I'm using Ubuntu Server, and this is what my /etc/network/interfaces looks like:

auto wlan0
iface wlan0 inet static

and it gives me this error when I try to do sudo ifup wlan0

RTNETLINK answers: File exists
Failed to bring up wlan0
  • Has anybody solved this problem?? I am stuck for the last two days in this... :( please help... – user157096 Feb 1 '13 at 8:55
  • try ip route show or something like this. read man ip for further informations. – user209064 Feb 12 '14 at 10:31

That message usually means that the route being added already exists.

  1. Run sudo ifdown wlan0 and sudo ifconfig wlan0 down (these will probably output errors, just continue).
  2. Then check the output of ip route for any routes related to wlan0. If there are any use sudo ip route del to remove them (for example, sudo ip route del dev wlan0).
  3. Try sudo ifup wlan0 again.
| improve this answer | |
  • sudo ifdown wlan0 gave me the error: interface wlan0 not configured. – Isaiah Bugarin Jul 2 '12 at 5:43
  • @IsaiahBugarin Yes, it will give errors. Now check the routes and then try bringing it up again. – mgorven Jul 2 '12 at 5:44
  • That command gave me dev wlan0 proto kernel scope link src ifup gave me same error still. – Isaiah Bugarin Jul 2 '12 at 5:54
  • @IsaiahBugarin Edited. – mgorven Jul 2 '12 at 6:05
  • sudo ifdown wlan0 output error, the other one did not. ip route didn't output anything. sudo ifup wlan0 gave error. – Isaiah Bugarin Jul 2 '12 at 6:13

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