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Old 04-01-2007, 11:05 PM   #1
Registered: Sep 2003
Posts: 209

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Question RTNETLINK answers: File exists

Dear All,

When restarting network service on my FC6, I met RTNETLINK answers: File exists..
Could any body please help .. what should I do?.
googled but got nothing I am stuck ..

Thanks & Regards

[root@samquid devices]# /etc/rc.d/init.d/network restart
Shutting down interface eth0: [ OK ]
Shutting down loopback interface: [ OK ]
Disabling IPv4 packet forwarding: net.ipv4.ip_forward = 0
[ OK ]
Bringing up loopback interface: [ OK ]
Bringing up interface eth0: RTNETLINK answers: File exists
[ OK ]
[root@samquid devices]#
Old 04-02-2007, 02:13 AM   #2
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: The Netherlands
Distribution: RedHat 2, 3, 4, 5, Fedora, SuSE, Gentoo
Posts: 366

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What does your configuration look like?
Can you post the content of /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 and /etc/sysconfig/network?
Old 02-21-2011, 12:26 PM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Feb 2011
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I had the same problem.

I know this thread is super old, but it came first in a google search, so i thought I would post how I solved it.

In /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth1 I had accidentially set DEVICE=eth0. Since the eth0 device already exists, that is why I received the error. Hope this will help someone else looking for a solution.

Matt South
Kansas City Computer Repair Tech
Old 02-16-2012, 12:15 PM   #4
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Registered: Jan 2012
Posts: 3

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Arrow [SOLVED?] Re: RTNETLINK answers: File exists


where $interface is your interface, i.e.: eth0, p3p1, etc.

Contains old MAC address of the interface, but the script file exists, therefore conflict in configuration.
ie.: Service tries to use detected setings, but ifcfg script exists, therefore "File exists" error.


Fix the MAC address in the script file, with MAC address from:
ifconfig $interface

--> If I find better solution, than fixing by hand, I may update this post.
Old 06-15-2014, 09:27 PM   #5
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Registered: Jun 2014
Posts: 3

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An ancient post, but with a possibly newer answer for a Debian 8 system -

Make sure that /etc/network/interfaces have no extraneous lines, especially if configurijng for a static network.

Check with ifconfig, and if what you want is already there, dont repeat it.

Also: updates may mess with the network card location. often changing it to eth1. Resetting to eth0 may help . Easily checked wit the
service networking restart
Old 06-24-2014, 06:22 AM   #6
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Registered: Jun 2008
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Matt I am an experienced sys admin but you just saved me time - i copied the ifcfg files and forgot to change eth0 to eth1. Thanks!


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