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I am running Solaris 11.1 (in a VM) and have two NICs installed.

At a root console, if I type dladm show-phys, it lists net0 and net1 and some info for each.

I want to name the links more descriptively, as the networking setup in this VM will likely be changed later. So, at the root console I enter:

dladm rename-link net1 sandirect

This yields the error:

dladm: rename operation failed: invalid argument

Why can't I rename the link?

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(Just figured this out before submitting the question.)

sandirect is not a valid link name. It is required that links are named with a numeric suffix. So, for instance, the following will work instead:

dladm rename-link net1 sandirect0
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