I am using Ubuntu server 16.04 and setting up some network interfaces, I wish to reload a static IP after changing its address at /etc/network/interfaces without reboot:

auto ens6
iface ens6 inet static

I tried the following:

sudo systemctl restart networking
sudo ifconfig ens6 down (and afterwards up)
sudo ifdown ens6 (and afterwards up)

and tried some combinations of these commands,

Yet if i change my 'address' at the /etc/network/interfaces it will get updated (at ifconfig) only after i reboot my machine

What is the correct way to do this action without a reboot?

EDIT - tried this also due to comments

sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart
  • 1
    Have you tried sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart for network restart?
    – Terrance
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 6:14
  • tried now, seems like it's doing the same as 'systemctl restart networking', i still get the same IP address when checking ifconfig
    – Matan Levy
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 6:16
  • OK, thanks for trying. Unfortunately at the moment my system is not in a state that I could do some testing for you. I can do some more research and see if I can duplicate the issue and help you resolve it.
    – Terrance
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 6:18
  • thank you, ill keep an eye on the post, right now the servers are at setup and dev so I can manage with the reboots but i might need to change the static IP sometime at production and I can't afford rebooting for this type of action
    – Matan Levy
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 6:23
  • One other thing you could try, and I just did this, when you run the sudo ifdown ens6 try running sudo ifup -a to bring it back up and see if your IP address changes. It just did for me.
    – Terrance
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 6:41

3 Answers 3


If the ifdown+ifup approach isn't working, try:

sudo ifdown <network interface> && sudo ip addr flush <network interface> && sudo ifup <network interface>
ip addr flush enp0s3 && systemctl restart networking.service   

Where enp0s3 is your netcard name.


To get your IP addresses to change without rebooting the system, run the following lines to perform the task. Make sure that you have completed your changes to your /etc/network/interfaces file before you run these steps:


You can try turning off predictive network naming by adding the following to /etc/default/grub:


Then run the grub update:

sudo update-grub

Reboot the system:

sudo reboot

Turn off the interface first:

sudo ifdown <network interface>

Then bring back up all interfaces:

sudo ifup -a

Hope this helps!

  • this did not work for me i still get the same results at ifconfig (i am using ubuntu 16.04 lts)
    – Matan Levy
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 7:40
  • @MatanLevy You know, I am wondering if it is the fact that I am not running predictive names for the network. Unfortunately, I am not 100% sure if the Server edition uses predictive naming or not. I am running 16.04.1 LTS.
    – Terrance
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 13:40
  • tried to change the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT and still no good
    – Matan Levy
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 14:03
  • @MatanLevy Sorry, I forgot to mention that you have to reboot after changing that line and updating grub. Did you reboot?
    – Terrance
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 14:04
  • @MatanLevy Well, I did more testing, and mine is working fine. I am going to have to install server edition then to fully test this out.
    – Terrance
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 14:08

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