Deprecated Linux Networking Commands and Their Replacements

In our previous article, we have covered some useful command line networking utilities for Sysadmin’s for network management, troubleshooting and debugging on Linux. We mentioned some networking commands that are still included and supported in many Linux distributions, but are now, in reality, deprecated or obsoleted and therefore should be carry out in favor of more present-day replacements.

Although these networking tools/utilities are still available in official repositories of mainstream Linux distributions, but they do not actually come pre-installed by default.

This is evident in Enterprise Linux distributions, a number of popular networking commands no longer work on RHEL/CentOS 7, while they actually work on RHEL/CentOS 6. Latest Debian and Ubuntu releases don’t include them as well.

In this article, we will share deprecated Linux networking commands and their replacements. These commands include ifconfig, netstat, arp, iwconfig, iptunnel, nameif, as well as route.

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All the listed programs with exception of iwconfig are found in the net-tools package which has not been under active maintenance for so many years.

Importantly, you should keep in mind that “unmaintained software is dangerous”, it poses a great security risk to your Linux system. The modern replacement for net-tools is iproute2 – an assortment of utilities for controlling TCP/IP networking in Linux.

The following table shows the summary of the exact deprecated commands and their replacements, that you should take note of.

Linux Deprecated Commands Linux Replacement Commands
arp ip n (ip neighbor)
ifconfig ip a (ip addr), ip link, ip -s (ip -stats)
iptunnel ip tunnel
iwconfig iw
nameif ip link, ifrename
netstat ss, ip route (for netstat -r), ip -s link (for netstat -i), ip maddr (for netstat -g)
route ip r (ip route)

You will find more details about some of the replacements in these following guides.

  1. ifconfig vs ip: What’s Difference and Comparing Network Configuration
  2. 10 Useful “IP” Commands to Configure Network Interfaces

Reference: Doug Vitale Tech Blog post.
Net-tools Project Home:
iproutre2 Description Page:

All in all, it’s good to keep these changes in mind, as most of these obsolete tools will totally be replaced sometime in the future. Old habits die hard but you have to move on. In addition, installing and using unmaintained packages on your Linux system is an insecure and dangerous practice.

Are you still stuck to using these old/deprecated commands? How are you coping with the replacements? Share your thoughts with us via the feedback form below.

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Posted by News Monkey