Until recently, my network interfaces were always named eth{0..x} or wlan{0..x} depending on what type they were. However, now I see that I have em1 for the ethernet card and wlp3s0 for the wireless. Also, the interface name never used to change but it seems inconsistent now.

Why is this? How does Fedora and/or Linux name these interfaces? Is this a Fedora thing or a Linux in general thing?

2 Answers 2


This is a useful feature of systemd and affects all distributions that have switched (unless they specifically disable it).

For detailed information see here: Free desktop and Fedora Wiki

The TL;DR version is that the traditional names could be reassigned randomly (which was a headache for system administrators), and the new names will not change again once in place.

If you, like me, need to keep the old names for some reason (in my case a software license locked to the MAC address of precisely "eth0") then that can be done:

ln -s /dev/null /etc/udev/rules.d/80-net-setup-link.rules

(This according to both the Free Desktop site, linked above, and the Arch wiki. Other distros may vary.)


This is something related to Fedora only. From this link, I see this information.

This was as change to the naming scheme due to problems with figuring out what I/Fs were discrete cards vs the built-in interfaces on the motherboards.

From the answer to this question,

Embedded NICs are em1, em2 etc. they used to be eth0, eth1 before Fedora 15.

You might be able to change it according to this article.

  • 3
    This is not Fedora specific at all. It's related to systemd which is now being used on many distributions and many of them are adopting the systemd defaults. Jul 1, 2014 at 7:21

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