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The 7 Best Networking Tools That Replace the Deprecated net-tools on Linux

Linux comes with a host of networking tools for managing both large-scale and small-scale network infrastructure. For a long time, net-tools have been the default networking tools of choice, but they have now been replaced by iproute2 tools.

This guide will look at some important networking tools meant to replace the deprecated net-tools. Most modern versions of Linux come with the new iproute2 tools by default.

Here are some of the new iproute2 networking tools that replaced the old and deprecated net-tools on Linux.

1. ss

The ss tool, short for “socket statistics,” is a set of networking tools that are part of iproute2.

ss replaces most netstat tools. It gets socket information directly from the kernel space and is in most cases faster than its predecessor. It’s also capable of displaying more TCP and state information than net-tools.

The ss commands are very short and precise. For example, to display TCP information, you need to run the following command:

ss -t

To learn more about ss command options and usage, you can either check out our detailed guide on ss or get command-line help using ss –help or man ss.

2. ip a

Getting information about your Internet Protocol (IP) is one of the most common networking tasks performed by both system administrators and PC users. The ip set of commands shows and manipulates networking or routing devices, interfaces, and tunnels.

Traditionally, this has been done by the ifconfig command, which is responsible for displaying details on all network interfaces. ifconfig is now replaced by ip a or ip addr.

To get your current IP address, simply run the command:

ip a

3. ip n

The ip neighbor, ip neigh, ip neighbour, or simply ip n is a powerful networking tool used for manipulating Address Resolution Protocol (ARP), or NDISC cache entries. It works by finding the Media Access Control (MAC) address of a network neighbor for a given IP address.

The ip n command replaces the old arp command. It’s mostly used when working with routing devices and tunnels. Unlike its predecessor which tries to do everything, ip n is more succinct and easier to use and learn.

For example, to display the entries in the ARP table, simply run the following command:

ip n show

4. iw

The iw command is used for displaying and configuring wireless devices. It replaces the iwconfig command. iw uses the Netlink public interface header and supports all recent drivers added to the Linux kernel.

To get information about your wireless devices and their capabilities, for example, the network band, Wi-Fi standard, etc., you can run the command:

iw list
command showing wireless devices on linux

ip link replaces the nameif command. It is mainly used for showing and modifying network interfaces. Keep in mind that you will need elevated sudo privileges to make changes to the configuration.

In addition to the ip link command, Linux also provides another alternative, namely ifrename. You can learn more about ip link and its options from the manual pages using the man ip link command.

6. ip route

You can use the ip route command for displaying and configuring table routes, network interfaces, and tunnels. The ip route command or simply ip r replaces the route command on Linux.

To show your current routes, use the command:

ip r

7. ip tunnel

As the name suggests, you can use the ip tunnel command for tunnel configuration. For example, to configure IPv4 or IPv6 tunnels for transmission of packets.

ip tunnel replaces the iptunnel command from the net-tools package. To show tunnels, run the following command:

ip tunnel show

Take Advantage of the New iproute2 Commands

This guide has shown you the new networking tools meant to replace the deprecated net-tools package. Although you can still use net-tools on Linux, they have not been maintained in a long time and pose some security risks. The new iproute2 networking tools are robust and in most cases, faster than their predecessors.

You can use these commands to fix network issues and troubleshoot your internet on Linux-based operating systems.

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