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The environment is Debian, although the answer will apply to all distributions.

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This is now a community wiki. Feel free to contribute any other methods that works. – GeneQ Jul 20 '09 at 2:29
up vote 16 down vote accepted

You can also use this command:

dhclient -r interface

Where interface is the device you want to get a new address for.

dhclient -r eth0

The -r flag forces dhclient to first release any leases you have and request a new lease.

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Also a good way to do it :) – Frenchie Jul 20 '09 at 2:31
After this command my Debian failed to get a new IP, but after a reboot I was assigned to a new one, so it work's! – Damien Sep 9 '11 at 9:16
For me this only releases the lease and uncofigures the interface. No new IP is obtained afterwards. – cgogolin Jan 15 '15 at 9:33

Either of the following should get it to renew.

/etc/init.d/networking restart


ifdown eth0; ifup eth0

I wouldn't recommend running either over an SSH connection, although you'll probably get away with the first one if it doesn't come back with a new ip address.

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Thanks. That was quick. ;-) – GeneQ Jul 20 '09 at 2:24
SSH connections will tolerate a few seconds of "disconnect" provided that you get the connection back up in a few seconds at the same IP address. Under these conditions, I have never lost a connection during /etc/init.d/networking restart, even when it was taking more than 5 seconds to come back up... – Avery Payne Jul 20 '09 at 2:58
Doesn't this require administrative priviledges? – Peter Mortensen Dec 11 '15 at 12:21

If you're using the dhcpcd tool then:

dhcpcd -k interface
dhcpcd interface

The first says to stop the daemon, and the second says to start it again.

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