Debian VM network error SIOCSIFADDR no such device

A common error when moving your debian VMWare virtual machine (VM) or creating another instance on your local machine you will encounter at system restart the "SIOCSIFADDR: no such device" network configuration error, the full error is as follows:

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  1. Reconfiguring network interfaces...SIOCSIFADDR: No such device
  2. eth0: ERROR while getting interface flags: No such device
  3. SIOCSIFNETMASK: No such device
  4. eth0: ERROR while getting interface flags: No such device
  5. Failed to bring up eth0

Note: When starting up your VM for the first time make sure you allow VMWare to create another UUID else you will get a duplicate VM i.e. same MAC address.

If you run "ifconfig -a" from the command line you will notice that it has detected the new assigned MAC address as eth1 (or eth2 if you have duplicated before). Under Debian etch you can change the assigned eth0 MAC address by editing the file :-

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  1. /etc/udev/rules.d/z25_persistent-net.rules

Under Ubuntu you can edit the file :-

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  1. /etc/iftab
  2. or
  3. /etc/udev/rules.d/70_persistent-net.rules

Once you've set the MAC address correctly the next thing to do is make sure the /etc/network/interface ethernet settings to match your new eth1 or eth2 setting.

Filed under: Linux  Tags: Debian, Ubuntu

7 Responses to “Debian VM network error SIOCSIFADDR no such device”

I had a similar problem running Debian Lenny on the s390 platform. In my case, the offending file was 70-persistent-net.rules in the /etc/udev/rules.d directory. The problem occurred after running aptitude dist-upgrade and rebooting. Erasing (with rm) the offending file and rebooting again solved the problem.

I have not experienced this error during a dist-upgrade, I've only encountered the error when copying a VM on the same machine for testing purposes, thanks for the tip.

You rock. Thanks for posting this.

If your ethernet device number has changed you may also need to edit the /etc/network/interfaces file and change the device to eth1 or back to eth0.

This happened to me booting an xbmc Live USB stick which I'd made on another system. Thanks for the excellent tip!

Hi Thanx this helped me get rid of the error- However, the box still does not respond on the network side, i.e. I still can't ping the device, I can serial console into it, and if I do a tcpdump I can see ARP requests FROM the device I am pinging FROM for the IP address which is supposed to be assigend to this box, but this box does not respond to those ARP requests, If I ping out FROM this box to the other and do a tcpdump on the other side, I don't see any traffic actually getting to the other side so it seems its not even making it out of the device, these two devices are now connected via a local switch

Oh sorry and I have tried restarting networking and even rebooted the device

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