Desired behaviour of "ifconfig -alias"

Freddie Cash fcash at
Tue Feb 13 17:15:18 UTC 2007

On Tuesday 13 February 2007 02:38 am, Oliver Fromme wrote:
> JoaoBR <joao at> wrote:
>  > Oliver Fromme wrote:
>  > > No, not at all.  As soon as you use the terms "primary IP
>  > > address" and "secondary IP addresses", you imply that they
>  > > are not equal.  But they are equal.  It's just a list of
>  > > IP addresses assigned to an interface which happens to have
>  > > a certain order.
>  >
>  > nobody claims that there is an master-slave order or something,
>  > alias is the secondary in order of time, but not in value, I do not
>  > even understand why you talking so much about this, the point is
>  > more than clear
> No, it doesn't seem to be clear to you.
> As soon as you use the terms "primary" and "secondary",
> you are implying a certain order in the meaning of the
> IP addresses.  But as far as the ifconfig(8) tool is
> concerned, there is no order, no matter ow you would
> interpret it.  In theory, ifconfig could print the IP
> addresses for an interface in random order, and each
> time in a different order.  Which of them would you
> call "primary" then?  Which of them would be "aliases"?

For a set of IPs in the same subnet on the same interface, wouldn't the 
primary IP be the one with the proper netmask, and all IPs with netmasks 
of /32 be secondary?  In that situation, wouldn't deleting the primary IP 
cause connection issues for the rest of the IPs?

For a set of IPs in separate subnets, each with their own non-/32 
netmasks, there wouldn't really be a distinction between primary / 

Freddie Cash
fcash at

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