My main aim is to run client server applications written for TCP on linux (RHEL 6.3, 2.6.x kernel) hosts with dual NIC. One of the NIC is assigned IP Address so that i can ssh into it and the second NIC is connected via cross over cable to another similar configuration linux box. The intention is to use NIC with cross over cable for performance testing. Below is the configuration, where eth3 is connected to cross over cable. Since it has no IP, i am not sure how to run my client server application. The configuration was done by server admin and i am hoping someone can guide me if the below settings are inadequate and i need to request an IP assigned to eth3.

When i do ifconfig -a, i see the eth3 NIC,but since it has no IP, how can my client connect to it and what IP:Port do i specify for server to bind to?

eth2      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 4C:4B:93:6G:98:EE  
      inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
      inet6 addr: fe80::3e4a:92ff:fe6f:99ee/64 Scope:Link
      RX packets:346598515 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
      TX packets:205832922 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
      collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
      RX bytes:404093955155 (376.3 GiB)  TX bytes:44013461721 (40.9 GiB)

eth3      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 3D:4B:82:6E:98:F3  
      BROADCAST MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
      RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
      TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
      collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
      RX bytes:0 (0.0 b)  TX bytes:0 (0.0 b)

lo        Link encap:Local Loopback  
      inet addr:  Mask:
      inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
      UP LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:16436  Metric:1
      RX packets:708365224 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
      TX packets:708365224 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
      collisions:0 txqueuelen:0 
      RX bytes:1439201391376 (1.3 TiB)  TX bytes:1439201391376 (1.3 TiB)
  • Why don't you just assign it an IP address and then add a route to on the other machine? Apr 17 '13 at 16:13

Yes, it can, but you need to assign it an address yourself. Since this is a point-to-point link, it's very suitable for RFC 1918 addresses. So pick a subnet out of that space, allocate two addresses from that, and give one to each end of the link.

For example, you could use, make one end and the other end Or use, make one end, and the other end Getting name resolution to work is a separate problem, but each end of the cable will then have an address, and will know the address by which to refer to the other end.

  • +1 for referring to RFC1918. Thank you!!
    – Jimm
    Apr 17 '13 at 16:21
  • For your future-self... don't hardcode the application IP...
    – cpt_fink
    Apr 18 '13 at 4:20

Q: Can you assign an ip address to a NIC connected by a crossover cable?

A: Yes you can.

Both hosts connected by the crossover cable need to have an ip address in the same subnet on the NIC connected by the crossover cable in order to communicate with each other through those NIC's.

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