Introduction to Net-tools

The Net-tools package is a collection of programs for controlling the network subsystem of the Linux kernel.

Package information

Installation of Net-tools



The Net-tools package installs a hostname program which will overwrite the existing program installed by Coreutils during a base LFS installation. If, for whatever reason, you need to reinstall the Coreutils package after installing Net-tools, you should use the coreutils-5.2.1-suppress_hostname_uptime_kill_su-1.patch patch if you wish to preserve the Net-tools hostname program.

If you don't know what to answer to all the questions asked during the make config phase below, then just accept the defaults (the build command below automates this). This will be just fine in the majority of cases. What you're asked here is a bunch of questions about which network protocols you've enabled in your kernel. The default answers will enable the tools from this package to work with the most common protocols: TCP, PPP, and several others. You still need to actually enable these protocols in the kernel—what you do here is merely telling the package to include support for those protocols in its programs, but it's up to the kernel to make the protocols available.

Install Net-tools by running the following commands:

patch -Np1 -i ../net-tools-1.60-gcc34-3.patch &&
patch -Np1 -i ../net-tools-1.60-kernel_headers-2.patch &&
patch -Np1 -i ../net-tools-1.60-mii_ioctl-1.patch &&
yes "" | make config &&
sed -i -e 's|HAVE_IP_TOOLS 0|HAVE_IP_TOOLS 1|g' \
       -e 's|HAVE_MII 0|HAVE_MII 1|g' config.h &&
sed -i -e 's|# HAVE_IP_TOOLS=0|HAVE_IP_TOOLS=1|g' \
       -e 's|# HAVE_MII=0|HAVE_MII=1|g' config.make &&
make &&
make update

Command explanations

yes "" | make config: Piping yes to make config skips the interactive configuration and accepts the defaults.

sed -i -e ...: These two seds change the configuration files to force building the ipmaddr, iptunnel and mii-tool programs.


The Net-tools package contains arp, dnsdomainname, domainname, hostname, ifconfig, ipmaddr, iptunnel, mii-tool, nameif, netstat, nisdomainname, plipconfig, rarp, route, slattach and ypdomainname.



arp is used to manipulate the kernel's ARP cache, usually to add or delete an entry, or to dump the entire cache.


dnsdomainname reports the system's DNS domain name.


domainname reports or sets the system's NIS/YP domain name.


hostname reports or sets the name of the current host system.


ifconfig is the main utility for configuring network interfaces.


ipmaddr adds, deletes and shows an interface's multicast addresses.


iptunnel adds, changes, deletes and shows an interface's tunnels.


mii-tool checks or sets the status of a network interface's Media Independent Interface (MII) unit.


nameif names network interfaces based on MAC addresses.


netstat is used to report network connections, routing tables, and interface statistics.


nisdomainname does the same as domainname.


plipconfig is used to fine tune the PLIP device parameters, to improve its performance.


rarp is used to manipulate the kernel's RARP table.


route is used to manipulate the IP routing table.


slattach attaches a network interface to a serial line. This allows you to use normal terminal lines for point-to-point links to other computers.


ypdomainname does the same as domainname.

Last updated on 2005-02-11 08:57:40 -0700