Is there some easy way to find out mac address of all machines on my network rather than doing an SSH into each and ifconfig | grep HWaddr if there are 300 machines on network I really need some easy solution.

  • 2
    For the sake of completeness: arp -n Where is the ip address of the device. Note that you'll still have search one at a time. Sometimes you only want one, and this is certainly faster than sshing to each box. What if it's a Windows box or printer?
    – d-_-b
    Aug 16, 2012 at 17:14
  • 2
    sudo arp-scan --localnet Mar 28, 2013 at 12:14

8 Answers 8


You can use nmap to run a ping scan.

nmap -sP 192.168.254.*

Starting Nmap 5.00 ( http://nmap.org ) at 2011-03-09 11:32 GMT
Host xyzzy.lan ( is up (0.00022s latency).
MAC Address: 00:0C:29:5B:A5:E0 (VMware)
Host plugh.lan ( is up (0.00014s latency).
MAC Address: 00:0C:29:2E:78:F1 (VMware)
Host foo.lan ( is up.
Host bar.lan ( is up (0.00013s latency).
MAC Address: 00:0C:29:2D:94:A0 (VMware)
Nmap done: 256 IP addresses (4 hosts up) scanned in 3.41 seconds


A sed script to filter the output to IP -> MAC - put this in a file.

    /MAC Address/{
        s/.*(\(.*\)) .*MAC Address: \(.*\) .*/\1 -> \2/
s/^Host .*is up/& but MAC Address cannot be found/

and use it like this

nmap -sP | sed -f sedscript -> 00:0C:29:5B:A5:E0 -> 00:0C:29:2E:78:F1
Host foo.lan ( is up but MAC Address cannot be found. -> 00:0C:29:2D:94:A0
  • yes this is what I was looking for, I read other messages also it is not a Cisco switch any how thanks all for the messages. Mar 9, 2011 at 13:20
  • 1
    I've found that the only way to get the mac addresses to show up is to run nmap as root. Also it appears that the sedscript no longer works. [The text near the ip address has changed.
    – monksy
    Apr 13, 2013 at 3:36
  • Nmap scan report for Host is up (0.00045s latency). MAC Address: XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX
    – monksy
    Apr 13, 2013 at 3:37

Use nmap. Important to run it as root so you get the MAC addresses. Example:

sudo nmap -sP 

Will scan - Look up CIDR notation on wiki if you're not familiar with this subnet notation.

You should be able to get nmap from the repos of any recentish Linux distro, e.g.

sudo apt-get install nmap


sudo yum install nmap

A sample output from my network:

Host is up (0.0069s latency).
MAC Address: 00:0D:54:9B:D8:F4 (3Com)
Host is up (0.0068s latency).
MAC Address: 00:0C:29:BC:3D:1C (VMware)
Host is up (0.0038s latency).
MAC Address: 00:0C:29:8A:F4:A3 (VMware)
Host is up (0.0039s latency).
MAC Address: 00:0C:29:65:60:5F (VMware)
Host is up (0.033s latency).
MAC Address: 00:0C:29:82:24:EA (VMware)
Host is up (0.0024s latency).
MAC Address: 00:0C:29:3E:26:1F (VMware)
Host is up (0.0066s latency).
  • yes your method is quite simple way. Mar 10, 2011 at 10:06

Try this command:

arp-scan --interface=eth0
  • I know this is a really old question. However, nmap didn't give me any MAC addresses. arp-scan did. Thanks.
    – MikeP
    Nov 27, 2017 at 22:28
  • @MikeP In my case, nmap only gave me MAC addresses, while arp-scan gave me both MAC addresses and IP addresses. Feb 12, 2020 at 19:01

As long as you run this command from a host in the same network segment, nmap will report all of the MAC address for each host is discovers.

For example:

sudo nmap -sP

Starting Nmap 4.76 ( http://nmap.org ) at 2011-03-09 06:29 EST

Host old.net ( appears to be up.
MAC Address: 00:18:39:C5:A1:DC (Cisco-Linksys)

For the MAC addresses I need to be root on my Ubuntu box. Also a simple method for a single host is just to ping it and look at the arp table with arp -a if you wanted to only use commands normally included in the initial install of a distribution:

arp -a | grep -v incomplete
foo.net ( at 00:0d:4b:6a:2c:cb [ether] on eth0

Depending on your LAN topology, your best shot may be to display the MAC address table on your switches.

So for example, if your switch infrastructure is Cisco, you may try a

sh mac address-table

on every switch.

If you have many switches, you may automate this task through the use of SNMP.

Another option and (again) depending on your topology and your type of networking equipment, you may also try to get the mac addresses of your devices displaying the arp table on your routers.

With either of this two methods you will also obtain the list of mac addresses of any devices that are connected to your network infraestructure: PCs, printers, access points, etc. In the first case, even of devices without an IP address. This may or may not be want you want, but it may worth a try.


Maybe arp-scan is also an option:

See for a example here: Arp-scan User Guide


Since you mentioned about ssh into machines in your network, you can also use this shorty:

nmap -p 22 >/dev/null ; arp -a

You can use a program called SIW, it's free and scans the network requiring no permissions, or args.

URL: http://www.gtopala.com/

Available in .exe, or full installation.

  • .exe? The tag says "Linux-Netowrking"
    – d-_-b
    Sep 11, 2012 at 11:08

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