I understand an interface file in Linux needs to be edited and the corresponding lines added. I don’t understand what network and broadcast are for, they seem extraneous compared to a Windows static IP configuration.
In my case my the gateway is
192.168.5.1 and my machine IP is
What would be my network and broadcast address? Is the below correct and what exactly do these lines mean?
iface eth0 inet static address 192.168.5.101 gateway 192.168.5.1 netmask 255.255.255.0 network 192.168.5.0 broadcast 192.168.5.255
As you can see from the official documentation, those parameters (
broadcast) are not required.
(network, broadcast and gateway are optional)
In your example, your network would be
192.168.5.0/24 and your broadcast
192.168.5.255. These can be derived from your
netmask parameters. To understand these parameters and how to determine them, you need to read up on IP subnetting.
In my opinion, the
broadcast parameters can usually be omitted.
In IP, you usually have an address (
192.168.5.101) and a netmask (
The netmask explains how many of the bits in the address refer to the network and how many refer to the host. In this example, it’s 24bits (that’s what the netmask means, and that’s what the
/24 means which you often see in this context).
These 24bits are exactly the
192.168.5 part of your address. This means, all machines with an address, that starts with
192.168.5 and a netmask of
/24, are in your same network.
The remaining part (the
101) is your host part. It identifies your single machine.
When taking an address and fill the host part with zeros (in binary), that is equivalent to the network (so,
192.168.5.0). If you fill the host part with ones (in binary), you get the default broadcast address (
The network and broadcast values are details of your subnet setup. I’m a bit rusty on this but the config you have above seems correct.
If you want to find out more about the Broadcast address and Network mask then I’d suggest reading up on subnetting.