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How can I get my own IP address and save it to a variable in a shell script?

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7 Answers 7

up vote 6 down vote accepted

It's not so easy if you want to take into account wlan and other alternative interfaces. If you know which interface you want the address for (e.g., eth0, the first Ethernet card), you can use this:

ip="$(ifconfig | grep -A 1 'eth0' | tail -1 | cut -d ':' -f 2 | cut -d ' ' -f 1)"

In other words, get me the network configuration information, look for eth0, get that line and the next one (-A 1), get only the last line, get the second part of that line when splitting with :, then get the first part of that when splitting with space.

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I added an additional grep to your code to ignore any interface with "eth0:" in it; this now works as I expect (giving only the "eth0" IP address and not any sub-interfaces (eth0:0, eth0:1, etc.): ip="$(ifconfig | grep -v 'eth0:' | grep -A 1 'eth0' | tail -1 | cut -d ':' -f 2 | cut -d ' ' -f 1)" –  user32250 Feb 12 '13 at 19:49
You can skip the first grep by using ifconfig eth0 –  Bryan Larsen Dec 1 '14 at 16:29

I believe the "modern tools" way to get your ipv4 address is to parse 'ip' rather than 'ifconfig', so it'd be something like:

ip=$(/sbin/ip -o -4 addr list eth0 | awk '{print $4}' | cut -d/ -f1)

or something like that.

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How common is /sbin/ip? I don't have it on any of my computers –  Michael Mrozek Mar 3 '11 at 15:03
ip is available on all the Red Hat and Fedora distros I've used. ip is part of the iproute2 package (linuxfoundation.org/collaborate/workgroups/networking/iproute2). ifconfig and route are supposedly deprecated, although they continue to be used by a lot of people, particularly in scripts. ip is much more parsable, in my opionion. –  jsbillings Mar 3 '11 at 15:13
ip is also available on all Debian and Debian based distros I've seen. It's part of the iproute package which is marked as important. –  Arrowmaster Mar 3 '11 at 23:43
I'm using an embeded system, and it don't have this command. But it's a nice way for the systems have the command. –  Tom Brito Mar 4 '11 at 12:57
This is absolutely how it should be done, I would downvote the other answers for their use of ifconfig. ip is part of the iproute2 package which is many a distro by default. It's in most good repos to. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iproute2 –  jwbensley Sep 15 '12 at 12:13

If you want the address of an interface, the easiest way is to install moreutils then:

anthony@Zia:~$ ifdata -pa br0

ifdata answers pretty much every question you'd be tempted to parse ifconfig output for.

If you want to find out your IP address as the outside sees it (beyond any NAT, etc.), there are plenty of services that'll do it. One is fairly easy:

anthony@Zia:~$ curl ifconfig.me
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Why not simply do IP=$(hostname -I) ?

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hostname -i gives me just, hostname -I gives me the correct IP-Adress... –  student Sep 15 '12 at 12:41
@student yes indeed, I have tested it on a machine that has can resolve its hostname, as the manpage says -i Display the network address(es) of the host name. Note that this works only if the host name can be resolved. Avoid using this option; use hostname --all-ip-addresses –  Andrei Sep 15 '12 at 12:49
How can I configure my machine to resolve its hostname? –  student Sep 15 '12 at 12:58
the easiest way is adding it to /etc/hosts, along with the corresponding IP address –  Andrei Sep 16 '12 at 10:06

I use this one-liner:

IP=$(/sbin/ifconfig | grep -e "inet:" -e "addr:" | grep -v "inet6" | grep -v "" | head -n 1 | awk '{print $2}' | cut -c6-)

Uses ifconfig (widely available), does not take localhost address, does not bind you to a given interface name, does not take into account IPv6 and tries to get the IP of the first network interface available.

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Depends what you mean by own IP address. Systems have IP addresses on several subnets (sometimes several per subnet), some of which IPv4, some IPv6 using devices like ethernet adapters, loopback interfaces, VPN tunnels, bridges, virtual interfaces...

I you mean the IP address by which another given device may reach your computer, you have to find out which subnet that is, and which version of IP we're talking about. Also, bear in mind that because of NAT performed by firewall/routers, the IP address of an interface may not be the same as a remote host sees an incoming connection from your computer coming from.

When there is fancy source routing or per protocol/port routing it can be difficult to find out which interface would be used to talk to one remote computer over a given protocol and even then, there's no guarantee that the IP address of that interface may be directly addressable by the remote computer wanting to establish a new connection to your computer.

For IPv4 (probably works for IPv6 as well), a trick that works in many unices including Linux to find out the IP address of the interface used to reach a given host is to use a connect(2) on a UDP socket and use getsockname():

For instance, on my home computer:

perl -MSocket -le 'socket(S, PF_INET, SOCK_DGRAM, getprotobyname("udp"));
connect(S, sockaddr_in(1, inet_aton("")));
print inet_ntoa((sockaddr_in(getsockname(S)))[1]);'

Would be used to find out the IP address of the interface via which I would reach (google's DNS server). It would return something like "" which is the address of the interface for the default route to the internet. However, google wouldn't see a DNS request from my machine as coming from that IP address which is a private one, as there's NAT performed by my home broadband router.

connect() on a UDP socket doesn't send any packet (UDP is connection-less), but prepares the socket by querying the routing table.

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I needed to do this within an alias to start a radio server on my wired NIC. I used

ip addr | egrep -i "inet.+eth1" | awk -F[\ /] '{print $6}' | tr -d [:space:]
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