Ubuntu – Change MAC Address in Ubuntu

Sometimes it is just necessary to change MAC address (also known as ethernet address, physical/arp/hardware address or even hwaddr) of network interface in Ubuntu.
It is far out of this post’s scope to list here all possible reasons of doing it so I just listed below several ways to change MAC address under Ubuntu Linux.
All of those ways require typing commands in terminal so open it in in Ubuntu menu.

In order to see all interfaces detected by your Ubuntu as well as their MAC addresses and hardware names type the following command:

sudo ip addr

Here is sample output:

1: lo:  mtu 16436 qdisc noqueue state UNKNOWN
    link/loopback 00:00:00:00:00:00 brd 00:00:00:00:00:00
    inet scope host lo
    inet6 ::1/128 scope host
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
2: eth0:  mtu 1500 qdisc pfifo_fast state DOWN qlen 1000
    link/ether 4c:22:d0:b8:78:ae brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
3: wlan0:  mtu 1500 qdisc mq state UP qlen 1000
    link/ether 00:19:7e:53:8c:a3 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
    inet brd scope global wlan0
    inet6 fe80::219:7eff:fe53:8ca3/64 scope link
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever

It shows three interfaces: lo, eth0 and wlan0 (these are hardware names of them). MAC or hardware address is shown in link/ether line, e.g. current MAC address of eth0 is 4c:22:d0:b8:78:ae.

Change MAC address in Ubuntu using ifconfig

sudo ifconfig eth0 down

sudo ifconfig eth0 hw ether 4c:22:d0:b8:78:ae

sudo ifconfig eth0 up

Where eth0 is hardware name if the interface and 4c:22:d0:b8:78:ae is desired MAC address for it.

Macchanger console utility

Install macchanger using command:

sudo aptitude install macchanger

Installed application makes it possible not only to change MAC address to defined one but also makes it possible:

Change MAC to random value
Apply MAC from list of vendors

For example to change MAC address of the interface to hardware address belonging to Linksys you can do the following:

macchanger --list=linksys

It will show that Linksys MAC addresses start with 00:0f:66. Now change MAC address of the interface:

sudo ifconfig eth0 down

sudo macchanger -m 00:0f:66:4e:16:88 eth0

sudo ifconfig eth0 up

You will see the following output in case of successful change of MAC address:

Current MAC: 4c:22:d0:b8:78:ae (unknown)
Faked MAC:   00:0f:66:4e:16:88 (Cisco-linksys)

Please notice that above mentioned ways to change MAC address in Ubuntu implies that normal hardware address will be restored once you rebooted.

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