Desired behaviour of "ifconfig -alias"

Freddie Cash fcash at
Tue Feb 13 17:22:14 UTC 2007

On Monday 12 February 2007 11:57 pm, Oliver Fromme wrote:
> Kevin Way wrote:
>  > Oliver Fromme wrote:
>  > > But you called it "confusing".  That's just your personal
>  > > perception.  It doesn't mean it is confusing to everybody.
>  >
>  > If asked what -alias does, would you really reply "it removes the
>  > primary IP,
>  > while leaving the alias?"  Be honest here.
> No, I wouldn't answer that, because there is no such thing
> as a primary IP.  All IPs on an interface are equal.  The
> term alias exists only for historical reasons, and it's
> clearly becoming obsolete.
> If asked what "-alias" does, I would reply that it is an
> alias for "delete" or "remove", which removes an IP address
> from an interface.  According to the docs, the IP address
> to be removed must be specified.  The docs don't mention
> what happens if none is specified, so the behaviour is
> undefined and should not be relied on.  It just happens

[insert tongue into cheek]
Hmmm, so if the behaviour is undefined, and should not be relied upon, why 
is everyone arguing to keep it as they rely upon it?  :)  If no one 
should be relying upon this undefined behaviour, then why not fix it and 
make it reliable?

Freddie Cash
fcash at

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