A Media Access Control (MAC) address is a unique number that gets assigned to every network interface, including Ethernet and wireless. It’s used by many system programs and protocols in order to identify a network interface. One of the most common examples would be in the case of DHCP, where a router assigns an IP address to a network interface automatically. The router will know which device it has assigned an IP address to by referring to the MAC address.
Unlike an IP address, which is temporary and can be changed easily, MAC addresses are hardcoded into a network interface from the manufacturer. However, it’s still possible to change or “spoof” a MAC address temporarily. On Linux systems, one of the easiest ways to do this is with the macchanger command line program. There are both legitimate and shady reasons for why a Linux user may find the need to change a MAC address.
In this guide, we’ll show how to install the macchanger program on major Linux distros and then use the macchanger command to change the MAC address of a network interface either to a random value or some specific number. Follow the examples below to learn how.
In this tutorial you will learn:
- How to install macchanger on major Linux distros
- How to identify current MAC address and network interface
- How to change an interface’s MAC address
- How to change interface to a specific MAC address