I need to find my external IP address from a shell script. At the moment I use this function:

myip () {
    lwp-request -o text checkip.dyndns.org | awk '{ print $NF }'

But it relies on perl-libwww, perl-html-format, and perl-html-tree being installed.

What other ways can I get my external IP?

  • 10
    What do you mean by the external IP? The two answers so far use HTTP. The response may end up being the IP of your ISP's proxy server. (Which may be what you want.)
    – billpg
    Commented Oct 14, 2011 at 17:21
  • @billpg: I mean the IP of the NAT router Commented Oct 14, 2011 at 20:09
  • 1
    @billpg ipcheckit.com Commented Oct 14, 2011 at 22:48
  • 1
    checkip.amazonaws.com use this from well known provider Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 18:29
  • 1
    Sites like ifconfig.co can also offer you more information, such as getting your geo-location and ISP name. Try curl ifconfig.co/json
    – dhr_p
    Commented Mar 21, 2021 at 16:53

27 Answers 27


I'd recommend getting it directly from a DNS server.

Most of the other answers below all involve going over HTTP to a remote server. Some of them required parsing of the output, or relied on the User-Agent header to make the server respond in plain text. Those change quite frequently (go down, change their name, put up ads, might change output format etc.).

  1. The DNS response protocol is standardised (the format will stay compatible).
  2. Historically, DNS services (Akamai, Google Public DNS, OpenDNS, ..) tend to survive much longer and are more stable, more scalable, and generally more looked-after than whatever new hip whatismyip dot-com HTTP service is hot today.
  3. This method is inherently faster (be it only by a few milliseconds!).

Using dig with an OpenDNS resolver:

$ dig @resolver4.opendns.com myip.opendns.com +short

Perhaps alias it in your bashrc so it's easy to remember

# https://unix.stackexchange.com/a/81699/37512
alias wanip='dig @resolver4.opendns.com myip.opendns.com +short' 
alias wanip4='dig @resolver4.opendns.com myip.opendns.com +short -4'
alias wanip6='dig @resolver1.ipv6-sandbox.opendns.com AAAA myip.opendns.com +short -6'

Responds with a plain ip address:

$ wanip # wanip4, or wanip6 # or, 2606:4700:4700::1111


(Abbreviated from https://ss64.com/bash/dig.html):

usage:  dig [@global-dnsserver] [q-type] <hostname> <d-opt> [q-opt]

    q-type   one of (A, ANY, AAAA, TXT, MX, ...). Default: A.

    d-opt    ...
             +[no]short          (Display nothing except short form of answer)

    q-opt    one of:
             -4                  (use IPv4 query transport only)
             -6                  (use IPv6 query transport only)

The ANY query type returns either an AAAA or an A record. To prefer IPv4 or IPv6 connection specifically, use the -4 or -6 options accordingly.

To require the response be an IPv4 address, replace ANY with A; for IPv6, replace it with AAAA. Note that it can only return the address used for the connection. For example, when connecting over IPv6, it cannot return the A address.

Alternative servers

Various DNS providers offer this service, including OpenDNS, Akamai, and Google Public DNS:

# OpenDNS (since 2009)
$ dig @resolver3.opendns.com myip.opendns.com +short
$ dig @resolver4.opendns.com myip.opendns.com +short

# OpenDNS IPv6
$ dig @resolver1.ipv6-sandbox.opendns.com AAAA myip.opendns.com +short -6

# Akamai (since 2009)
$ dig @ns1-1.akamaitech.net ANY whoami.akamai.net +short

# Akamai approximate
# NOTE: This returns only an approximate IP from your block,
# but has the benefit of working with private DNS proxies.
$ dig +short TXT whoami.ds.akahelp.net
"ip" ""

# Google (since 2010)
# Supports IPv6 + IPv4, use -4 or -6 to force one.
$ dig @ns1.google.com TXT o-o.myaddr.l.google.com +short

Example alias that specifically requests an IPv4 address:

# https://unix.stackexchange.com/a/81699/37512
alias wanip4='dig @resolver4.opendns.com myip.opendns.com +short -4'

$ wanip4

And for your IPv6 address:

# https://unix.stackexchange.com/a/81699/37512
alias wanip6='dig @ns1.google.com TXT o-o.myaddr.l.google.com +short -6'

$ wanip6


If the command is not working for some reason, there may be a network problem. Try one of the alternatives above first.

If you suspect a different issue (with the upstream provider, the command-line tool, or something else) then run the command without the +short option to reveal the details of the DNS query. For example:

$ dig @resolver4.opendns.com myip.opendns.com

;; Got answer: ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR

;myip.opendns.com.      IN  A

myip.opendns.com.   0   IN  A

;; Query time: 4 msec
  • 21
    you are right it's too fast.. Commented Jul 9, 2013 at 16:24
  • 5
    @Krinkle that's an excellent answer. Is there an equivalent for myip.opendns.com in Googles Public DNS ? Commented Oct 26, 2014 at 5:11
  • 16
    I found this to be ~19x faster than curl http://canhazip.com. See askubuntu.com/a/427092/2273 Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 21:09
  • 4
    Love this clean / no dependencies approach much better than all other proposals, unless you're bound to port 80 Commented Mar 14, 2015 at 15:27
  • 6
    Please note that in some cases the routers that provide NAT will also translate DNS responses (you can take a look at wiki.nil.com/Network_address_translation_of_DNS_responses); in this case you should fallback to some answer that recommends other approach than DNS. Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 16:20

NOTE: This is about external IP address (the one that the servers on the Internet see when you connect to them) - if you want internal IP address (the one that your own computer is using for connections, which may be different) see this answer.

TL;DR - Fastest methods in 2015

The fastest method using DNS:

dig +short myip.opendns.com @resolver4.opendns.com

or using externalip:

externalip dns

The fastest using HTTP:

curl -s http://whatismyip.akamai.com/

or using externalip:

externalip http

The fastest using HTTPS with a valid cert:

curl -s https://4.ifcfg.me/

or using externalip:

externalip https

Using telnet:

With nc command:

nc 4.ifcfg.me 23 | grep IPv4 | cut -d' ' -f4

or using externalip:

externalip telnet

With telnet command:

telnet 4.ifcfg.me 2>&1 | grep IPv4 | cut -d' ' -f4

Using FTP:

echo close | ftp 4.ifcfg.me | awk '{print $4; exit}'

or using externalip:

externalip ftp

All of the above can be run using my externalip script as:

externalip dns
externalip http
externalip https
externalip telnet
externalip ftp

Now a long story...

There are a lot of options of different servers providing the external IP especially via HTTP posted here or elsewhere.

I made a benchmark to see if any of them are better than the others and I was surprised by the results. E.g. one of the most widely recommended ifconfig.me was almost always the slowest for me, sometimes taking many seconds to respond. Many don't work over HTTPS, or do work but have invalid certificates. Some have very inconsistent response times.



This is the source of my externalip-benchmark script that I used:

You can run it yourself to see which services mentioned here are worth using:

wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/rsp/scripts/master/externalip-benchmark
chmod a+x externalip-benchmark

My results that I got on 2015-04-03 from Warsaw - the addresses have been changed to protect the innocent:

Best http response times:

0.086s http://ip.tyk.nu/ - answer=''
0.089s http://whatismyip.akamai.com/ - answer=''
0.091s http://tnx.nl/ip - answer=''
0.117s http://ifcfg.me/ - answer=''
0.156s http://l2.io/ip - answer=''
0.317s http://ip.appspot.com/ - answer=''
0.336s http://ident.me/ - answer=''
0.338s http://ipof.in/txt - answer=''
0.347s http://icanhazip.com/ - answer=''
0.496s http://curlmyip.com/ - answer=''
0.527s http://wgetip.com/ - answer=''
0.548s http://curlmyip.com/ - answer=''
0.665s http://bot.whatismyipaddress.com/ - answer=''
0.665s http://eth0.me/ - answer=''
1.041s http://ifconfig.me/ - answer=''
1.049s http://corz.org/ip - answer=''
1.598s http://ipecho.net/plain - answer=''

Best https response times:

0.028s https://curlmyip.com/ - answer=''
0.028s https://curlmyip.com/ - answer=''
0.029s https://l2.io/ip - answer=''
0.029s https://tnx.nl/ip - answer=''
0.072s https://whatismyip.akamai.com/ - answer=''
0.113s https://ipecho.net/plain - answer=''
0.117s https://ident.me/ - answer=''
0.207s https://ip.tyk.nu/ - answer=''
0.214s https://ipof.in/txt - answer=''
0.259s https://ifcfg.me/ - answer=''
0.289s https://corz.org/ip - answer=''
0.436s https://ip.appspot.com/ - answer=''
0.448s https://bot.whatismyipaddress.com/ - answer=''
0.454s https://eth0.me/ - answer=''
0.673s https://icanhazip.com/ - answer=''
5.255s https://ifconfig.me/ - answer=''
10.000s https://wgetip.com/ - answer=''

(Note: there are some fast responses with empty content - those are invalid.)

Best average ping times:

10.210 //whatismyip.akamai.com/
36.820 //tnx.nl/ip
37.169 //ip.tyk.nu/
39.412 //ipof.in/txt
40.967 //ident.me/
41.257 //ipecho.net/plain
43.918 //ifcfg.me/
45.720 //l2.io/ip
64.749 //ip.appspot.com/
123.412 //corz.org/ip
134.245 //wgetip.com/
157.997 //icanhazip.com/
161.613 //curlmyip.com/
162.100 //curlmyip.com/
268.734 //ifconfig.me/
999999 //bot.whatismyipaddress.com/
999999 //eth0.me/

Here are the results that I got on 2015-04-03 from Amsterdam:

Best http response times:

0.021s http://ipecho.net/plain - answer=''
0.027s http://tnx.nl/ip - answer=''
0.035s http://whatismyip.akamai.com/ - answer=''
0.039s http://ifcfg.me/ - answer=''
0.045s http://l2.io/ip - answer=''
0.142s http://ident.me/ - answer=''
0.144s http://ipof.in/txt - answer=''
0.150s http://ip.appspot.com/ - answer=''
0.150s http://ip.tyk.nu/ - answer=''
0.170s http://icanhazip.com/ - answer=''
0.190s http://eth0.me/ - answer=''
0.191s http://wgetip.com/ - answer=''
0.301s http://curlmyip.com/ - answer=''
0.330s http://bot.whatismyipaddress.com/ - answer=''
0.343s http://curlmyip.com/ - answer=''
0.485s http://corz.org/ip - answer=''
3.549s http://ifconfig.me/ - answer=''

Best https response times:

0.004s https://curlmyip.com/ - answer=''
0.012s https://curlmyip.com/ - answer=''
0.012s https://tnx.nl/ip - answer=''
0.016s https://ipecho.net/plain - answer=''
0.071s https://whatismyip.akamai.com/ - answer=''
0.096s https://ifcfg.me/ - answer=''
0.097s https://ident.me/ - answer=''
0.187s https://corz.org/ip - answer=''
0.187s https://ip.appspot.com/ - answer=''
0.189s https://ip.tyk.nu/ - answer=''
0.195s https://eth0.me/ - answer=''
0.253s https://l2.io/ip - answer=''
0.300s https://ipof.in/txt - answer=''
0.324s https://bot.whatismyipaddress.com/ - answer=''
0.512s https://icanhazip.com/ - answer=''
1.272s https://ifconfig.me/ - answer=''
10.002s https://wgetip.com/ - answer=''

Best average ping times:

1.020 //ipecho.net/plain
1.087 //whatismyip.akamai.com/
5.011 //ip.appspot.com/
6.942 //ident.me/
7.017 //ipof.in/txt
8.209 //tnx.nl/ip
11.343 //ip.tyk.nu/
12.647 //ifcfg.me/
13.828 //l2.io/ip
81.642 //icanhazip.com/
85.447 //wgetip.com/
91.473 //corz.org/ip
102.569 //curlmyip.com/
102.627 //curlmyip.com/
247.052 //ifconfig.me/
999999 //bot.whatismyipaddress.com/
999999 //eth0.me/

(The 999999 pings mean 100% packet loss.)


For a comparison here are times that other methods take - tested on 2015-06-16 from Warsaw and Amsterdam.


time dig +short myip.opendns.com @resolver1.opendns.com

usually takes (real wall clock time) about:

  • 0.035s from Warsaw
  • 0.015s from Amsterdam

There are actually four resolvers that can be used this way:

  • resolver1.opendns.com
  • resolver2.opendns.com
  • resolver3.opendns.com
  • resolver4.opendns.com

They all give the same response times in Warsaw and Amsterdam but this may not be the case in other locations.

Using - the IP of resolver1.opendns.com instead of its domain name is faster:

  • 0.023s from Warsaw
  • 0.009s from Amsterdam

but may not work in the future if the IP ever changes (though it may be unlikely for a well known DNS resolver - maybe I should use the IP in my externalip script - please comment).


Telnet with nc or telnet command (see above) usually takes:

  • 0.103s from Warsaw
  • 0.035s from Amsterdam

(There is no noticeable difference between nc and telnet commands.)


  • 0.104s from Warsaw
  • 0.036s from Amsterdam

Domain names

All of the methods will be faster (especially when run for the first time) when IP addresses will be used instead of the domain names of the given services (except with HTTP that can use host-based virtual servers and not work with bare IP - not tested) but will stop working when the services change the IP address so it may be faster but less future-proof.


If you see some interesting results from your location, or if you think that some other hosts should be recommended instead of those that I've chosen, please post a comment. If there is any important service missing, please comment or post an issue on GitHub. I'd like to keep this post updated with a current choice of best-performing services.

  • 2
    Did you benchmark the myip.opendns.com DNS method as in Krinkle's answer? Currently it seems that it's winner-by-default due to being unaware of any other providers for this method, but it would still be useful to compare with the other methods. Commented Apr 29, 2015 at 8:16
  • @JamesHaigh Thanks for the suggestion. I added DNS and other methods (telnet, ftp) to the answer. The fastest method seems to be DNS using directly the IP address (instead of the domain name) of the resolver.
    – rsp
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 15:13
  • You should add/test canhazip.com / canhazip.com as well (HTTP and HTTPS).
    – xxdesmus
    Commented Aug 22, 2015 at 16:15
  • You can add myip.addr.space to your list. I built this myself as I wasn't particularly satisfied with any of the others I had seen at the time. Commented May 7, 2016 at 4:07
  • Sometimes I get different results using dig +short myip.opendns.com @resolver1.opendns.com (, dig -4 @ns1-1.akamaitech.net -t a whoami.akamai.net +short (, and curl http://canhazip.com ( How can I decide which one is correct?
    – Sutandiono
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 3:10
 curl -s http://whatismijnip.nl |cut -d " " -f 5

Replaced site with dutch working one.

  • 2
    @MaciekSawicki Is the -s option really necessary in this case? I tried with/without it in my fedora 15 - bash 4.2.10(1) and it worked in both ways.
    – ztank1013
    Commented Oct 15, 2011 at 14:05
  • 4
    Doesn't seem to work anymore via CLI, but going to the webpage from a web browser works. I'm using openSUSE 12.1 x64.
    – SaultDon
    Commented Aug 16, 2012 at 16:13
  • 5
    whatismyip.com has removed the free service to check external IP. So, I'm afraid this is no longer correct. icanhazip.com still works.
    – daSong
    Commented Jan 17, 2013 at 10:20
  • @daSong Don't you mean whatismyip.org?
    – Cory Klein
    Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 19:30
  • Some alternatives: curl ifconfig.me, curl icanhazip.com, curl ipecho.net/plain, curl ifconfig.co, but remember that using this for automation is highly insecure (the owners of these sites can always change the output later in the future without you knowing), so use the dig method instead if you can.
    – Mahn
    Commented Jan 8, 2020 at 18:25

Since whatsmyip.org and ifconfig.me have already been mentioned:

curl -s icanhazip.com
  • 4
    Another one: ip.appspot.com or ip.appspot.com
    – Lekensteyn
    Commented Nov 9, 2011 at 8:31
  • 1
    These two support IPv6.
    – Josh Lee
    Commented Oct 8, 2012 at 17:31
  • 1
    @JoshLee, note that icanhazip also supports ipv6. Also, a note to the OP, all these curl solutions (though valid) still depend on an external library (libcurl).
    – HalosGhost
    Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 2:51
  • Another one: ifcfg.me
    – Eun
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 14:04

Amazon AWS

curl https://checkip.amazonaws.com

Sample output:

Also works on browser: http://checkip.amazonaws.com

I like it because:

  • it returns just the plaintext IP in the reply body, nothing else
  • it is from a well known provider which is unlikely to go offline anytime soon

You can use ifconfig.me as alternative to whatismyip.org.

curl -s http://ifconfig.me

Also ifconfig.me has some additional functional. To find out what else information you can receive visit the website.

  • 5
    It is extremely slow. I often get response times over 30 seconds, sometimes even over a minute! Sometimes it's half a second (which is still a lot), and then it's 15 seconds or so. This is tested from different locations. See my answer for more info and benchmarks.
    – rsp
    Commented Apr 3, 2015 at 4:12
wget -O - -q http://whatismyip.org/
  • 3
    I was not able to get my IP like this, just gives it as:<img src='ipimg.php'/>
    – Yuugian
    Commented Apr 4, 2013 at 13:38
  • Got it working with some decent lot of regex magic, but it wasn't easy. Should you insist on using this service, be sure to wrap that line into a script: $ curl -s http://whatismyip.org | grep -o '\([[:digit:]]\{1,3\}\.\)\{3\}[[:digit:]]\{1,3\}' Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 2:40
  • In 2023, this returns 403 Forbidden.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Apr 1, 2023 at 7:48
netcat icanhazip.com 80 <<< $'GET / HTTP/1.1\nHost: icanhazip.com\n\n' | tail -n1
  • Blank output here, although the site works. Any idea why? I am behind a proxy, if that's relevant, but wget icanhazip.com works.
    – l0b0
    Commented Apr 4, 2013 at 11:23
  • @l0b0 Try to omit the | tail -n1 part and see what you get from the proxy Commented Apr 4, 2013 at 13:18
  • Nothing, just exit code 1. Ditto for netcat icanhazip.com 80. Looks like it ignores $http_proxy and friends, because specifying the proxy and port with -x just resulted in a hanging process.
    – l0b0
    Commented Apr 4, 2013 at 14:05
  • @l0b0: netcat proxy 3128 <<<$'GET http://icanhazip.com/ HTTP/1.0\n\n' | tail -n 1 for a basic HTTP proxy (assuming it's running on port 3128). You will obviously get the IP address of the proxy back, though.
    – tripleee
    Commented Jul 4, 2013 at 4:07
  • 1
    HTTP 1.0 does not have the Host: request header - name-based virtual hosting was one of the major improvements in HTTP 1.1. Either change the request to specify HTTP/1.1, or remove the Host header (I recommend the former).
    – user
    Commented Jul 4, 2013 at 7:39

If after reading all these suggestions you want to read even more, here is an arguably over-engineered Bash script.

It contains a list of DNS and HTTP servers which seem to work fine as of February 2017.

If you have dig, it first tries DNS which is almost an order of magnitude faster that the various HTTP services.

It exits at the first reply it gets.

If you don't have dig or if all DNS servers failed, it then tries the HTTP services until it gets a reply.

The servers are listed alphabetically, but are shuffled before use to avoid always using the same one.


## Get my external IP

timeout=2   # seconds to wait for a reply before trying next server
verbose=1   # prints which server was used to STDERR

    "dig +short            myip.opendns.com        @resolver1.opendns.com"
    "dig +short            myip.opendns.com        @resolver2.opendns.com"
    "dig +short            myip.opendns.com        @resolver3.opendns.com"
    "dig +short            myip.opendns.com        @resolver4.opendns.com"
    "dig +short    -t txt  o-o.myaddr.l.google.com @ns1.google.com"
    "dig +short -4 -t a    whoami.akamai.net       @ns1-1.akamaitech.net"
    "dig +short            whoami.akamai.net       @ns1-1.akamaitech.net"


# function to shuffle the global array "array"
shuffle() {
   local i tmp size max rand
   max=$(( 32768 / size * size ))
   for ((i=size-1; i>0; i--)); do
      while (( (rand=$RANDOM) >= max )); do :; done
      rand=$(( rand % (i+1) ))
      tmp=${array[i]} array[i]=${array[rand]} array[rand]=$tmp

## if we have dig and a list of dns methods, try that first
if hash dig 2>/dev/null && [ ${#dnslist[*]} -gt 0 ]; then
    eval array=( \"\${dnslist[@]}\" )

    for cmd in "${array[@]}"; do
        [ "$verbose" == 1 ] && echo Trying: $cmd 1>&2
        ip=$(timeout $timeout $cmd)
        if [ -n "$ip" ]; then
            echo $ip

# if we haven't succeeded with DNS, try HTTP

if [ ${#httplist[*]} == 0 ]; then
    echo "No hosts in httplist array!" >&2
    exit 1

# use curl or wget, depending on which one we find
curl_or_wget=$(if hash curl 2>/dev/null; then echo "curl -s"; elif hash wget 2>/dev/null; then echo "wget -qO-"; fi);

if [ -z "$curl_or_wget" ]; then
    echo "Neither curl nor wget found. Cannot use http method." >&2
    exit 1

eval array=( \"\${httplist[@]}\" )

for url in "${array[@]}"; do
    [ "$verbose" == 1 ] && echo Trying: $curl_or_wget  "$url" 1>&2
    ip=$(timeout $timeout $curl_or_wget "$url")
    if [ -n "$ip" ]; then
        echo $ip

Sample usage (I called the script myip):

$ myip
Trying: dig +short -t txt o-o.myaddr.l.google.com @ns1.google.com

$ ip=$(myip); echo "IP = '$ip'"
Trying: dig +short myip.opendns.com @resolver1.opendns.com
IP = ''

Comment out the verbose variable at the top of the script to avoid printing the server used.

Update: this script is now also on Github where I might update it when needed:

curl ident.me


curl ifconfig.me


curl https://tnx.nl/ip


curl ipecho.net/plain


curl whatismyip.akamai.com


curl icanhazip.com


curl wgetip.com


curl ip.tyk.nu


curl bot.whatismyipaddress.com



I prefer to use curlmyip.com It's as simple as:

curl curlmyip.com

It's short and simple to remember.

  • For use in bash —the intent of the OP—, you cannot do without the -s option mentioned in other answers. Commented Jul 20, 2014 at 11:53
  • 4
    @SergeStroobandt Yes you can. All the -s switch does is run it in silent mode, ie. error messages won't be displayed. So it comes down to how he wants his script to handle errors. The command itself will return an IP address as reliably as using the -s. Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 22:48
  • 1
    So far, this site was the most reliable one in multiple tests. Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 9:05

This always works for me, I use it in my conky to get my IP address.

wget -q -O - checkip.dyndns.org | sed -e 's/[^[:digit:]\|.]//g'
  • +1 Albeit looking so clumsy, this approach has been a life-saver for me too a few times. Because Internet is not WWW. You can have internet access, but you may (commonly in server rooms) be doomed to a non-GUI console, and in this case it's important to remember by heart one of the checkIP service URLs. And as this one is pretty common, it's only seemingly compilcated, as you will be more likely to remember the DynDNS one than the one of amazonaws. That is, if you have NO way to google for it. (not even lynx). Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 2:24

If you want to use HTTPS to avoid some potential pitfalls:

_result=$(wget -qO- https://ipcheckit.com/)
_result="${_result##*Your IP address is<br><b>}"
printf '%s\n' "${_result%%</b></p>*}"
  • 2
    Perhaps you could elaborate on what the potential pitfalls are that you are avoiding here?
    – Caleb
    Commented Oct 17, 2012 at 6:27
  • The domain ipcheckit.com apparently is for sale and not hosts the IP address displaying service anymore.
    – manatwork
    Commented Jan 17, 2013 at 11:59
  • 1
    ah, the pitfalls of writeonly scripts :) Commented Jul 4, 2013 at 14:07
  • @Chris Down the technique is still valid, you just need another SSL capable site to use it with.
    – Caleb
    Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 21:09

Since I don't rely on the connection or on the service, I use the following code, which tries to get the IP using different services (feel free to add more):

# Get my ip address and put in a file
declare -a arr=("ipecho.net/plain" "ident.me" "tnx.nl/ip" "ip.appspot.com" "https://shtuff.it/myip/short/")
IP=$(curl -s --retry 3 --retry-delay 10 ipecho.net/plain)

while [ -z "$IP" ] # If no IP found yet, keep trying!
    sleep 30
    IP=$(curl -s --retry 3 --retry-delay 10 ${arr[$((  RANDOM % ${#arr[@]}  ))]})  

echo -n "$IP" >  /root/clientIP.txt #puts ip address in clientIP.txt
echo "Our address is $IP" 

To add more robustness (e.g. if one of the services changes their format), you could check that $IP is a valid IP using the following function:

# Verify that the parameter passed is an IP Address:
# http://zindilis.com/blog/2013/05/10/bash-check-that-string-is-ip.html
# @Author: Marios Zindilis
# @License: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
# @Date: 2013-05-10
function is_IP() {
if [ `echo $1 | grep -o '\.' | wc -l` -ne 3 ]; then
        echo "Parameter '$1' does not look like an IP Address (does not contain 3 dots).";
        exit 1;
elif [ `echo $1 | tr '.' ' ' | wc -w` -ne 4 ]; then
        echo "Parameter '$1' does not look like an IP Address (does not contain 4 octets).";
        exit 1;
        for OCTET in `echo $1 | tr '.' ' '`; do
                if ! [[ $OCTET =~ ^[0-9]+$ ]]; then
                        echo "Parameter '$1' does not look like in IP Address (octet '$OCTET' is not numeric).";
                        exit 1;
                elif [[ $OCTET -lt 0 || $OCTET -gt 255 ]]; then
                        echo "Parameter '$1' does not look like in IP Address (octet '$OCTET' in not in range 0-255).";
                        exit 1;

return 0;

ifcfg.me supports:

curl ifcfg.me
nslookup . ifcfg.me
telnet ifcfg.me
ftp ifcfg.me
finger @ifcfg.me

IPv4 and IPv6, even more stuff with curl: ifcfg.me/?

  • How does the nslookup method relate to the dig method in Krinkle's answer? They both use DNS, right? So can I pass some option to dig to make it retrieve the same DNS record that nslookup is doing here? Commented Apr 29, 2015 at 8:09
  • Yeah you could use dig +short . @ifcfg.me if you wish
    – Eun
    Commented May 1, 2015 at 18:22

Here is another alternative that depends on hosts who's business resolves around managing dynamic IP rather that "public service" sites that may go away or change format.

  1. Register your server at one of the many free dynamic dns services (e.g. no-ip.com) This will give you a DNS entry like xxx.no-ip.org.
  2. Install the service's dynamic update tool (reports IP changes to service).

To get the IP address in a script, just do:

external_ip=`dig +short xxx.no-ip.org`

Great for use in cron job to check if dynamic IP has changed and some configuration entries need to be changed.

  • 1
    Dynamic update tool needs to know the external ip address (some folk song about a hole in a bucket)
    – Jasen
    Commented Jan 1, 2021 at 6:23

I run a cloud service for my family and I made this quick script I run in a cron every morning at 5 because I am cheap an will not buy a static IP.

It grabs the public IP, and emails it to my users. Made it email in hyperlink format so my Mom does not have to type the ports or anything. Maybe someone else can use it to.

ipvariable=$(wget http://ipecho.net/plain -O - -q);

echo "Today the location is http://$ipvariable:123456/foldertheyreach" | mail -s   "From your friendly cloud service provider" [email protected], [email protected]

This will show the current ip address in a popup window:

zenity --info --text "$(curl -s icanhazip.com)"

I have setup a service that returns IP address as JSON / XML or plain text. You can find them here


Same URL with /json and /xml will give you other formats as well

If you want HTTPS you can use the same URLs with https prefix. The advantage being that even if you are on a Wifi you will get the public address.

So a simple alias myip="curl https://ipof.in/txt" will get your IP


Alternatively you could use STUN which was invented to answer this question in an automated way and is used extensively in internet communications e.g. by SIP and WebRTC.

Using a stunclient (on debian/ubuntu do apt-get install stuntman-client) simply do:

$ stunclient stun.services.mozilla.com
Binding test: success
Local address: A.B.C.D:42541
Mapped address: W.X.Y.Z:42541

where A.B.C.D is the IP address of your machine on the local net and W.X.Y.Z is the IP address servers like websites see from the outside (and the one you are looking for). Using sed you can reduce the output above to only an IP address:

stunclient stun.services.mozilla.com |
    sed -ne "s/^Mapped address: \(.*\):.*$/\1/p"

For an alternative STUN lookup using nothing but basic command line tools see my answer on AskUbuntu (intended as a fun exercise, not for production use).


If any of you host an Internet-facing webserver, you can just make a simple page that will show the requester's IP address, e.g. in PHP:


    echo $_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'];   


Deploy this on your server. e.g. at http://mydomain.com/whatismyip.php Then use the standard curl trick to retrieve it:

curl -s http://mydomain.com/whatismyip.php

Note that if your server does any redirects (such as, from HTTP to HTTPS) you'll get the redirect response rather than your IP address. So address the curl request correctly.

The advantage of this approach is that the service won't move or disappear out from under you, as happens so often with free services. Disadvantage is obviously that it will likely be slower, unless you have some high-end hosting.


The w3m Plaintext-Browser is great for the bash. You can use grep and tail to shorten the reply as follows:

w3m -no-cookie -dump "http://www.whatismyip.com/" | grep -A 1 -m 1 "Your IP:" | tail -n 1

Use curl to hit shtuff.it's ip service

curl -s https://shtuff.it/myip/short
  • 301 Moved Permanently
    – McPeppr
    Commented Nov 8, 2016 at 9:44
  • the link is dead now
    – HMage
    Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 18:50

Using a DNS request even behind a NAT router translating DNS addresses, this can work :

$ dig +short -t txt o-o.myaddr.l.google.com @ns1.google.com | cut -d'"' -f2

or, you can use the HTTP request method instead :

$ curl -s ipinfo.io/ip

Only ip.tyk.nu returned the correct IP by http, without https. Here are a few more http sites that return our public IP, and can do https. I learned here that using https instead of http on a wireless link will bypass ISP mangling of the IP, as several people said. Erwin Hoffman added "curve" encrypted dns to dnscache, which I could try with dig, since I have that here.

myip() shell func to consult a list of http sites or use https:

# ~/bin/.bash/.ifaces https://pastebin.com/DiPUdqPJ
myip() {
 [[ "$1" =~ -s ]] && s='https://' || s=''
 ( for site in ipaddr.pub/cli ipecho.net/plain icanhazip.com ifconfig.me \
     ipconfig.in/ip ident.me bot.whatismyipaddress.com diagnostic.opendns.com/myip \
      checkip.amazonaws.com trackip.net/ip api.ipify.org tnx.nl/ip ip.tyk.nu \
       l2.io/ip wgetip.com
    do echo "$site "
    wget -qO- ${s}$site
   wget -qO- ${s}checkip.dyndns.org |\
     sed -n -E '/IP Address/s/^.*:[\t ]+([^<]+).*$/checkip.dyndns.org \n\1/p' ) |\
      sed -n -E '/^$/d;H;${g;s/^[\n]+//;s/( )\n/ /g;p;}'
 wget -qO- ${s}ipinfo.io | sed '1s/.*/ipinfo.io:/;$d;'

myip (without https):

ip.tyk.nu (without https but this one gets it)
  "ip": "",
  "hostname": "mobile-166-137-143-2.mycingular.net",
  "city": "Dallas",
  "region": "Texas",
  "country": "US",
  "loc": "32.7831,-96.8067",
  "org": "AS20057 AT&T Mobility LLC",
  "postal": "75270",
  "timezone": "America/Chicago",
  "readme": "https://ipinfo.io/missingauth"

myip -s (with https):

  "ip": "",
  "hostname": "mobile-107-77-201-2.mobile.att.net",
  "city": "Dallas",
  "region": "Texas",
  "country": "US",
  "loc": "32.7831,-96.8067",
  "org": "AS20057 AT&T Mobility LLC",
  "postal": "75270",
  "timezone": "America/Chicago",
  "readme": "https://ipinfo.io/missingauth"

you can do it using only bash like this

exec 3<>/dev/tcp/icanhazip.com/80 
echo -e 'GET / HTTP/1.0\r\nhost: icanhazip.com\r\n\r' >&3 
while read i
 [ "$i" ] && myip="$i" 
done <&3 
echo "$myip"

bash opens a TCP socket to icanhazip and sends an http request, the IP address is returned on the last non-empty line of the data returned. (previous lines are http headers)

This avoids the need for http client like wget or curl.


All of the above answers assume that the local machine has a domain name that can be resolved by a dns server.

This answer helps if

  • the local machine does not have a domain name that can be resolved by a dns server
  • you want to be independent from a domain name
  • you want the LAN ip address in the local network not the WAN ip of your router

This can be used in a shell script:

# Determine relevant network interface (e.g. eth0 on Linux, en0 on Mac)
INTERFACE=`ifconfig | grep -Eo '^e[a-z]+0: flags=.*' | grep -Eo '^e[a-z]+0'`
# Determine the external ip on this interface
HOSTIP=`ifconfig $INTERFACE | grep -Eo 'inet (addr:)?([0-9]*\.){3}[0-9]*' | grep -Eo '([0-9]*\.){3}[0-9]*'` 

Does not work on Windows though.

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