I'm trying to setup a Debian VM to have a static network configuration. I have the following in /etc/network/interfaces:

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static
    address x.y.z.73
    gateway x.y.z.1

Nevertheless, when the ifup script is run, it insists on running a DHCP client, which I do not want. When running under shell debug, I can see that some variables with interesting names are never being set, and I don't see /etc/network/interfaces being read anywhere. I do, however, see /etc/netscripts/network.conf being read (never heard of that file before).

root@host:~# bash -x /sbin/ifup eth0
++ id -un
+ '[' root '!=' root ']'
.. snip ..
+ IF_AUTO=eth0
++ uname -r
+ BASE_MODPATH=/lib/modules/3.2.0-4-amd64/kernel
+ MODPATH=/lib/modules/3.2.0-4-amd64/kernel/net
++ cut -d . -f 1,2
++ uname -r
+ '[' -f /etc/netscript/network.conf ']'
+ source /etc/netscript/network.conf
+ . /etc/netscript/network.conf
++ IF_AUTO=eth0
+ vb echo -n 'Configuring interface:'
+ echo -n 'Configuring interface:'
+ '[' eth0 = all ']'
+ case "$RUNLVL" in
+ eval local 'IF_CHAIN_AUTO="${eth0_IF_CHAIN_AUTO:-}"'
++ local IF_CHAIN_AUTO=
+ if_up eth0
+ local ADDR
+ eval 'IPADDR=${eth0_IPADDR:-}'
+ eval 'MASKLEN=${eth0_MASKLEN:-}'
+ eval 'BROADCAST=${eth0_BROADCAST:-}'
+ eval 'PTPADDR=${eth0_PTPADDR:-}'
+ eval 'IP_EXTRA_ADDRS=${eth0_IP_EXTRA_ADDRS:-}'
+ eval 'MTU=${eth0_MTU:-}'
... snip ....
+ qt type eth0_start
+ type eth0_start
+ qt type eth_start
+ type eth_start
+ eth_start eth0
+ '[' -x /sbin/dhclient ']'
+ qt /sbin/dhclient eth0
+ /sbin/dhclient eth0

Why are these settings being ignored ? Did I do a stupid typo in the config ? or did I forget to run some administrative command ? Has the interfaces file been obsoleted in favor of the network.conf one ?

1 Answer 1


You appear to maybe have installed netscript-2.4 instead of ifupdown, or worse, in addition to? You clearly have a modern install of debian, what with kernel 3.2. I'd check if you had ifupdown and install it if you don't. That should cause it to remove errant packages.

Good Luck.

  • THANK YOU, that was it. I didn't know what netscript was and I have no clue how it ended up on my system. Note that when I tried to remove netscript, it would fail with a circular dependency error between netscript and networking. I edited the netscript initscript by hand to kill the dependancy, and dpkg completed the operation correctly after that.
    – b0fh
    Jan 21, 2014 at 20:23

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