How to set a default gateway on CentOS

A default gateway is a remote host or router that your Linux host forwards traffic to when the destination IP address of outgoing traffic does not match any route in your local routing table. Configuring a default gateway on CentOS is quite straightforward.

If you wish to change a default gateway temporarily at run time, you can use ip command.

First things first. To check what default gateway you are using currently:

$ ip route show dev eth0  proto kernel  scope link  src dev eth0  scope link  metric 1002 
default via dev eth0 

According to the local routing table shown above, a default gateway is, and traffic is forwarded to the gateway via eth0.

In order to change a default gateway to another IP address:

$ sudo ip route replace default via dev eth0

Obviously, a default gateway's IP address should come from the subnet associated with the interface connected to the default gateway, in this example, Otherwise, the command will fail with the following error.

RTNETLINK answers: No such process

Also, keep in mind that the default route change made by ip command will be lost after rebooting.

In order to set a default gateway permanently on CentOS, you will need to update /etc/sysconfig/network accordingly.

$ sudo vi /etc/sysconfig/network

Again, be aware that the IP addressed specified here should match with the subnet ( associated with a default route interface.

Another option to set a default gateway persistently on CentOS is to edit /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-<default_interface_name>, and add "GATEWAY=<gateway_ip>" there. If the default interface is "eth0", you will need to edit /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0. If you choose to use this method, you need to refer to this post to get familiar with this option.

Whether you edit /etc/sysconfig/network or /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-ethX, don't forget to restart network service as follows, or reboot your CentOS for the change to take effect.

$ sudo service network restart

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Dan Nanni is the founder and also a regular contributor of 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.

7 thoughts on “How to set a default gateway on CentOS

  1. Hi,
    Can you help me answer this question:
    You have replaced the default gateway on your network. The gateway had used the IP address of, and you must remove it from the routing table. Which command would you use to accomplish this?

  2. Hello there, thanks for taking your time to help others.

    I have a machine with two network cards.

    eth0 has the following settings:
    address =
    netmask =

    eth1 has the following settings:
    address =
    netmask =

    the current default gateway for the system is

    my problem is this. The 192 subnet is connected to the internet. The 10 subnet is connected to my VOIP Vendor. in the current configuration my phones work but my machine can not see the internet. this is problematic because I can not update the software on the machine which i need to do regularly. What I would like to accomplish is the following:

    all traffic on 10 network route through
    all trafic on 192 network route through

    this would enable the phone traffic to route over the 10 network and all other traffic to route over the 192 network which is where the internet is located.

    if i change the default route to the 10 network the phones work but no internet. if I change the default route to the 192 network i have internet and no phones. I have searched hi and low to find an answer and I have been out of luck so far. I am going to update the /etc/sysconfig/network and /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/route-eth0 and eth1 files to make this permanant.

    any help you can offer with the commands and or advice would be greatly appreciated.



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