Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

i recently set up my own server at home to run Ubuntu 12.04 server ed. on booting up, i noticed that a message related to networking comes up, and the booting process pauses. the message read something like - waiting for network configuration and after a while - waiting another 60 seconds...

on booting up, I realised that any command which requires a network connection was not working - ping, apt-get install, etc.

on firing the ifup eth0 command, I get the error RTNETLINK answers: File exists. Failed to bring up eth0. I also realised, while searching the web for this problem, that this is probably one of the most common networking related issues - however, most of the questions are around setting up multiple IPs for the same machine.

ifdown eth0 also fails, stating that eth0 is not configured.

my /etc/network/interfaces file has a simple configuration for a static IP:

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static
address xx.xx.xx.xx
netmask xx.xx.xx.xx
broadcast xx.xx.xx.xx
gateway xx.xx.xx.xx
dns-nameservers xx.xx.xx.xx

The strangest part of this problem is that, while I can't connect to anything outside, I can ping to this particular server using the static IP configured in the interface file, and, i can even SSH into it!

I'm really at ends here with this problem, and any guidance is much appreciated.


share|improve this question

alright - so this question is one of those that should get classified under - the biggest source of frustration lies between the chair and the computer.

anyways, for the benefit of others who might find themselves at odds coming to terms with a similar situation - the source of the problem lied in the fact that the gateway IP address was wrong.

so well, if you ever find incoming connections working, and outgoing not, then be sure to look at your gateway IP first up.

thanks everyone for not indulging in my stupidity, and forcing me to look harder for what i might've done wrong.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.