Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 provides consistent network device naming for network interfaces. This feature changes the name of network interfaces on a system in order to make locating and differentiating the interfaces easier.
Traditionally, network interfaces in Linux are enumerated as
, but these names do not necessarily correspond to actual labels on the chassis. Modern server platforms with multiple network adapters can encounter non-deterministic and counter-intuitive naming of these interfaces. This affects both network adapters embedded on the motherboard (Lan-on-Motherboard
, or LOM
) and add-in (single and multiport) adapters.
The new naming convention assigns names to network interfaces based on their physical location, whether embedded or in PCI slots. By converting to this naming convention, system administrators will no longer have to guess at the physical location of a network port, or modify each system to rename them into some consistent order.
This feature, implemented via the biosdevname
program, will change the name of all embedded network interfaces, PCI card network interfaces, and virtual function network interfaces from the existing
to the new naming convention as shown in Table A.1, “The new naming convention”
Table A.1. The new naming convention
| Device || Old Name || New Name |
| Embedded network interface (LOM) || |
| PCI card network interface || |
| Virtual function || |
p<slot>p<ethernet port>_<virtual interface>
System administrators may continue to write rules in
/etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules to change the device names to anything desired; those will take precedence over this physical location naming convention.
Consistent network device naming is enabled by default for a set of
systems. For more details regarding the impact on Dell systems, visit https://access.redhat.com/kb/docs/DOC-47318
Regardless of the type of system, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 guests running under Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 hosts will not have devices renamed, since the virtual machine BIOS does not provide SMBIOS information. Upgrades from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0 to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.1 are unaffected, and the old
eth[0123…] naming convention will continue to be used.