What is ifconfig

ifconfig is a commandline tool used to display IP address information. It is used to configure network interfaces and to troubleshoot network connectivity issues.

ifconfig usage

The most simple usage is to execute the command without any arguments. It will output the statuses of all currently active interfaces.

Output can be limited to just one interface by specifying its name as the command argument.

ifconfig en0

In order to display information about all the network interfaces including the ones which are currently down:

ifconfig -a

In order to display detailed information about a network interface, a v option should be used:

ifconfig -v en0

In order to shut down a network interface:

ifconfig down en0

In order to activate a network interface:

ifconfig up en0

In order to assign a static IP address, the network interface should be shut down, IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway entered manually and then the network interface should be activated back again.

ifconfig is considered officially deprecated, ip command should be used insted.