I am using Ubuntu 10.10 on my laptop, which connects to our network wirelessly. Since it sits on my desk next to my desktop, I have a private network between the two using a firewire cable, because synergy and file copies are much more plesant over firewire than wifi.

I want to set a static IP for the firewire device on boot so I don't have to keep using ifconfig each time. However the device doesn't appear in Gnome's NetworkManager. How can I set a static IP for the firewire device? Terminal commands are fine, as long as NetworkManager won't blow the config away.


On Debian and Ubuntu, the place to configure networking without Network Manager is /etc/network/interfaces. Something like this should work (you may need to change the interface number):

auto eth2
iface eth2 inet static
    pre-up modprobe eth1394

Run ifup eth2 and ifup eth2 to bring the interface up or down. The auto statement causes the interface to be brought up as part of the boot process. Network Manager won't touch an interface mentioned in /etc/network/interfaces.

Zeroconf is often nice for Firewire links: if you run it at both ends, it automatically negociates addresses and routing. However it's no help if you want a more managed network (e.g. to give your laptop a name, bring it inside a casual firewall, …).

  • 1
    Awesome, thanks! On my system, it was actually firewire0, not eth2, but I knew what it should be. – Josh Jan 3 '11 at 23:22

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