How to Get Default Gateway Linux [5 Best Methods]

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Last updated: June 5, 2024

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To get default gateway Linux, you can try these methods:

  1. ip Command: Type ip route | grep default to display the default gateway IP address.
  2. route Command: Enter route -n, then look for the line with the destination to find the default gateway IP in the Gateway column.
  3. nmcli Command: Use the command nmcli device show interface-name | grep 'IP4.GATEWAY', replacing interface-name with your network interface name, to display the default gateway IP for that interface.

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

Ever had trouble connecting to websites or remote servers on your Linux machine? Finding your default gateway IP can solve many network issues. In this guide, I’ll show you how to check default gateway in Linux using simple commands and graphical methods. Whether you prefer the command line or a graphical interface, you’ll find a method that works for you. Plus, I’ll share some best practices to ensure you get accurate results. By the end of this post, you’ll be equipped to manage and troubleshoot your network settings with confidence. Let’s get started!

What is a Linux Default Gateway?

A default gateway is a device that connects your computer to the internet or other networks. Think of it as a bridge between your local network (like your home or office) and the wider world. When your computer needs to send data to a device outside your local network, it uses the default gateway to find the right path.

For example, if you want to visit a website, your computer sends the request to the default gateway. The gateway then forwards your request to the appropriate destination on the internet. Without a default gateway, your computer wouldn’t know where to send data outside your local network, making it difficult to access websites, send emails, or connect to remote servers.

How to Get Default Gateway Linux?

To find the default gateway IP in Linux, you can use several methods. Open a terminal and type ip route | grep default to quickly see the default gateway. Alternatively, use the route -n command to view the routing table and look for the gateway in the Gateway column.

For NetworkManager users, nmcli device show <interface-name> | grep 'IP4.GATEWAY' works well. If you prefer a graphical method, check your network settings in the system settings menu, where the default gateway is listed under the network section. These steps will help you easily locate your default gateway IP.

Here is the detailed step-by-step guide for each method to Linux show default gateway:

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 Linux check default gateway:

  1. Open a Terminal on your Linux system.
opening terminal 12
  1. Type the following command and press Enter:
ip route | grep default
  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 show default gateway Linux using this method, follow these steps:

  1. Access the Terminal window and enter the following command, and press Enter:
route -n
  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 to Linux find default gateway:

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

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. netstat Command

The netstat command is a powerful network utility that provides valuable information about network connections, routing tables, interface statistics, masquerade connections, and more. One of its useful features is the ability to display the routing table, which includes the default gateway IP address. This method is particularly handy for users who prefer command-line tools and need a quick way to retrieve network information. Follow these steps:

  1. Open your terminal emulator and run the following command:
netstat -r

The -r flag tells netstat to display the kernel routing table. The Gateway column on this line will show the default gateway IP address.

viewing default gateway using netcat

5. 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 default gateway Linux 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 Check Default Gateway 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.

Linux Get Default Gateway: To Sum Up

In this article, we’ve covered several ways to find the default gateway IP in Linux, including using the ip, route, nmcli, and netstat commands, as well as the GUI method. Each method is handy for different situations, from quick command-line checks to detailed graphical views. Using these best practices will help you manage your network more effectively.

For more learning, I recommend exploring the following topics:

  • Discover how to find the IP address in Linux command line, which is essential for understanding network configurations and troubleshooting connectivity issues.
  • Learn about restarting network interfaces in Linux to manage and troubleshoot network interfaces effectively.
  • Understand how to change the IP address in Linux to gain better control over your network environment.

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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