On server A, I want to issue the following commands to Server B through ssh.

service network stop
sleep 5
service network start

The problem is because I issued a network 'stop', then my current ssh connection is lost as well. Therefore I cannot execute the succeeding commands (sleep 5 and service network start). Note that I cannot use (service network restart).

Does anyone have a workaround / solution for this?

  • 6
    why wouldn't you just use the "restart" option? why separately stop, and then start? Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 3:39
  • This is the only solution that works with modern Debian and Ubuntu versions: serverfault.com/a/731120/10361 the service approach became "faulty" in both distros in the last years.
    – sorin
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 8:42

9 Answers 9


If you are doing this interactively, why not start a screen session? It would look something like this:


(scren shell starts)

service network restart

(SSH session disconnects, but the network restart continues in the screen session)

(Wait a few seconds)

(SSH back into the host once the restart finishes)

screen -r

(Reconnect to screen and check for errors)

IMHO, it's always scary to restart a network interface remotely. What happens when it doesn't come back up? Do you have a console or other means into the host if something bad happens?

  • 1
    I always operate through screen when working on remote machines. In case of unplanned disconnections it can be a life-saver. Also having several active shells in the same session can be handy. You might also like to look at tmux too, I've not used it myself but some prefer it to screen and its core function provides the same benefits. Commented Jun 11, 2011 at 14:51
  • Outdated: this does not work anymore: Failed to restart network.service: Unit network.service failed to load: No such file or directory. This works: serverfault.com/a/731120/10361
    – sorin
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 8:36
  • @sorin Which platform? This was assuming a RedHat variant.
    – Corey S.
    Commented Feb 8, 2016 at 15:47
  • systemctl restart networking didn't work for me for some reason in tmux session on Ubuntu Xenial. systemctl restart network worked on CentOS 7 (OpenVZ) not even in tmux/screen session. Without losing connection.
    – x-yuri
    Commented Apr 27, 2018 at 15:22

The exact commands available to do this vary based on Linux distribution. On option which is pretty standard is to schedule and "at" job for 5 seconds in the future to restart networking. Another one is to use the nohup command.

echo "sleep 5; /etc/init.d/networking start" | at now
nohup sh -c 'sleep 5; /etc/init.d/networking start' &

Other distributions have the daemon command to turn the resulting program into a daemon that is no longer associated with the shell.


A very simple way to do this is by using the and operator:

service network stop && sleep 5 && service network start
  • 3
    I'd prefer service network stop; sleep 5; service network start. If any of the commands fail it will execute the rest anyway.
    – ghm1014
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 17:30
  • @ghm1014 Aye, that is also a very good alternate form. In fact, that is what I typically use. Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 18:42
  • 1
    What is the advantage over service network restart?
    – Caleb
    Commented Jun 11, 2011 at 14:25
  • When you do service network stop the interface gets down, bash receives SIGHUP, and no other commands get executed. Am I missing something?
    – x-yuri
    Commented Apr 27, 2018 at 15:23
  • 2
    This is literally the worst answer ever for exactly the reason that @x-yuri has explained above. If you are logged in over SSH this will a) not work and b) mean you can not access the server over this interface again to fix it.
    – jakew009
    Commented Mar 10, 2021 at 16:31

Try this (maybe installing cron if needed):

$ at now+5min
at> service network stop
at> sleep 5
at> service network start
at> [control-D]

Then logout, wait 6 min and relogin

  • 1
    The at scheduler is not in the cron package on most distros, try looking for an at package directly.
    – Caleb
    Commented Jun 11, 2011 at 14:23

This works with modern Debian and Ubuntu, while all the other answers will not work.

sudo ifdown --exclude=lo -a && sudo ifup --exclude=lo -a

Please keep in mind that it can take a little bit to get the interface back. In my case about ~15 seconds as I do have a bond.


Why not put it into a shell script and execute that via SSH?

  • If I put it in a script, then this will happen: on Server A, ssh server_B "execute_script". But won't I still lose my ssh connection from A to B? I am hoping that I can still preserve the ssh connection...
    – Carmen
    Commented Jun 7, 2011 at 23:49
  • 2
    You can't preserve the SSH session if you're stopping the network interface on a server. Commented Jun 7, 2011 at 23:55
  • so, it would look like my ssh session will hang while I am running that restart script. Is there a way to fake this? Eg. break out of the current ssh session and re-connect to it?
    – Carmen
    Commented Jun 8, 2011 at 0:10
  • 1
    Yeah, screen, as noted by today's answer.
    – mfinni
    Commented Jun 11, 2011 at 13:40
  • Yeah, that won't work. The "service network restart" actually calls a shell script, but internally it just runs stop then start. The ssh session gets cut off after the stop and the start never happens. Screen or nohup is the answer. Note, I've done this through screen and it actually preserved the existing ssh session for me (just a bit of lag), but it will not without screen. DANGER WILL ROBINSON: this is a good way to loose access to the remote system entirely (if you loose the connection, no debugging, you're just hosed).
    – Jared
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 17:57

Generally, systemctl restart networking (Debian/Ubuntu), systemctl restart network (CentOS) should work, without a tmux/screen session.

  • also it safely works with systemctl restart systemd-networkd tested on debian
    – vlk
    Commented May 21, 2023 at 16:36

It sounds like you want either screen or tmux. These will allow you to preserve your session through the loss of a network connection. They're really quite useful, almost all of my terminal sessions are through screen.


# CentOS Linux release 7.4.1708 (Core) 

# 1. restart the network service
# 2. take the NIC [ens32] down
# 3. bring the NIC [ens32] up

systemctl restart network \
  && ifdown ens32 \
  && ifup ens32

# Linux far-seer-01 4.9.0-8-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 4.9.144-3.1 (2019-02-19) x86_64 GNU/Linux

/etc/init.d/networking restart \
    && ifdown eth0 \
    && ifup eth0


[root@localhost tmp]# ip addr show
1: lo: <LOOPBACK,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 65536 qdisc noqueue state UNKNOWN qlen 1
    link/loopback 00:00:00:00:00:00 brd 00:00:00:00:00:00
    inet scope host lo
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
    inet6 ::1/128 scope host 
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
2: ens32: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc pfifo_fast state UP qlen 1000
    link/ether 00:0c:29:b3:74:da brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
    inet brd scope global dynamic ens32
       valid_lft 1796sec preferred_lft 1796sec
    inet6 fe80::f06e:8b57:23fc:b25/64 scope link 
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
[root@localhost tmp]# cat /etc/redhat-release 
CentOS Linux release 7.4.1708 (Core) 
[root@localhost tmp]# cat net.sh 

# 1. restart the network service
# 2. take the NIC [ens32] down
# 3. bring the NIC [ens32] up

systemctl restart network \
  && ifdown ens32 \
  && ifup ens32
[root@localhost tmp]# sh net.sh 
Device 'ens32' successfully disconnected.
Connection successfully activated (D-Bus active path: /org/freedesktop/NetworkManager/ActiveConnection/17)
$ cat /etc/os-release 
PRETTY_NAME="Debian GNU/Linux 9 (stretch)"
NAME="Debian GNU/Linux"
VERSION="9 (stretch)"
$ cat net.sh 

# Linux far-seer-01 4.9.0-8-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 4.9.144-3.1 (2019-02-19) x86_64 GNU/Linux

/etc/init.d/networking restart \
    &&ifdown eth0 \
    && ifup eth0
$ sh net.sh 
[ ok ] Restarting networking (via systemctl): networking.service.
ifdown: interface eth0 not configured
Internet Systems Consortium DHCP Client 4.3.5
Copyright 2004-2016 Internet Systems Consortium.
All rights reserved.
For info, please visit https://www.isc.org/software/dhcp/

Listening on LPF/eth0/00:0c:29:8a:67:72
Sending on   LPF/eth0/00:0c:29:8a:67:72
Sending on   Socket/fallback
DHCPDISCOVER on eth0 to port 67 interval 5
DHCPREQUEST of on eth0 to port 67
DHCPACK of from
bound to -- renewal in 847 seconds.

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