I'm trying to permanently modify my MAC address on a device running Linux 3.3.8 I cannot get macchanger to install either.

When I try it with

ifconfig eth0 hw ether

I get

ifconfig: SIOCSIFHWADDR: Device or resource busy

I have ssh'd into the device. The device is on wifi and lan. I've connected through wifi and trying to change the lan's mac address. I've tried

ifconfig eth0 down
ifconfig etho hw NEW_MAC
get the error: ifconfig: SIOCSIFHWADDR: Device or resource busy
ifconfig eth0 up

ifconfig shows the mac address was updated. However the GUI elements still show the old mac address. Also, the changes are lost after restart.

  • Are you sure the device isn't busy? Is the device down?
    – Chris Down
    Apr 15, 2020 at 15:43

1 Answer 1


The device must first be stopped:

sudo ifconfig eth0 down

Then you need to apply the changes:

sudo ifconfig eth0 hw ether xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx

After that, start the device:

sudo ifconfig eth0 up
  • This did not work either :( I've added more information to my post. Apr 15, 2020 at 18:25

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