • en for Ethernet,
  • wl for wireless LAN (WLAN),
  • ww for wireless wide area network (WWAN).
Format Description
o<index> on-board device index number
s<slot>[f<function>][d<dev_id>] hotplug slot index number
x<MAC> MAC address
p<bus>s<slot>[f<function>][d<dev_id>] PCI geographical location
p<bus>s<slot>[f<function>][u<port>][..][c<config>][i<interface>] USB port number chain

ifconfig utility is not installed by default in minimal installation. You can use “ip link show“, “ip addr” or “ip address” to display the auto assigned devices name :

[[email protected] ~]# ip link show
1: lo: <LOOPBACK,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 65536 qdisc noqueue state UNKNOWN mode DEFAULT
    link/loopback 00:00:00:00:00:00 brd 00:00:00:00:00:00
2: ens160: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc mq state UP mode DEFAULT qlen 1000
    link/ether 00:0c:29:ba:3e:fe brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
[[email protected] ~]# ip address
1: lo: <LOOPBACK,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 65536 qdisc noqueue state UNKNOWN
    link/loopback 00:00:00:00:00:00 brd 00:00:00:00:00:00
    inet 127.0.0.1/8 scope host lo
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
    inet6 ::1/128 scope host
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
2: ens160: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc mq state UP qlen 1000
    link/ether 00:0c:29:ba:3e:fe brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
    inet 192.168.0.18/24 brd 192.168.0.255 scope global dynamic ens160
       valid_lft 604707sec preferred_lft 604707sec
    inet6 fe80::20c:29ff:feba:3efe/64 scope link
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever

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