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Python Ifconfig Wrapper for Unix/Linux/MacOSX

Project description

Ifcfg is a cross-platform (Windows/Unix) library for parsing ifconfig and ipconfig output in Python. It is useful for pulling information such as IP, Netmask, MAC Address, Hostname, etc.

A fallbacks to ip is included for newer Unix systems w/o ifconfig. Windows systems are supported (in English) through ipconfig.


import ifcfg
import json

for name, interface in ifcfg.interfaces().items():
    # do something with interface
    print interface['device']
    print interface['inet']         # First IPv4 found
    print interface['inet4']        # List of ips
    print interface['inet6']
    print interface['netmask']
    print interface['broadcast']

default = ifcfg.default_interface()

The output of ‘ifcfg.interfaces()’ dumped to JSON looks something like the following:

$ python -m ifcfg.cli | python -mjson.tool
    "eth0": {
        "broadcast": "",
        "ether": "00:0c:29:0c:da:5d",
        "flags": "4163<up,broadcast,running,multicast> ",
        "hostname": "derks-vm.local",
        "inet": "",
        "inet4": [""],
        "inet6": ["fe80::20c:29ff:fe0c:da5d"],
        "mtu": "1500",
        "name": "eth0",
        "netmask": "",
    "lo": {
        "ether": null,
        "flags": "73<up,loopback,running> ",
        "hostname": "localhost",
        "inet": "",
        "inet4": [""],
        "inet6": ["::1"],
        "mtu": "16436",
        "name": "lo",
        "netmask": "",
    "virbr0": {
        "broadcast": "",
        "ether": "52:54:00:5b:70:0d",
        "flags": "4099<up,broadcast,multicast> ",
        "hostname": "derks-vm.local",
        "inet": "",
        "inet4": [""],
        "inet6": [],
        "mtu": "1500",
        "name": "virbr0",
        "netmask": "",


To bootstrap development, use a Python virtual environment, and install the dev requirements:

# Install dev dependencies
pip install -r requirements_dev.txt
# Run tests locally
make test

You can also install tox and run the tests in a specific environment:

pip install tox
tox -e py27

Before commiting and opening PRs, ensure that you have pre-commit hooks running:

pip install pre-commit
pre-commit install

Release notes


  • Restore ip after regressions + add tests
  • Add MacOSX support for ip command


  • Support for multiple IPv4 addresses in the new ‘inet4’ field
  • Packaging cleanup


  • Support for bridged interface names #24


  • Replace Python 2 syntax #21


  • Further crashes on non-English Windows systems #17
  • Known issue: Localized non-English Windows parsing does not work #18


  • Fix encoding crashes on non-English Windows systems


After 6 beta releases, we move on from an idea that this is beta software and instead consider it to be stable – we will probably never actually keep up with all the various ways of detecting network properties for different systems. Anything that is incorrectly detected and can be updated, can also be implemented and shipped as a new patch release.

So let’s ship early, ship often instead.

This release seeks to clean up the codebase (sparingly!) and introduce Windows compatibility.

  • Add Windows compatible parsing of ipconfig output
  • Handle non-unicode terminals (Windows+Mac especially)
  • Removing ill-defined encoding keyword arg from ifcfg.get_parser
  • Removed no-op Linux Kernel 2.x parsing and kernel keyword arg
  • Removed class ifcfg.IfcfgParser, use UnixParser instead
  • All strings are UTF-8, also in Py 2.7
  • Only cross-platform features are now guaranteed to be in the result set: ['inet', 'ether', 'inet6', 'netmask']
  • IPv6 addresses are now stored in a list.
  • Removed prefixlen and scopeid, as they should be added for each IPv6 address, not the interface
  • Allow ifcfg to be imported despite whether or not the OS system is recognized.
  • Remove ifcfg.exc module
  • Fix some interface names containing :_- characters on Linux (Sergej Vasiljev)


  • Fixed encoding issues, preventing default_interface to be detected


  • Support for Unix systems w/o ifconfig, for instance newer Ubuntu/Debian
  • Refactored to use src/ hierarchy


The Ifcfg library is Open Source and is distributed under the BSD License (three clause). Please see the LICENSE file included with this software.

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