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Spoofing MAC address in Archlinux

19 Oct 2011

The first issue I met after I logged in to my newly installed Arch Linux, was that I had to change the MAC address to gain access to our campus network. I have a short post here about how to spoof the MAC address in Linux. In that article, I introduced how to change the MAC address temporarily using ifconfig, and how to edit the network configure file in Red Hat/CentOS/Fedora or Debian/Ubuntu. But I found no ifconfig available in my new Arch Linux (I must had missed some essential package that provides ifconfig during the installation.). So I had to find another method, and fortunately, there is an Arch Way.

(本文中文版链接)

According to the Arch Wiki, we can use macchanger or ip to make a temporary change of the MAC address:

macchanger --mac=XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX

or

ip link set dev eth0 down
ip link set dev eth0 address XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX
ip link set dev eth0 up

where eth0 is the name of my wired network device. I didn't have macchanger installed on my system, so I used the second method above. You may want to install a macchanger using the pacman command. It can even generate a random MAC address to a device with the r parameter. Very interesting.

With the above two methods, the new MAC address will recover to its initial value after a reboot. To spoof MAC on boot, the Arch Wiki gives us an Arch Way. We can create a file /etc/rc.d/functions.d/macspoof with the following content:

spoof_mac() {
    ip link set dev eth0 address XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX
}
add_hook sysinit_end spoof_mac

This file adds a hook at the end of the system initial process with a function which use the ip command to change the MAC address on system boot.

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