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

  • This is now a community wiki. Feel free to contribute any other methods that works.
    – GeneQ
    Jul 20, 2009 at 2:29

6 Answers 6


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, you can then use this command to request a new lease:

dhclient eth0

From man dhclient:

   -r     Tell  dhclient  to  release the current lease it has from the 
          server.  This is not required by the DHCP protocol, but some 
          ISPs require their clients to notify the server if they wish 
          to release an assigned IP address.
  • Also a good way to do it :)
    – Frenchie
    Jul 20, 2009 at 2:31
  • 1
    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, 2011 at 9:16
  • 5
    For me this only releases the lease and uncofigures the interface. No new IP is obtained afterwards.
    – cgogolin
    Jan 15, 2015 at 9:33
  • 1
    Which is a total bummer if you're primary interface is ssh...
    – Eric Nord
    Apr 3, 2019 at 3:55
  • 1
    @EricNord - You can still do this via SSH. Use the 'at' command to schedule a one-time command, 1 minute in the future or less, disconnect your SSH session then reconnect. You could even automate it, and reconnect to the same host via Multicast DNS (assuming you have that running, most home networks do) Sep 10, 2021 at 14:24

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.

  • 2
    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... Jul 20, 2009 at 2:58
  • Doesn't this require administrative priviledges? Dec 11, 2015 at 12:21
  • Worst case you reconnect. If you're trying to automate this, see mDNS and 'at' command, and use a wrapper script to orchestrate the change and the reconnect. Sep 10, 2021 at 14:25

Would comment p.campbell, but I have only 1 reputation and therefore cannot, first I review installed interfaces:

ip addr

release IP from selected interface (e.g. eth0, eth1, enp1s0, sit0, wlan0,...):

sudo dhclient -r *interface*

request new IP from DHCP server (alert on error):

sudo dhclient -1 *interface*

check IP:

ip addr

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS confirmed


If you're using the dhcpcd tool then:

dhcpcd -k interface
dhcpcd -n interface

The first says to release and deconfigure the interface, and the second says to reload configuration and rebind the interface again.


If the MAC address of the interface isn't changed, the DHCP server may assign it the same address when renewing. Therefore, a simple release and renew with dhclient may not acquire a new address. Change the MAC address and acquire a new IP address with the following commands. Don't forget to write the original down if you need to revert back to it at a later time.

ifconfig <interface> down
ifconfig <interface> hw ether <MAC address>
ifconfig <interface> up
  • 2
    This was so helpful, thank you! No number of dhclient -r or ifconfig down gave me a new IP address on my work network, until I changed the MAC address to something random using that command.
    – Migwell
    Nov 19, 2019 at 0:48

In systems where NetworkManager is on, running...

nmcli con

...gets you a connection list, and running...

nmcli con down id 'Connection Name'
nmcli con up id 'Connection Name'

takes the connection down and back up

  • On RHEL 8.9, nmcli is the only tool I found installed by default. I did not want to add packages just to refresh my DHCP address.
    – wistlo
    Jan 16 at 14:18
  • And it can be run without being "root"
    – Osqui
    Jan 17 at 22:08

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