Basic Networking Setup

Required Information

To enable networking, you must configure your network interface card or cards with an IP address and netmask. The kernel must have support for your cards compiled in, either as modular support or direct support. If you don't have kernel support read the sections about the kernel and how to compile it. To set your cards up, do the following. In my example my network is, IP=, broadcast=, netmask=, gateway-, nameserver=
  1. Determine your machines IP address from your network administrator
  2. Your network mask. This determines which portion of the IP address specifies the subnetwork number and which portion specifies the host.
Class C (most networks)
Class B

  1. Your network address which is your IP address bit wise anded with the network mask.
Ex: IP:


Net Addr::
  1. Your broadcast address. Used to broadcast packets to every machine on your subnet.
Ex: IP:


Net Addr:
  1. Your gateway address. The address of the machine that is your gateway to the outside world.
    In many cases: Ex: IP: Gateway:
  2. Your nameserver address. Translates host names into IP addresses.

Configuration tools

There are many network configuration tools today. They are:

A GUI interactive interface available on Redhat 6.1

A GUI interactive interface available on Redhat 6.1 which includes netconf configuration.

A GUI step by step interface

A text based program to configure the network interface. Type "man ifconfig" for info.
These programs will modify values in the following files:
  • /etc/sysconfig/network - Defines your network and some of its characteristics.
  • /etc/HOSTNAME - Shows the host name of this host. IF your name is "myhost" then that is exactly the text this file will contain.
  • /etc/resolv.conf - Specifies the domain to be searched for host names to connect to, the nameserver address, and the search order for the nameservers.
  • /etc/host.conf - Specifies the order nameservice looks to resolve names.
  • /etc/hosts - Shows addresses and names of local hosts.
  • /etc/networks - Provides a database of network names with network addresses similar to the /etc/hosts file. This file is not required for operation. 


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