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I have a non-gui CentOS 7 linux running in a VirtualBox on my (Windows) desktop computer. Recently, we had some trouble with our networking setup, making the DHCP-based networking fail; for a few days, I had trouble with my Linux box as well. During my struggle, I messed up the configuration of that box a little (experimenting with VirtualBox network adapters etc.).

Now, the "normal" networking works again, but in my vbox, I suddenly had trouble again; the time (which used to simply work) was behind the Windows machine by 6 days. And the route to important external resources was broken - I couldn't reach Github anymore, for example.

Obviously, the networking is managed by NetworkManager:

# LANG=C nmcli general
STATE      CONNECTIVITY  WIFI-HW  WIFI     WWAN-HW  WWAN
connected  full          enabled  enabled  enabled  enabled
# LANG=C nmcli device
DEVICE  TYPE      STATE      CONNECTION
enp0s8  ethernet  connected  Kabelgebundene Verbindung 1

The ifconfig command told me that in fact the enp0s8 was used; but the information didn't match. For example, according to ifconfig enp0s8, the IP4 address (inet) was 192.168.33.199, while the IPADDR values in the ifcfg-* files were different outdated values.

In my /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ directory, I had some garbage; among the ifcfg-* files I had an ifcfg-Kabelgebundene_Verbindung_1 file (with NAME="Kabelgebundene Verbindung 1", so this was the refered script); but the IP address etc. were outdated, and the matching route-Kabelgebundene_Verbindung_1 was empty. I had non-empty route-* files, though.

So my idea was to manually fix those files, using information from the ifconfig enp0s8 output.

First of all, I don't fully understand the information in the ifcfg-* files. There are HWADDR values, and there are (sometimes, different) MACADDR values. In an (outdated) ifcfg-enp0s3 file, I have both HWADDR and MACADDR, and the MACADDR here is the same as the HWADDR in ifcfg-Kabelgebundene_Verbindung_1 (which in turn doesn't contain a MACADDR value).

I expect the hardware address from ifconfig ("ether") to be correct under all circumstances, right?

So, my plan was:

  • Choose one set of scripts (in my case, {ifcfg,route}-Kabelgebundene_Verbindung_1), and throw away the others (preserving *-lo, of course).
  • In the ifcfg-* file,
    • set HWADDR to the ether value from ifconfig
    • set IPADDR to the inet value from ifconfig

It turned out that I was able to use BOOTPROTO=dhcp instead of setting IPADDR (and others) manually, since the DHCP server (in the other subnet, sigh ...) was found using the information in the corresponding route-* script.

I was not sure whether the adjusted scripts would have been used when doing something like ifconfig down enp0s8; ifconfig up enp0s8; so, after verifying my root password (to be sure I'd be able to login directly to the box, without ssh/PuTTY), I simply rebooted, and it worked.

What I couldn't work out yet:

  • What are these UUID values? I had different values, probably from different virtual network adapters, and I couldn't find them in the VBoxManage showvminfo "<vm name>" output. It was a matter of an "educated guess".
  • What would have been the best method to test my changes?
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A simpler method to setup/restore networking on a headless server may be to use the "nmtui" interactive text-based menu.

$ yum install NetworkManager-tui
$ nmtui

                      ┌───────────────────────────┐
                      │                           │ 
                      │ ┌─────────────┐           │ 
                      │ │ Ethernet  ↑ │ <Add>     │ 
                      │ │   enp4s0  ▒ │           │ 
                      │ │ Bridge    ▒ │ <Edit...> │ 
                      │ │   virbr0  ▮ │           │ 
                      │ │   cni0    ▒ │ <Delete>  │ 
                      │ │   br0     ▒ │           │ 
                      │ │           ▒ │           │ 
                      │ │           ▒ │           │ 
                      │ │           ▒ │           │ 
                      │ │           ▒ │           │ 
                      │ │           ↓ │ <Back>    │ 
                      │ └─────────────┘           │ 
                      │                           │ 
                      └───────────────────────────┘ 

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