TCP/IP Configuration Utilities (ipconfig, winipcfg and ifconfig)
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A significant part of any network administrators job is setting up and maintaining the devices that make a TCP/IP network function, a process generally called configuration. Networked hosts consist of both hardware and software that work together to implement all the layers and functions of the protocol stack. An administrator uses hardware tools to configure physical devices, performing tasks such as installing network interface cards, connecting cables, and manipulating switches and other hardware settings. Similarly, tools are required to configure the software that runs TCP/IP interfaces and controls the operation of higher-layer protocols on networked hosts.
On UNIX systems, the interface configuration utility, ifconfig, is used to view and modify the software settings that control how TCP/IP functions on a host. It is a very powerful program that allows an administrator to set up and manage a very wide array of network settings. The implementation of ifconfig varies greatly even between flavors of UNIXwhile most are similar in general terms, they may have rather different options and syntaxes.
The ifconfig program can be used for a variety of purposes: to create or remove a network interface, change its settings, or simply examine the existing configuration. Thus, like the netstat utility, ifconfig is really like several related programs combined into one, with the particular mode in which the program is used depending on the syntax used to invoke it. And also like netstat, ifconfig has a number of universal options that can be applied to many of its different uses.
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Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005
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