I experimenting with Linux namespaces on Ubuntu 17.1 distro. Ultimate goal is to force an application to use a particular network interface via a 3G modem not the intranet wired connection. My PC has 3 network interfaces.

enp0s25: wired to a intranet router w/o internet connectivity

wlp3s0: wireless, used for remote management, will not be available in production environment

enx8cae4cff1c86: wired, simulating a 4G USB mobile modem eventually will be used in production environment

wlp3s0 and enx8cae4cff1c86 are connected to the same router.I have used following code to created a name space called mobilens

ip netns add mobilens
ip link set dev enx8cae4cff1c86 netns mobilens
ip netns exec mobilens ifconfig enx8cae4cff1c86 up
ip netns exec mobilens ifconfig lo up
ip netns exec mobilens route add default gw
ip netns exec mobilens dhcpcd enx8cae4cff1c86

I have also created a /etc/netns/mobilens/resolv.conf file with following entries

search google.com

Running ifconfig in name space with

ip netns exec mobilens ifconfig

inet netmask
and if I query DNS servers used in namespace as follows

ip netns exec mobilens nmcli dev show | grep DNS

it returns


I try to ping google.com using this namespace it resolves but fails.

ip netns exec mobilens ping www.google.com

PING www.google.com ( 56(84) bytes of data.
From ( icmp_seq=1 Destination Host Unreachable
From ( icmp_seq=3 Destination Host Unreachable

What else I need to do to be able to access to internet via this namespace?

EDIT 1: Using xterm in the namespace, indeed makes testing easier.
I also started to using

dhclient -d enx8cae4cff1c86

instead of DHSCP server in namespace.
However problem continues.I am thinking this is somewhat due to routing. Following is result of route command from interfaces outside of namespace

Kernel IP routing table
Destination     Gateway         Genmask         Flags Metric Ref    Use Iface
default         router.asus.com         UG    303    0        0 wlp3s0   U     303    0        0 wlp3s0   U     0      0        0 enp0s25   U     100    0        0 enp0s25

and this one from namespace

Kernel IP routing table
Destination     Gateway         Genmask         Flags Metric Ref    Use Iface
default         UG    0      0        0 enx8cae4cff1c86   U     0      0        0 enx8cae4cff1c86   U     0      0        0 enx8cae4cff1c86

Any suggestions about possible modifications to routing in namespace?

2 Answers 2


Solution was to modify default gateway. I added following line to namespace configuration file.

ip netns exec mobilens ip route change default via dev enx8cae4cff1c86

This step was enough for me to ping www.google.com
However when I disabled the management wifi connection, ping gave errors related to name resolution. I solved this problem by creating a file in \etc\netns\mobilens\resolv.conf
File contained:

search google.com

Now I can access to internet for any given domain.

  • What is the IP address for enx8cae4cff1c86 with this solution?
    – firo
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 8:42

Partial answer:

First, start an xterm in the network namespace, so you have an easier time testing. I prefer mine colored, and with my userid instead of root:

ip netns exec mobilens su -c "xterm -bg yellow &" my_userid

Second, you are running a DHCP server in that namespace, instead of a client, and you are also running Network Manager. What you want is a DHCP client in that namespace, or a static configuration. And I've no idea what Network Manager will do when confronted with multiple namespaces (I've had bad experience with NM, I can never get it to do what I want).

So: Either look at what NM is doing to the interfaces in your namespace (and stop NM if it's getting in the way), or configure them statically with the correct gateway, route and namerserver, or use a DHCP client, e.g. dhclient -d enx8cae4cff1c86 and watch the output to see it's properly assigning everything.

In doubt, run tcpdump on the interface and see if the packets go out properly.

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