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When I use the "Network" tool from the "System Settings" application, it won't let me configure the wired interface unless the cable is attached and "live".

I want to move machines from one network to another and I want to reconfigure them when they are on neither network. Otherwise, they are on the "wrong" network and the folks in the NOC become concerned.

How can I get the Network tool to let me configure the machines offline?

(I know I can almost do what I want by editing /etc/network/interfaces, but I really prefer to use the Network tool instead.)

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Are you sure you need to statically configure your IP addresses? Are there no DHCP servers on your networks? If not, just open a terminal and type ifconfig eth0 ipaddr netmask nmask broadcast bcastadddr where ipaddr is the IP address you wish to give (eg.192.168.1.10), nmask is like 255.255.255.0 , and bcastaddr is IP address with 255 for last number (eg 192.168.1.255). For more information take a look at the ifconfig man page. –  hmayag May 10 '13 at 23:13
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You can't. Use ifconfig as suggested in the comment above for an ephemeral (disappears on reboot) configuration, or edit /etc/network/interfaces for a persistent (persists across reboots) configuration change.

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