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 AN!Wiki :: How To :: Biosdevname

Historically, network devices were given device names of ethX, where X was a simple sequential integer. The way these names were assigned to physical device interfaces was non-deterministic, so it because somewhat hard for an administrator to know which named devices related to which physical network port.

To address this, biosdevname was create to assign deterministic names to network ports.


Device Name Type Assignment method
emX On-mainboard devices Devices built on to mainboards will get the name emX where X matches the ID of the interface, usually starting at em1. Most servers have two onboard network interfaces which are usually labelled something like 'LAN 1' and 'LAN 2'. These should then be named em1 and em2, respectively.
pXpY PCI Add-In devices Devices connected to the system via PCIe cards will get the name pXpY, where X is the PCIe port number and Y reflects the interface port. For example, a dual-port network card in PCIe slot number 1 would get the names p1p1 and p1p2, for the first and second interface, respectively.

Other devices, like USB-ethernet adapters, can get fairly complex names that are composed from multiple (but predictable) variables.


Any questions, feedback, advice, complaints or meanderings are welcome.
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