How to Edit Netplan in Linux: A Comprehensive Guide


In the ever-evolving world of Linux, staying on top of system configuration tools is crucial. One such tool that has gained prominence in recent years is Netplan. Netplan simplifies network configuration on Linux systems, making it easier for both beginners and experienced users to manage network settings. In this extensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of editing Netplan in Linux. Whether you are a seasoned Linux user or just starting your journey, this article will equip you with the knowledge and skills to efficiently configure Netplan.

How to Edit Netplan in Linux?

Netplan is a YAML-based network configuration utility used in modern Linux distributions, such as Ubuntu 18.04 and later versions. It streamlines the process of configuring network interfaces, IP addresses, and routes. Before we dive into the details, let’s begin with the basics.

Understanding Netplan Files

  • What Are Netplan Files? Netplan uses YAML files to define network configurations. These files are stored in the /etc/netplan/ directory. Each YAML file represents a network configuration profile.
  • Locating Netplan Files To access Netplan files, open a terminal and navigate to the /etc/netplan/ directory using the cd command. Here, you’ll find YAML files that specify your network settings.
  • Editing Netplan Files You can edit Netplan files using a text editor of your choice, such as Nano or Vim. These files follow a specific structure, which we will explore in detail.

Netplan Configuration Structure

  • YAML Syntax Netplan configuration files use YAML syntax, which relies on indentation and key-value pairs. It’s essential to understand this structure to make accurate changes.
  • Network Interfaces In Netplan, you define network interfaces, such as Ethernet or Wi-Fi adapters, using the network section. Each interface is configured with its specific settings.
  • Static IP Addresses You can set static IP addresses for your network interfaces. This is particularly useful for servers and devices that require consistent network addresses.
  • DNS Configuration Netplan allows you to specify DNS servers for your system, ensuring seamless internet connectivity.
  • Routes Managing routes is essential for routing network traffic effectively. Netplan lets you configure custom routes based on your network requirements.

Editing Netplan: Step by Step

Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals, let’s walk through the process of editing Netplan step by step.

  1. Locate Netplan Configuration Files
    • Open a terminal window and navigate to /etc/netplan/.
    • Here, you’ll find one or more .yaml files, each representing a network configuration profile.
  2. Choose the Configuration File
    • Select the configuration file you wish to edit. Be cautious when making changes to avoid network disruptions.
  3. Edit the YAML File
    • Use a text editor like Nano or Vim to open the chosen .yaml file.
    • Make the necessary edits according to your network requirements. Ensure that your changes adhere to the YAML syntax.
  4. Apply the Changes
    • Save the file and exit the text editor.
    • To apply your changes, use the netplan apply command in the terminal.
    • Netplan will apply the new configuration, and your network settings will be updated.

Common Netplan Tasks

Now that you know how to edit Netplan configurations, let’s explore some common tasks you might encounter:

  • Adding a New Network Interface To add a new network interface, define it in your Netplan YAML file and configure its settings, such as IP address and gateway.
  • Setting Up a Bridge Interface Bridge interfaces are useful for virtualization and networking scenarios. Learn how to create and configure them in Netplan.
  • Modifying DNS Settings Ensure your system can resolve domain names correctly by configuring DNS servers in your Netplan file.
  • Creating Custom Routes Customize your network routing by adding custom routes in Netplan. This is essential for advanced networking setups.


Can I edit Netplan files without using the terminal?

Yes, you can edit Netplan files using graphical text editors like Gedit or VSCode. However, using the terminal provides more control and is often recommended for experienced users.

What should I do if I encounter errors after applying Netplan changes?

If you experience network issues or errors, you can revert to the previous configuration by restoring the original YAML file. Always double-check your changes for syntax errors before applying them.

Is Netplan compatible with all Linux distributions?

Netplan is primarily used in Ubuntu and its derivatives. While it may work on other distributions, it is not the default network configuration tool for all Linux systems.

Can I use Netplan for both wired and wireless networks?

Yes, Netplan supports both wired (Ethernet) and wireless (Wi-Fi) network configurations. You can set up and edit profiles for both types of interfaces.

Are there graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for Netplan?

Currently, Netplan is primarily configured through text-based YAML files. Some third-party tools and GUIs may offer limited support, but the official method is through terminal-based editing.

Is it possible to automate Netplan configuration changes?

Yes, you can automate Netplan configuration changes using scripting languages like Bash or by utilizing configuration management tools like Ansible.

How to edit netplan in Linux?

To edit Netplan in Linux, you can modify its configuration files located in the /etc/netplan/ directory.

Does Ubuntu 20 use netplan?

Yes, Ubuntu 20 and later versions use Netplan as the default network configuration tool.

How to configure Netplan in Linux?

You can configure Netplan in Linux by editing its YAML configuration files in /etc/netplan/ and applying changes using the netplan apply command.

What is Netplan in Linux?

Netplan is a utility in Linux used for configuring and managing network settings through YAML configuration files, providing a unified interface for various network management backends.


Editing Netplan in Linux may seem daunting at first, but with the knowledge and skills gained from this guide, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle network configuration tasks with confidence. Netplan offers a streamlined approach to managing your network interfaces, making it a valuable tool for both beginners and experienced Linux users.

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