Wonder what’s your IP address? Here are several ways to check IP address in Ubuntu and other Linux distributions.
What is an IP Address?
An Internet Protocol address (commonly referred to as IP address) is a numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network (using the Internet Protocol). An IP address serves both the purpose of identification and localisation of a machine.
The IP address is unique within the network, allowing the communication between all connected devices.
You should also know that there are two types of IP addresses: public and private. The public IP address is the address used to communicate over the Internet, the same way your physical address is used for postal mail. However, in the context of a local network (such as a home where are router is used), each device is assigned a private IP address unique within this sub-network. This is used inside this local network, without directly exposing the public IP (which is used by the router to communicate with the Internet).
Another distinction can be made between IPv4 and IPv6 protocol. IPv4 is the classic IP format,consisting of a basic 4 part structure, with four bytes separated by dots (e.g. 127.0.0.1). However, with the growing number of devices, IPv4 will soon be unable to offer enough addresses. This is why IPv6 was invented, a format using 128-bit addresses (compared to the 32-bit addresses used by IPv4).
Checking your IP Address in Ubuntu [Terminal Method]
The fastest and the simplest way to check your IP address is by using the ip command. You can use this command in the following fashion:
ip addr show
It will show you both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses:
Actually, you can further shorten this command to just
ip a. It will give you the exact same result.
If you prefer to get minimal details, you can also use hostname:
There are some other ways to check IP address in Linux but these two commands are more than enough to serve the purpose.
What about ifconfig?
Checking IP address in Ubuntu [GUI Method]
If you are not comfortable with the command line, you can also check IP address graphically.
Open up the Ubuntu Applications Menu (Show Applications in the bottom-left corner of the screen) and search for Settings and click on the icon:
This should open up the Settings Menu. Go to Network:
Pressing on the gear icon next to your connection should open up a window with more settings and information about your link to the network, including your IP address:
Bonus Tip: Checking your Public IP Address (for desktop computers)
First of all, to check your public IP address (used for communicating with servers etc.) you can use curl command. Open up a terminal and enter the following command:
This should simply return your IP address with no additional bulk information. I would recommend being careful when sharing this address, since it is the equivalent to giving out your personal address.
Note: If curl isn’t installed on your system, simply use sudo apt install curl -y to install curl on Ubuntu based Linux distributions.
Another simple way you can see your public IP address is by searching for ip address on Google.
In this article I went through the different ways you can find your IP address in Uuntu Linux, as well as giving you a basic overview of what IP addresses are used for and why they are so important for us.
I hope you enjoyed this quick guide. Let us know if you found this explanation helpful in the comments section!