14.2.4. Alias and Clone Files

14.2.4. Alias and Clone Files

Two lesser-used types of interface configuration files are alias and clone files.

Alias interface configuration files, which are used to bind multiple addresses to a single interface, use the ifcfg-<if-name>:<alias-value> naming scheme.

For example, an ifcfg-eth0:0 file could be configured to specify DEVICE=eth0:0 and a static IP address of, serving as an alias of an Ethernet interface already configured to receive its IP information via DHCP in ifcfg-eth0. Under this configuration, eth0 is bound to a dynamic IP address, but the same physical network card can receive requests via the fixed, IP address.


Alias interfaces do not support DHCP.

A clone interface configuration file should use the following naming convention: ifcfg-<if-name>-<clone-name>. While an alias file allows multiple addresses for an existing interface, a clone file is used to specify additional options for an interface. For example, a standard DHCP Ethernet interface called eth0, may look similar to this:


Since the default value for the USERCTL directive is no if it is not specified, users cannot bring this interface up and down. To give users the ability to control the interface, create a clone by copying ifcfg-eth0 to ifcfg-eth0-user and add the following line to ifcfg-eth0-user:


This way a user can bring up the eth0 interface using the /sbin/ifup eth0-user command because the configuration options from ifcfg-eth0 and ifcfg-eth0-user are combined. While this is a very basic example, this method can be used with a variety of options and interfaces.

The easiest way to create alias and clone interface configuration files is to use the graphical Network Administration Tool. For more information on using this tool, refer to Chapter 15, Network Configuration.

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