I often work with VMs. Sometimes I want to SSH into a physical server or a laptop. Either way I need to know the IP address of the box to get work done.

This post covers a function that can be used to print the (DHCP) IP for a device on a box you are working on. If you put it in .profile, you can log into a VM or physical box to get the IP address. You can then use that to SSH into the box.

Software Versions

$ date -u "+%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S +0000"
2017-01-17 11:24:20 +0000
$ uname -vm
FreeBSD 12.0-CURRENT #14 f92c24b(drm-next-4.7): Fri Jan  6 19:28:21 UTC 2017     root@gauntlet:/usr/obj/usr/src/sys/GENERIC  amd64


Here is an sh function that can be used to print the ip address for a device. I put it in .profile.

.profile partial listing

  ipv4="$(ifconfig "${1}" | grep "inet " | sed -E "s/.*inet.([0-9.]*).*/\1/")"
  ipv6="$(ifconfig "${1}" | grep "inet6 " | sed -E "s/.*inet6.([0-9a-f:]*).*/\1/")"
  printf "${1}\t${ipv4:-(no ipv4)}\t${ipv6:-(no ipv6)}\n"

I also have this at the bottom of .profile.

.profile partial listing

print_ip_address em0
print_ip_address wlan0

When I log in, I see something like this.


em0	(no ipv4)	fe80::3e97:eff:fe34:157c
wlan0	(no ipv6)

A csh script (for FreeBSD root) that does the same thing looks something like this.

print_ip.csh complete listing


set device = $1
set ipv4 = `ifconfig "${device}" | grep "inet " | sed -E "s/.*inet.([0-9.]*).*/\1/" | sed 's/^$/(no ipv4)/'`
set ipv6 = `ifconfig "${device}" | grep "inet6 " | sed -E "s/.*inet6.([0-9a-f:]*).*/\1/" | sed 's/^$/(no ipv6)/'`
printf "${device}\t${ipv4}\t${ipv6}\n"