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Task-centered iproute2 manual

The ip command from the iproute2 package is now the Linux network management tool. Not only does it combine the functionality of the old ifconfig, vconfig, route, and other commands; it also supports networking features that the old tools still do not support. Some examples of missing functionality are multiple addresses on the same interface, policy-based routing, VRFs, and more.

A major issue with the iproute2 package is its documentation. The man pages are extremely terse: only basic descriptions of the options, and almost no examples. While for an experienced user, this level of documentation is enough, for most novice users, it is not. Many users continue using ifconfig out of habit and familiarity, and ultimately miss out on the powerful features of the ip tool.

Historically, community-maintained documentation such as http://policyrouting.org/iproute2-toc.html and https://www.lartc.org/howto/ filled the documentation void. Unfortunately, most of those documents have not been actively expanded since early or mid 2000s and are woefully out of date. Because of this, they are missing many valuable and exciting new features. Finally, many of these documentation projects were never released under a free license, which makes them almost impossible to fork and maintain if the original maintainers abandon them.

This document aims to provide a comprehensive, easy to use, free (as in freedom) guide to iproute2.

Originally this was named "iproute2 cheatsheet", but was renamed to "Task-centered iproute2 manual" as the size and scope expanded.

Primary location and mirroring

The original and primary location of the document is https://baturin.org/docs/iproute2/

The page is bundled with all the JS, CSS, and images, so it's easy to mirror or save for local use.

Contributing

Patches are always welcome. If you want to fix a typo, improve grammar or wording, or document a previously undocumented feature, please open a pull request or email me a patch (use git format-patch please!).

The content source is in site/index.md.

The document is licensed under CC-BY-SA 4.0.

Contributing guidelines

Please use HTML headings with id attributes. Do not use Markdown headings. In other words, use <h3 id="ip-link-frobnicate">Frobnicate a link</h3> rather than ### Frobnicate a link.

This enables deep links to document sections to live a long time, even if heading text is reworded. People are sharing deep links to this page, so let's keep those links permanent.

Building

The manual page is built with soupault website generator/HTML processor.

This is how to build the page:

  • Install soupault and cmark on your system.
  • Run soupault in the project directory.
  • Find the generated page in build/index.html

This is what happens during the build process:

  • site/index.md is converted to HTML and inserted in the <main> element of templates/main.html.
  • A table of contents is generated from the page headings (soupault's built-in functionality).
  • The table of contents <ul> is converted to a foldable "tree" of HTML5 <details> elements using the plugins/collapsible-list.lua plugin.
  • CSS stylesheet and images are inlined using the plugins/inline-assets.lua plugin.
  • Last modification date is extracted from the git commit history and inserted into the page, using the plugins/git-timestamp.lua plugin.
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