How to Find the Default Gateway IP in Linux [4 Best Methods]

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Last updated: July 16, 2023

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To find the default gateway IP in Linux, you can try these methods:

  1. ip Command: Use the ip command in the terminal to quickly retrieve the default gateway IP in Linux.
  2. route Command: Utilize the route command in the terminal to find the default gateway IP by examining the routing table.
  3. nmcli Command: Leverage the nmcli command in the terminal to retrieve the default gateway IP for a specific network interface in Linux.
  4. GUI Method: Access the graphical interface to locate the default gateway IP in Linux easily.

To find the default gateway IP in Linux, you can follow these best practices: check the network configuration files, verify network adapter settings, consult distribution-specific documentation, utilize command-line tools effectively, and engage with the Linux community for assistance. Following these best practices will help you find the default gateway IP more accurately and efficiently.

Read the guide below to learn different methods to find the default gateway IP in Linux and the best practices to follow during the process.

The default gateway IP serves as the critical link connecting your Linux system to external networks, enabling seamless communication and data transfer. Whether you are troubleshooting network issues, configuring specific network settings, or seeking to optimize your network performance, discovering the default gateway IP will empower you with the knowledge and tools needed to navigate the vast landscape of Linux networking with confidence. In this comprehensive guide, I will walk you through various methods to find the default gateway IP in Linux and the best practices to follow when finding the default gateway IP.

How to Find the Default Gateway IP in Linux

To find the default gateway IP in Linux, utilize the versatile ip command or the powerful route command in the terminal. Alternatively, you can rely on the nmcli command to retrieve the default gateway IP for a specific network interface. If you prefer a graphical approach, the GUI provides a user-friendly interface to locate the default gateway IP.

1. ip Command

The ip command is a versatile tool for managing networking configurations in Linux. By utilizing the ip command, you can quickly obtain the default gateway IP without additional tools or configurations. This method works on most Linux distributions and is especially favored by command-line enthusiasts. Follow these steps to find the default gateway IP:

  1. Open a Terminal on your Linux system.
opening terminal 12
  1. Type the following command and press Enter:
<strong>ip route | grep default</strong>
  1. The output will display the default gateway IP address.
viewing default gateway using ip command

2. route Command

The route command is another powerful utility for managing routing tables in Linux. The route command provides a straightforward approach to retrieve the default gateway IP in Linux. It offers additional options and flags to handle more complex routing scenarios. To find the default gateway IP using this method, follow these steps:

  1. Access the Terminal window and enter the following command, and press Enter:
<strong>route -n</strong>
  1. Look for the line with the destination or the default keyword. The default gateway IP will be listed in the Gateway column.
viewing gateway using route command

3.nmcli Command

When it comes to finding the default gateway IP for a specific network interface in Linux, the nmcli command proves to be an invaluable tool. Whether you are troubleshooting connectivity issues or configuring network settings for a specific interface, this method provides a concise and straightforward approach to obtaining the necessary information. Follow these steps:

  1. Launch the command prompt on your Linux system and run the following command:
<strong>nmcli device show interface-name | grep 'IP4.GATEWAY'</strong>

Replace interface-name with the name of your network interface, such as eth0 or wlan0.

  1. The command will display the default gateway IP for the specified network interface.
viewing default gatway using GUI

4. GUI

Graphical user interface is widely used for managing network configurations in Linux. GUI provides a user-friendly and intuitive interface to manage network settings, making it an excellent choice for users who prefer graphical tools. To find the default gateway IP using GUI, follow these steps:

  1. Opening the system setting by clicking the gear icon on the left side.
opening system settings
  1. Click on the network section from the settings menu.
opening network properties
  1. Look for the Default Route or Default Gateway field in the network settings window. The value displayed in that field represents the default gateway IP.
viewing default gateway using GUI 1

5 Best Practices to Find Default Gateway IP in Linux

Implementing best practices to find default gateway IP can make the process more productive. Implementing these best practices will ensure a streamlined and accurate process of finding the default gateway IP in Linux, enabling you to optimize your network configuration and troubleshoot connectivity issues effectively.

  • 📂 Double-Check Network Configuration Files: Ensure that you verify the network configuration files in Linux to locate the default gateway IP. Open the relevant file, such as /etc/network/interfaces, and confirm that the gateway IP is correctly specified. Reviewing the configuration files helps prevent misconfigurations and ensures the accurate retrieval of the default gateway IP.
  • 🖧 Verify Network Adapter Settings: Check the network adapter settings on your Linux system to ensure proper connectivity and default gateway assignment. Use tools like ip addr or ifconfig to view the network adapter details. Verify that the correct adapter is assigned the default gateway IP. Incorrect network adapter settings can lead to connectivity issues and hinder the identification of the default gateway IP.
  • 📚 Consult Distribution-Specific Documentation: Different Linux distributions may have specific approaches and tools to find the default gateway IP. Refer to the official documentation or community resources specific to your Linux distribution. These resources often provide step-by-step instructions tailored to your distribution, making locating the default gateway IP accurately easier.
  • 💻 Utilize Command-Line Tools Effectively: Leverage the power of command-line tools like ip and route to retrieve the default gateway IP. Familiarize yourself with the available options and flags for these tools. Understanding and incorporating their usage into your command sequences will enable you to extract the default gateway IP more efficiently and effectively.
  • 🌐 Engage with the Linux Community for Assistance: When encountering difficulties or unique network setups, engage with the vast and supportive Linux community. Online forums, discussion boards, and social media groups dedicated to Linux networking can provide valuable insights and assistance. Seek guidance from experienced users who have encountered similar challenges to troubleshoot and successfully find the default gateway IP.

To Sum Up

I’ve outlined various methods to find the default gateway IP in Linux, including using the ‘ip’ and ‘route’ commands, examining network configuration files, and leveraging Network Manager. Additionally, I’ve provided best practices to ensure a smooth and accurate process.

To further enhance your knowledge in Linux networking, consider exploring the following related articles: Configuring Static IP Address in Linux, Subnetting and CIDR Notation in Networking, and Optimizing Network Performance in Linux. By exploring these topics, you will understand Linux networking comprehensively and confidently empower yourself to tackle more advanced networking challenges.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I change the default gateway IP in Linux?

To change the default gateway IP in Linux, you can either modify the network configuration files directly or utilize command-line tools such as ip or route. Modifying the network configuration files involves locating the appropriate file (e.g., '/etc/network/interfaces') and updating the line specifying the default gateway IP. On the other hand, command-line tools provide dynamic options to add, delete, or modify routing entries, including the default gateway. It’s important to consult the documentation specific to your Linux distribution for the correct commands and syntax. After making the necessary changes, ensure to restart the network service or reboot the system for the modifications to take effect.

Is it possible to have multiple default gateways in Linux, and how can they be managed?

Yes, it is possible to have multiple default gateways in Linux. However, managing multiple default gateways can be complex and requires advanced networking knowledge. The system must determine which gateway to use for outgoing traffic when you have multiple gateways. This is accomplished by manipulating the routing table and assigning priorities to each gateway. Linux provides tools like the ip and route commands, which allow you to add, modify, and manage multiple default gateways. By specifying different metrics or priorities for each gateway, you can control the order in which they are used for routing traffic. It’s crucial to carefully plan and configure the routing table to ensure proper routing in a multi-gateway setup.

Does the default gateway IP change dynamically in Linux?

In Linux, the default gateway IP can change dynamically depending on the network configuration. One common scenario is when using DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) to obtain network settings. DHCP servers assign IP addresses, including the default gateway IP, to client devices. During network renewals or lease expirations, the DHCP server may assign a different gateway IP, resulting in a dynamic change. It is crucial to be aware of this possibility, especially when troubleshooting network connectivity issues. Regularly checking for changes in the default gateway IP can help identify any discrepancies and ensure proper network configuration and connectivity.

Can I have different default gateway IPs for different network interfaces in Linux?

Yes, it is possible to have different default gateway IPs for different network interfaces in Linux. This configuration, commonly referred to as split routing, allows for distinct default gateways to be assigned to individual network interfaces. By associating a specific default gateway IP with each network interface, you can control how traffic is routed based on the user interface. This can be particularly useful when you have multiple network connections with different gateways, such as having separate default gateways for wired and wireless interfaces. Split routing enables more granular control over network traffic and routing decisions, enhancing flexibility and adaptability in complex networking environments.



Ojash is a skilled Linux expert and tech writer with over a decade of experience. He has extensive knowledge of Linux's file system, command-line interface, and software installations. Ojash is also an expert in shell scripting and automation, with experience in Bash, Python, and Perl. He has published numerous articles on Linux in various online publications, making him a valuable resource for both seasoned Linux users and beginners. Ojash is also an active member of the Linux community and participates in Linux forums.



Akshat is a software engineer, product designer and the co-founder of Scrutify. He's an experienced Linux professional and the senior editor of this blog. He is also an open-source contributor to many projects on Github and has written several technical guides on Linux. Apart from that, he’s also actively sharing his ideas and tutorials on Medium and Attirer. As the editor of this blog, Akshat brings his wealth of knowledge and experience to provide readers with valuable insights and advice on a wide range of Linux-related topics.

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