How to reload /etc/network/interfaces in Ubuntu or Debian

In Ubuntu or Debian desktop, Network Manager is the default network configuration tool, whereas Ubuntu server by default uses /etc/network/interfaces to configure network interfaces. Of course, even on desktop, you can disable Network Manager, and use /etc/network/interfaces instead to configure your networking.

For those of you who use /etc/network/interfaces to configure network interfaces, if you modify /etc/network/interfaces, you need to reload it so that the new configuration can take effect.

Here is how you can reload /etc/network/interfaces.

$ sudo service networking restart

Note: If Network Manager is installed and enabled on your system, you must not use /etc/network/interfaces to configure networking, as any change made in /etc/network/interfaces will be ignored by Network Manager. You need to use Network Manager to configure your network interfaces. In that case, after network settings are modified, you can restart Network manager as follows.

$ sudo service network-manager restart

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Dan Nanni is the founder and also a regular contributor of Xmodulo.com. He is a Linux/FOSS enthusiast who loves to get his hands dirty with his Linux box. He likes to procrastinate when he is supposed to be busy and productive. When he is otherwise free, he likes to watch movies and shop for the coolest gadgets.

2 thoughts on “How to reload /etc/network/interfaces in Ubuntu or Debian

  1. service networking restart
    does not work well on my Ubuntu Trusty 14.04, the response is:
    stop: Job failed while stopping
    start: Job is already running: networking

    • On Ubuntu 14.04, Network Manager is used by default. Thus you need to use Network Manager to configure your networking. Once settings are modified, you can restart Network Manager as follows.

      $ sudo service network-manager restart

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