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How To Rename a Network Interface in Ubuntu 20.04

Ubuntu 14

In this article, we will guide you through the process of renaming a network interface in Ubuntu 20.04. This can be done using two different methods: Netplan and udev rules. We will explain each method in detail.

Quick Answer

To rename a network interface in Ubuntu 20.04, you can use either Netplan or udev rules. With Netplan, you can edit the configuration file and specify the new name for the interface. With udev rules, you can create a rule to rename the interface based on its MAC address. Both methods require some configuration and testing to ensure compatibility with your system.

Understanding Network Interfaces

Before we dive into the renaming process, it’s important to understand what network interfaces are. Network interfaces are the points of interconnection between a computer and a network. In Ubuntu, these interfaces are usually named eth0, eth1, etc., for wired connections, and wlan0, wlan1, etc., for wireless connections.

However, newer versions of Ubuntu use a different naming convention, such as enp2s0, which can be more difficult to remember. If you prefer the older naming style or want to use a custom name for your network interface, you can rename it using one of the following methods.

Method 1: Using Netplan

Netplan is a utility for easily configuring networking on a Linux system. You can use it to rename a network interface by following these steps:

  1. Open the Netplan configuration file. You can do this by running the following command in your terminal:
sudo nano /etc/netplan/50-cloud-init.yaml

This command uses sudo to run the command as the root user, nano to open the file in the nano text editor, and /etc/netplan/50-cloud-init.yaml is the path to the Netplan configuration file.

  1. Find the section for the network interface you want to rename. This will usually look something like this:
network:
 version: 2
 ethernets:
 enp2s0:
 dhcp4: true
  1. Add the set-name option under the match section. This should be the new name you want for your network interface. For example, if you want to rename enp2s0 to eth0, your configuration should look like this:
network:
 version: 2
 ethernets:
 enp2s0:
 dhcp4: true
 match:
 macaddress: <YOUR MAC ID HERE>
 set-name: eth0
  1. Save the file and exit the text editor. In nano, you can do this by pressing Ctrl+X, then Y to confirm saving the changes, and finally Enter to exit.
  2. Test the new configuration. Run the following command:
sudo netplan try

This command will check if the new configuration is correct. If there are no errors, it will ask you if you want to apply the new configuration.

  1. Apply the changes. If the test is successful, run the following command:
sudo netplan apply

This command will apply the new configuration.

Method 2: Using udev rules

udev is a device manager for the Linux kernel. You can create udev rules to rename your network interfaces as follows:

  1. Create a new udev rules file. Run the following command:
sudo nano /etc/udev/rules.d/10-rename-network.rules
  1. Add a rule to rename the network interface. The rule should look like this:
ACTION=="add", SUBSYSTEM=="net", ATTR{address}=="<MAC ADDRESS>", NAME="eth0"

Replace <MAC ADDRESS> with the MAC address of your network interface and eth0 with the new name you want for your network interface.

  1. Save the file and exit the text editor.
  2. Reload the udev rules. Run the following command:
sudo udevadm control --reload-rules
  1. Reboot your system. This is necessary for the changes to take effect.

Conclusion

Renaming network interfaces in Ubuntu 20.04 can be done using either Netplan or udev rules. Both methods are effective, but Netplan is generally easier to use and recommended for most users. Remember to test your configuration thoroughly after renaming your network interfaces to ensure compatibility with your software.

If you encounter any issues or need further assistance, feel free to ask for help on the Ubuntu Forums or Ask Ubuntu.

Can I rename any network interface in Ubuntu 20.04?

Yes, you can rename any network interface in Ubuntu 20.04 using either Netplan or udev rules.

Are there any limitations to renaming network interfaces?

There are no specific limitations to renaming network interfaces in Ubuntu 20.04. However, it’s important to ensure that the new name you choose does not conflict with any existing network interface names or cause compatibility issues with your software.

Can I revert the changes and restore the original network interface name?

Yes, you can revert the changes and restore the original network interface name. In Netplan, you can simply edit the configuration file and change the name back to the original. In udev rules, you can delete the rule you created and reboot your system to restore the original name.

Does renaming a network interface affect its functionality?

Renaming a network interface does not affect its functionality. The actual network interface remains the same, only the name is changed for easier identification or personal preference.

Can I rename both wired and wireless network interfaces?

Yes, you can rename both wired and wireless network interfaces using either Netplan or udev rules. The process is the same for both types of interfaces.

Can I rename multiple network interfaces?

Yes, you can rename multiple network interfaces using the same method. Simply repeat the steps for each interface you want to rename.

Are there any risks involved in renaming network interfaces?

Renaming network interfaces is generally a safe procedure. However, it’s important to carefully follow the instructions and double-check your configuration to avoid any errors or compatibility issues. It’s also recommended to test the new configuration thoroughly before applying it permanently.

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