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I'm preparing to move and took down two of my servers, leaving only one with some essential services running. What I neglected to consider was that one was the DHCP server(which I realized when somebody contacted me saying they couldn't connect. Whups). So because I only have a few hosts on this small network, I opted to just statically configure them for now. One of these is a new Ubuntu 11.04 server, where I have very little experience.

I edited /etc/network/interfaces and /etc/hosts to reflect my changes.

I ran

$sudo /etc/init.d/networking stop
 *deconfiguring network interfaces ...

So yay. Then I try to start, it gives me the mumbo jumbo about using services (why didn't it do that for the stop?) So instead I run ...

$sudo service networking start
networking stop/waiting

Now, to me that says the status of the service is stopped. But when I ping another computer, I get a successful reply. So is it not actually stopped? More importantly, am I doing something wrong?


daniel@FOOBAR:~$ sudo service networking status
networking stop/waiting

daniel@FOOBAR:~$ sudo service networking stop
stop: Unknown instance:

daniel@FOOBAR:~$ sudo service networking status
networking stop/waiting

daniel@FOOBAR:~$ sudo service networking start
networking stop/waiting

daniel@FOOBAR:~$ sudo service networking status
networking stop/waiting

So you can see why I ran /etc/init.d/networking stop instead. For some reason upstart (that is what "services" is, right?) isn't working with stop.

cat /etc/hosts       localhost       FOOBAR       FOOBAR #Added entry July 19 2011

# The following lines are desirable for IPv6 capable hosts
::1     ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
fe00::0 ip6-localnet
ff00::0 ip6-mcastprefix
ff02::1 ip6-allnodes
ff02::2 ip6-allrouters

cat /etc/network/interfaces

# This file describes the network interfaces available on your system
# and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5).

# The loopback network interface
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

# The primary network interface
#auto eth0
#iface eth0 inet dhcp
#       hostname FOOBAR

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static

No I didn't save backups, it was just a minor change so I just commented out the old DHCP setting.

Edit I set everything back to original settings and set up a DHCP server. "starting" networking does the same thing. I can only assume this is normal, I just don't know WHY. It can't be anything to do with the configuration files, since they've been restored.

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Okay, so we've established that I know nothing about Ubuntu configuration. ^_^ Let's try this on for size: What's your /etc/network/interfaces look like? – Josh Blair Jul 20 '11 at 14:26
I'm pretty sure rc.conf is arch specific. I'm fairly certain hosts, interfaces, and resolv.conf are the only files I should be concerned with, unless this is an issue with upstart. There's an rc.local ... – Daniel B. Jul 20 '11 at 15:00
Edit you post with the information of these commands, in this order : 1 - service networking status 2 - service networking stop 3 - service networking status 4 - service networking start 5 -service networking status – Anarko_Bizounours Jul 20 '11 at 15:27
btw, if you want to stop and start again your service, try running service networking restart. And you said that you edited your /etc/network/interfaces and /etc/hosts, can you show them? (did you made a backup for these before changing them?) – Anarko_Bizounours Jul 20 '11 at 15:27
Yeah, I tried service networking restart first, it returned "restart: Unknown instance:" I'll post the rest in a sec. – Daniel B. Jul 20 '11 at 19:41

Use /sbin/ifconfig to see what your current networking state is.

Use /sbin/ifup <name> to bring up an interface defined in /etc/network/interfaces. Likewise use /sbin/ifdown <name> to bring the interface down.

If the actual state of the interface is different from that of ifconfig do the following:


  1. Clear the entry from /etc/network/run/ifstate.
  2. For each IP on that interface run /sbin/ip addr del dev eth0 (obviously using the appropriate IP & interface name).
  3. For the interface itself run /sbin/ip link set eth0 down (again, using the appropriate interface name).

After this is done you should be able to cleanly use /sbin/ifup <name> to bring the interface up.

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sudo service network-interface restart INTERFACE=eth0

edit the command to use your interface instead of eth0 if necessary.

(I've checked mine with ifconfig, but mine is up.)


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