Ubuntu Server 20.04 Set Static IP: A Comprehensive Guide

Introduction

Greetings, tech enthusiasts! Whether you are a seasoned system administrator or just starting your path in IT, you must have come across the need to configure an IP address at some point. In today’s article, we will be discussing the process of setting a static IP address on Ubuntu Server 20.04, a popular distribution in the Linux ecosystem. By the end of this guide, you will have a clear understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of using a static IP address as well as step-by-step instructions to configure it on your system. Let’s dive in!

What is an IP Address?

Before we proceed to the technical aspects of IP address configuration, let’s first understand what an IP address is. An IP address is a numerical label assigned to every device connected to a network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. It serves as a unique identifier for the device and enables data transfer between devices in the network.

Dynamic IP Address vs. Static IP Address

There are two types of IP addresses: dynamic and static. Dynamic IP addresses are automatically assigned by the router and change periodically. On the other hand, static IP addresses are manually assigned and remain constant over time.

Why Use a Static IP Address?

Static IP addresses have several advantages over dynamic IP addresses. Firstly, they provide a consistent IP address, which is useful for servers that need to be accessed remotely. Additionally, they allow for easier network management and can improve performance in some cases. However, it is important to note that static IP addresses require more configuration and can be less flexible than dynamic IP addresses.

Prerequisites

Before we start configuring the static IP address, there are a few prerequisites that we need to ensure are met:

Requirement
Description
Root Access
You must have root access or sudo privileges to modify the network configuration files.
Network Interface Name
You should know the name of the network interface you want to configure the static IP address for.
Gateway Address
You should know the IP address of the network gateway.
Netmask
You should know the netmask of the network you are connected to.
DNS Server Address
You should know the IP address of the DNS server to resolve domain names.

How to Set a Static IP Address on Ubuntu Server 20.04

Step 1: Find the Network Interface Name

The first step is to find the name of the network interface you want to configure. You can do this by running the following command:

ip link show

This will display a list of network interfaces on your system. Note down the name of the interface you want to configure the static IP address for. It is typically named “eth0” or “enp3s0”.

Step 2: Edit the Netplan Configuration File

Netplan is a tool used to configure the network settings in Ubuntu 20.04. To configure a static IP address, we need to edit the netplan configuration file. Run the following command to open the file in a text editor:

sudo nano /etc/netplan/00-installer-config.yaml

Once the file is open, you should see something like this:

network:version: 2ethernets:enp0s3:dhcp4: yes

To set a static IP address, we need to modify the file as follows:

network:version: 2ethernets:enp0s3:dhcp4: noaddresses: [192.168.1.100/24]gateway4: 192.168.1.1nameservers:addresses: [8.8.8.8, 8.8.4.4]

Explanation of the configuration parameters:

  • dhcp4: no – Disables DHCP and enables manual IP address configuration.
  • addresses: [192.168.1.100/24] – Sets the static IP address and netmask. Replace the IP address with the one you want to set and modify the netmask accordingly.
  • gateway4: 192.168.1.1 – Sets the gateway IP address. Replace the IP address with the gateway address of your network.
  • nameservers: – Sets the DNS server addresses.
  • addresses: [8.8.8.8, 8.8.4.4] – Sets the IP addresses of the DNS servers. Replace with the IP addresses of your DNS servers.

Save the file and exit the editor.

Step 3: Apply the Netplan Configuration

After modifying the netplan configuration file, we need to apply the changes using the following command:

sudo netplan apply

This will apply the new network configuration and set the static IP address.

Step 4: Verify the New IP Address

Finally, we need to verify that the new static IP address is set correctly. You can do this by running the following command:

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ip addr show

This will display the network interfaces and their corresponding IP addresses. Look for the interface you configured and verify that the IP address is set correctly.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Static IP Address

Advantages

1. Consistent IP Address

Static IP addresses provide a consistent IP address that does not change over time. This is useful for servers that need to be accessed remotely or for devices that need a permanent IP address.

2. Easier Network Management

Static IP addresses make it easier to manage the network as there are no changes to the IP address of devices over time. This can simplify troubleshooting and reduce network downtime.

3. Faster Performance

In some cases, static IP addresses can improve network performance as there is no delay in obtaining an IP address from the DHCP server.

Disadvantages

1. Requires More Configuration

Static IP addresses require more configuration than dynamic IP addresses as they need to be manually configured on each device.

2. Less Flexible

Static IP addresses are less flexible than dynamic IP addresses as they cannot be easily changed. This can be a disadvantage in situations where IP address mobility is required.

3. Potential for Address Conflicts

If multiple devices are given the same static IP address, there can be conflicts on the network, leading to connectivity issues.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I set a static IP address on a wireless network interface?

Yes, you can set a static IP address on a wireless network interface by following the same steps as for a wired network interface.

2. What is the default netmask for a Class C network?

The default netmask for a Class C network is 255.255.255.0.

3. What happens if I set a static IP address that conflicts with another device on the network?

If you set a static IP address that conflicts with another device on the network, there will be connectivity issues and potential network downtime. To avoid this, ensure that each device on the network has a unique IP address.

4. Can I use a domain name instead of an IP address for the gateway and DNS server addresses?

Yes, you can use domain names instead of IP addresses for the gateway and DNS server addresses. However, ensure that the domain names are resolvable by the DNS server.

5. How do I revert back to dynamic IP address configuration?

To revert back to dynamic IP address configuration, simply modify the netplan configuration file and set dhcp4: yes for the network interface you want to configure. Then, apply the changes using the netplan apply command.

6. Can I set a static IP address using the GUI?

Yes, you can set a static IP address using the GUI by navigating to the network settings and modifying the IP address settings for the network interface. However, using the CLI is generally faster and more efficient for system administrators.

7. What is the difference between a public IP address and a private IP address?

A public IP address is an IP address that is assigned by an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and is globally unique. A private IP address is an IP address that is reserved for use within a private network and is not globally unique.

8. How do I find the gateway address?

You can find the gateway address by running the following command:

ip route show | grep "default"

This will display the gateway IP address for the default route.

9. What is DHCP?

DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) is a protocol used to automatically assign IP addresses and other network configuration parameters to devices on a network. It simplifies network management by eliminating the need for manual IP address configuration.

10. What is netmask?

Netmask is a 32-bit number that is used to determine the network portion and host portion of an IP address. It is used to define the range of IP addresses that are available for use in a network.

11. What is DNS?

DNS (Domain Name System) is a system used to translate domain names into IP addresses. It allows users to access websites using a human-readable name instead of an IP address.

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12. What is a hostname?

A hostname is a label assigned to a device connected to a network that is used to identify the device. It is typically a string of characters that is assigned by the user or system administrator.

13. What is a network interface?

A network interface is a hardware or software component that provides access to a network. It allows devices to communicate with each other using the network protocol.

Conclusion

Congratulations, you have successfully learned how to set a static IP address on Ubuntu Server 20.04! We hope this guide has been informative and helpful in your network configuration journey. Remember, static IP addresses have their advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to choose the appropriate configuration for your use case. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave a comment below and let us know how we can improve this guide.

Take Action Now

Apply what you have learned and set a static IP address on your system using the steps outlined in this guide. Share this guide with your friends and colleagues who are interested in network configuration and help them improve their skills.

Closing Disclaimer

The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only. We do not take responsibility for any damage or loss of data caused by following the steps outlined in this guide. Use at your own risk.

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