Automatically activate interface in Ubuntu/Debian without assigning IP

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Sometimes you might have to activate some interfaces in your Ubuntu Server (or desktop for that matter) that you could use for your VMWare server, or to do a tcpdump for some promiscious traffic coming from a mirrored port…or hell’s bells, whatever…you just need it active without any IP assigned – and you need it to be up even if the box restarts.

If you want to do it, here’s how …

1. Open the /etc/network/interfaces file with your favourite editor – vim in my case (remember to make a backup first – always be safe)

sudo vim /etc/network/interfaces

2. Add the following lines (replace eth1 with your applicable interface)

auto eth1
iface eth1 inet manual
up ifconfig eth1 up

3. Write, quit and restart your networking

sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart

If all was done correctly, and assuming the interface was also named eth1, you should now have the extra interface available, without a DHCP or statically assigned IP Address.

You can use the following command to check, but if you got here I think you already know that

ifconfig

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