iproute2 is a collection of userspace utilities used to communicate with various Linux kernel components over the netlink protocol. More specifically, the iproute2 utilities are used for controlling TCP and UDP IP networking and traffic control in the Linux kernel, in both IPv4 and IPv6 networks, as well as for configuring the device drivers for network interface controllers (NICs) and wireless network interface controllers (WNICs).
As of December 2013, iproute2 is maintained by Stephen Hemminger. The original author, Alexey Kuznetsov, was responsible for the Quality of Service (QoS) implementation in the Linux kernel.
iproute2 collection contains the following command-line utilities: ip, ss, bridge, rtacct, rtmon, tc, ctstat, lnstat, nstat, routef, routel, rtstat and arpd. tc is used for traffic control. Utilities in iproute2 are developed in parallel to the Linux kernel.
iproute2 replaces an entire set of traditional Unix networking utilities from the packages often called net-tools, bridge-utils and vlan, which are traditionally used for the tasks of configuring network interfaces and the main routing table, and managing the ARP table. As a result, iproute2 collection replaces the commands listed in the table below, while unifying their syntax.
|Purpose||Legacy utility||iproute2 equivalent|
|Address and link configuration||ifconfig||ip addr, ip link|
|Routing tables||route||ip route|
|Bridges||brctl||ip link, bridge|
|Statistics||netstat||ip -s, ss|