How to Configure a Network Interface Card in Linux

March 02, 2012
This guide explains how to configure a network interface card in Linux.

If you are using a modern Linux distribution, chances are your network card will be detected automatically and configured for DHCP.

However, there may be instances where you are forced to configure your network interface card manually. This guide explains the step by step process to configure a network interface card in Fedora Linux.

Fedora Linux (including Red Hat Enterprise Linux) has a collection of tools to aid you in configuring a network interface card. They are -

  • system-config-network - This is the network administration tool in Fedora Linux and is an easy way to make changes to the various network interface configuration files.
  • system-config-network-tui - This is the command line equivalent of the above tool.
  • nm-connection-editor - NetworkManager GUI applet

Using any one of the above tools, you can configure your network.

To make any changes to your network interface, you need to have super user (root) access or your user account should be included in the wheel group.

system-config-network tool

Here is how you use the system-config-network tool to configure a network interface card in Fedora Linux.

Step 1: Choose whether to configure a Device or DNS.

network interface card tool

From the menu select "Device configuration".

Step 2: Modify existing networking device or Add a new device

By choosing the "Add a new device" option, you can add an Ethernet card, modem, or ISDN connection.

network interface card tool

You can modify an existing networking device, by editing it's IP address, Netmask, and Broadcast address. Or you can configure the networking device to use DHCP.

Network interface card configuration

Step 3: Save the changes and exit

NetworkManager GUI Applet

NetworkManager Applet - nm-connection-editor, is versatile tool that allows you to configure not just Ethernet, ISDN, or Modem connections. It also supports configuration of Wireless and Mobile network connections.

NetworkManager provides automatic network detection and configuration for the system. Once enabled, the NetworkManager service also monitors the network interfaces, and may automatically switch to the best connection at any given time.

Network Manager Applet

In fact this is the recommended and user friendly method of configuring your network interface card in Fedora Linux.

You can also configure your network interface card by manually editing the configuration files.