I'm trying to ping from a specific interface, I have a wired and a wireless connection both going into my laptop.

My wired adaptor eth0 is on the IP
My wifi adaptor wlan0 is on the IP

When I ping google with my eth0 unplugged with the following command:

conneco@mcr-pc-29334:~$ ping -I wlan0 www.google.co.uk
PING www.l.google.com ( from wlan0: 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=51 time=32.7 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=52 time=28.7 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=3 ttl=52 time=28.9 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=4 ttl=52 time=28.3 ms

It works fine as expected. I plug my eth0 cable in and run the same again:

conneco@mcr-pc-29334:~$ ping -I wlan0 www.google.co.uk
PING www.l.google.com ( from wlan0: 56(84) bytes of data.
From mcr-pc-29334.local ( icmp_seq=2 Destination Host Unreachable
From mcr-pc-29334.local ( icmp_seq=3 Destination Host Unreachable
From mcr-pc-29334.local ( icmp_seq=4 Destination Host Unreachable
From mcr-pc-29334.local ( icmp_seq=5 Destination Host Unreachable
From mcr-pc-29334.local ( icmp_seq=6 Destination Host Unreachable
From mcr-pc-29334.local ( icmp_seq=7 Destination Host Unreachable

By the output at the top it seems to send it from the eth0 (which at work won't be able to ping because it gets blocked), but the wifi is another link to a separate network where I'm on the net directly and therefore sending the ping request from the wlan0 should work. What's happening? How should I fix it?

  • 1
    In the future, if you want to move your post to a different SE site, just flag it for mod attention and tell them which site you want it moved to. I asked an SU mod to move yours; I'll merge this with that when they do (Edit: Looks like they just deleted it instead; oh well) Mar 28, 2011 at 14:30
  • No probs, sorry still finding my feet in *.exchange world
    – squareborg
    Mar 30, 2011 at 21:47

3 Answers 3


Probably, when pluging in the ethernet cable, your default route gateway changes by dhcp. You send packets from wlan0 but your system doesn't know who is the gateway to forward them to. This way you can only ping systems within 192.168.1 network but not further. If you want to get a reply from the google server, you'll have to either change the default gateway back to the wireless router, or add a specific route for this server.

route add -host gw # assuming is the wireless router's ip
  • makes sense to me thanks very much! ill try it out shortly
    – squareborg
    Mar 28, 2011 at 10:29

SystemWide, there can only be one default gateway and only one SystemWide routing table. Not exactly true, but good enough for this.

NicWide, there can be one default gateway per nic. Each nic can have its own individual routing table.

In short, become familar with ip route, ip rule and /etc/iproute2/rt_tables. Look at this "Two Default Routes" tutorial.



My example

# echo "203 T3" >> /etc/iproute2/rt_tables
# apt install -y sipcalc
WNET=$(sipcalc -I wlp2s0 | grep "Network address" | awk '{print $4}')
WBIT=$(sipcalc -I wlp2s0 | grep "Network mask (bits)" | awk '{print $5}')

ip route add default via $GW_WLAN table T3
ip route add $WLAN_NET via $GW_WLAN table T3
ip rule add from $WLAN_NET table T3

# Tests
ip rule list
ping -I enp3s0
ping -I wlp2s0
  • 2
    This is rather poor answer, because you don't explain what it does. Not all people are capable of reading scripts, and to be able to use your solution, one needs to know to edit some parts (or define the missing env variable GW_WLAN).
    – zagrimsan
    Aug 14, 2017 at 8:57
  • Please edit your answer and explain in details what you are doing and why it would solve the original issue. We should not accustom readers to copy and execute scripts blindly.
    – xhienne
    Aug 14, 2017 at 9:06

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .