How to change the default network interface name on Debian 11


This article will guide you to change the default network interface name in Debian 11 and older versions via command line. Usually, after a fresh Debian install from an ISO, the network interface will be named ens3 by default. Some people may prefer changing it to eth0 which is a more common name.

Checking the default interface name

You can list all the network interfaces using the ip link command.

ip link

Usually, it’s the second one after the lo interface. If it’s not eth0 and you would like to change it, just follow the next step.

Editing the GRUB configuration file

Open the GRUB configuration file with your editor of choice. I’m using Vim in this tutorial.

sudo vi /etc/default/grub

Change the following line located at the top section of the file



GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="net.ifnames=0 biosdevname=0"

Save changes and exit the text editor.

GRUB configuration file
The GRUB configuration file located at /etc/default/grub

Editing the network configuration file

Open the network configuration file located at the following path.

sudo vi /etc/network/interfaces

Change the network interface name from ens3 to eth0 for both IPv4 and IPv6 if any. Save changes and exit.

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static
    # IPv4 configuration here

iface eth0 inet6 static
    # IPv6 configuration here

Updating GRUB and rebooting

After editing the GRUB configuration file and changing the default interface name to eth0 in the network configuration file, you have to update GRUB using the following command accordingly. And reboot the server for changes to take effect.

sudo update-grub2
sudo reboot