I've installed Debian in my VirtualBox (my host OS is Ubuntu). And there I configured two network interfaces: eth0 as NAT, and eth1 as Bridge.

NAT I need to have access to the internet in virtual OS, but Bridge I need because I want this virtual OS to be a part of my local network.

How to switch from these network interfaces? For example now I use eth0 (NAT), but some time later I need to turn off eth0 and turn on eth1.

P.S. There is no Desktop Environment in guest OS (Debian), so I need to do this in terminal.

Thanks in advance.

  • With or without NetworkManager?
    – Steve-o
    Sep 11, 2011 at 10:37
  • without networkManager. There is no desktop environment in guest OS Sep 11, 2011 at 10:41

3 Answers 3


If both interface are configured in /etc/network/interfaces you can use

sudo ifup eth0

to bring eth0 up and

sudo ifdown eth0

to take eth0 down

  • 1
    Otherwise ifconfig eth0 up/down works fine although I guess some prefer the ip link set eth0 up/down now.
    – Steve-o
    Sep 11, 2011 at 10:59
  • I've tried this before asking a question, but it didn't work. But thank you for noticing that both interfaces should be configured in /etc/network/interfaces. The second one wasn't configured by default, so I've added a few lines in /etc/network/interfaces file and it works now. Sep 11, 2011 at 14:17

Normally I use

sudo ifdown eth0 && ifup eth1
sudo ifdown eth1 && ifup eth0

The 1st stops eth0 and starts eth1 and the second does it the other way around.


On a virtualbox running Ubuntu 16.04

sudo ifdown eth0 didn't work giving Unknown interface eth0

I needed to do this instead:

Turn off network:

sudo ifconfig eth0 down

Turn on network:

sudo ifconfig eth0 up

(In my case there was no eth0 but there was enp0s3 so I replaced that above.)

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