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freebsd netmask

IP aliasing is the process of assigning more than one IP address to a network interface. This is useful for Apache web server virtual hosting or other network servers such as ftp server.

This tutorial explains how to assign one or more IP address to a single network interface under FreeBSD operating system.

It is possible to create network alias or assign 2 ip address to a single NIC under FreeBSD operating system.

Our Sample Setup

  • Interface name: lnc0 - IP : 192.168.1.1/255.255.255.0
  • Interface name: lnc0 alias - IP : 192.168.1.5/255.255.255.255

Netmask must be different otherwise you will get an error ifconfig: ioctl (SIOCAIFADDR): File exists.

Set ip alias using ifconfig command line utility

Login as the root user.

Now, use ifconfig command as follows to set alias:
# ifconfig lnc0 192.168.1.5 netmask 255.255.255.255 alias

Persistent IP Alias Configuration

Edit file /etc/rc.conf to setup persistent ip aliasing option by appending following configuration, so that next time FreeBSD comes up (after restart/shutdown) it will create alias for you:
ifconfig_lnc0_alias0="192.168.1.5 netmask 255.255.255.255"

Finally, Restart FreeBSD network service using network restart script:
# /etc/rc.d/netif restart && /etc/rc.d/routing restart
Display alias and real ip using ifconfig lnc0 command:
# ifconfig lnc0
Sample output:

lnc0: flags=8843<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST> mtu 1500
inet6 fe80::20c:29ff:fe01:ddbd%lnc0 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x1
inet 192.168.1.2 netmask 0xffffff00 broadcast 192.168.1.255
inet 192.168.1.5 netmask 0xffff

Sample /etc/rc.conf file with IP aliasing

Here is my /etc/rc.conf file with em0 and em1 interface with 5 aliases:

hostname="sun.nixcraft.in"
# default vsnl router interface
defaultrouter="202.54.1.200"
# Force 10Mbps for both public and private LAN interace
ifconfig_em0="inet 10.20.110.2 netmask 255.255.255.192 media 10baseT/UTP mediaopt full-duplex"
ifconfig_em1="inet 202.52.1.2 netmask 255.255.255.248 media 10baseT/UTP mediaopt full-duplex"
ifconfig_em0_alias0="inet 10.20.1.226 netmask 255.255.255.0"
ifconfig_em0_alias1="inet 10.20.1.227 netmask 255.255.255.0"
ifconfig_em0_alias2="inet 10.20.1.228 netmask 255.255.255.0"
ifconfig_em0_alias3="inet 10.20.1.229 netmask 255.255.255.0"
ifconfig_em0_alias4="inet 10.20.1.230 netmask 255.255.255.0"
# static routing configuration
static_routes="lan0"
route_lan0="-net 10.0.0.0/8 10.20.110.1"

Further readings:

  • Read ifconfig man page.