In my RHEL 7 minimal installation with Virtualization profile I found that interfaces configured with network manager(s) contain BROWSER_ONLY=no option, which is always set to no by default. Server is currently offline, so I won't post entire config, but this is from "regular", physical WAN facing interface enp5s0 (eth0). When i configured another physical NIC using nmtui, the same option appeared. I've seen it in many config files posted online.

Now, if I don't know it, then probably I don't need it. Of course that's not the case, this is purely out of curiosity. Does the name literally mean "this interface is only for web browser-related traffic"? I can see how that would make sense with dedicated physical card, possibly VPN/IPSEC, meant only for safe browsing, maybe online banking, stock exchange(sic.), finance.


  • all duckduckgo searches return content of ifcfg-* files that contain this option by default set to "no". I've tried searching for a phrase "BROWSER_ONLY=yes" to no avail
  • neither of IFCFG(8), IP(8), NETWORKS(5) man pages reveal that information
  • /usr/share/doc/initscripts-*/sysconfig.txt describes most of the options that go into ifcfg-* files for different types of connection, however there's no mention of BROWSER_ONLY
  • briefly browsed through http://linux-ip.net/ that contains IP Command reference ip-cref.ps, to which man ifcfg refers and which I didn't find on my system
  • and of course here, on Stack Exchange
  • grep -R BROWSER /usr/share/doc/*, info --apropos=BROWSER_ONLY - guess what...
  • haven't tried changing it to yes yet, however I doubt to see any difference, unless the interface will stop working altogether

Does it mean absolutely no one is using it? Is it some hidden or reserved for future use option?

I'm torn between posting this question in Unix&Linux and Server Fault. Not sure where it fits better.


1 Answer 1


I found NetworkManager docs that suggests this setting is only used if you also configure proxy settings, i.e. you have PROXY_METHOD=auto present, and then determines whether the proxy settings are for everything of just browsers, however they think they can distinguish that. The default is no already.

  • That makes sense. Thank you for providing that link, I see it explains all(?) the variables that go into network-scripts files; very useful resource. Now I'll sleep better...
    – yahol
    Commented Mar 17, 2018 at 9:02

You must log in to answer this question.

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