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Configuring Network Interfaces… January 31, 2006

Posted by Carthik in ubuntu.

If your laptop takes too long to configure network interfaces, especially when you are not on an network, you can stop it from waiting by hitting Ctrl+C. This will cause this step to be skipped.

On a more permanent basis, you can modify the amount of time your computer waits for network configuration as follows:

Edit /etc/dhcp3/dhclient.conf

Edit the line that says:
#timeout 60
to read
timeout 20

Now your laptop will only try for 20 seconds to configure the network interfaces. 20 seconds is ample time for my laptop’s network interfaces to get configured. (I actually use nm-applet, but that is another story…)

If you want to disable the configuration of the ethernet network interface (eth0) at startup, edit “/etc/network/interfaces” and comment out the line “auto eth0“. You will have to bring up eth0 manually later, by doing $sudo ifup eth0 whenever you are plugged into the network.


1. peekj - January 31, 2006

Good tip, thanks!

2. benplaut - February 1, 2006

I’ve written a little script that connects you to networks (so you can skip network interfaces completely, for instance) with the syntax of

wifiscript Essid keykeykey

if anyone wants it, drop an email to bplaut [at] gmail

3. neurol23 - February 1, 2006

don’t you know about some program for linux, that will connect notebook to one of predefined wifi networks, when such network becomes available?

4. neurol23 - February 1, 2006

i realized, that you’ve already written about one a few posts ago 😉 so thanks 😉

5. Nipoc333 - February 5, 2006

thanks loads for that

6. Yawar - February 7, 2006

Awesome tip! Three years I’ve been using Linux and now I find out about this. Sheesh! 🙂

7. Keuken advies - February 9, 2006

I’m just having problems installing my nic. But when done I’ll it’s a great trick

8. tors - February 16, 2006

If you don’t manually want to bring eth0 up you can install the daemon ifplugd which will do it automatically when the cable is inserted.

9. skanchi - March 29, 2006

the network administration tool from ubuntu (Breedy Badger) does n’t seem to manage profiles properly.
i have setup two profiles. one as ‘home’ and other as ‘office’
but i find later that both the profiles point to ‘home’ configuration
i.e, ‘office’ profile is overwritten.
so that i need to make a re-entry for office configuration

is this so, or i am doing some thing wrong here

10. zvacet - March 29, 2006

I am not able to make internet conection with Ubuntu.I tried everything,but still…Please give me some answer.to this .

11. skanchi - March 31, 2006

check DNS entries

12. Francesco - April 5, 2006

wow… cool trick. I was really bored of having my linux box so slow during the boot process when I wasn’t connected.

13. Prudhviraju Kakani - September 30, 2006

Recently I have changed my os to linux ubuntu . while I am connecting to net it is saying fire fox is not permitting . will you please explain how to configure with bsnl broad band to net.

14. Martins Blog » Blog Archive » Asus A8JP - voll Linux-taugliches Notebook (!?) - March 6, 2007

[…] Wenn der Laptop hochfährt hängt er erst einmal bei der Netzwerkkonfiguration fest. Das liegt an den Interna von /etc/init.d/networking. Abhilfe schafft, die Timeout-Zeiten für den DHCP-Client herabzusetzen, die der Hauptgrund für die Verzögerung sind. Genaure Infos gibt es bei Carthiks  Ubuntu Blog. […]

15. makumba - September 15, 2007

doesn’t work for me

16. Piroz - December 16, 2007


When I press sudo ifup eth0 to activate the network it is displaying as

ifup: could;nt read interface file “/etc/network/interfaces” what could be the problem

17. GG - March 26, 2008

I setup ubuntu 7.10 on virtual box.
i cant ping out to any machine. why?
sombody help me.
all is still default.
but changes to ip address.
is theres anyone encountered that kind of problem

18. Ben Pashkoff - August 13, 2008

Go look in vbox documentation. The vbox networking does not pass UDP- ping will not work.

19. black jack - October 11, 2008

black jack…

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20. 888 internet 21bj - November 9, 2008

888 internet 21bj…

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21. Master Rahul - February 15, 2009

I was facing this problem when I last upgraded my Ubuntu 8.10 from Ubuntu 8.04. The above solution worked for me.
One more thing; you can put comment ; by putting # at the beginning of the line (for those who are newbie 🙂 )

22. porno sikiş - September 27, 2010

i realized, that you’ve already written about one a few posts ago 😉 so thanks 😉

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