ETHERS(5) FreeBSD File Formats Manual ETHERS(5)


ethersethernet address database


The ethers database contains information regarding known 48-bit ethernet addresses of hosts on an Internetwork. The data is stored in a file called /etc/ethers in the following format:

ethernet-address fully-qualified-host-name

Items are separated by any number of blanks and/or tab characters. A ``#'' at the start of a line indicates the beginning of a comment that extends to the end of the line. A ``+'' at the start of a line will cause the ethers(3) library functions to use data stored in the NIS ethers.byname and ethers.byaddr maps in addition to the data in the /etc/ethers file.

An ethernet address is expressed in ASCII form as "x:x:x:x:x:x" where x is a hexadecimal value between 0x00 and 0xFF. The address values should be in network order. Hostnames specified in the /etc/ethers database should correspond to entries in the hosts(5) file.

The ether_line() function in the standard C library can be used to break individual lines in the /etc/ethers database into their individual components: a binary Ethernet address stored as an ether_addr structure, and a hostname stored as a character string.


The ethers file resides in /etc.


ethers(3), yp(8)


The ethers format is based on the format used in SunOS 4.1.x.
April 12, 1995 FreeBSD