Variations on ARP

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Various Plazes tools depend on the presence of the arp command in the OS to obtain the MAC address of the default gateway. And various implementations of arp return results in their own fashion. On this page I'm starting to assemble a list of variations on the output of arp to aid in developing a standard library of code that will allow all variations to be used.

Mac OS X, FreeBSD, OpenBSD


usage: arp [-n] hostname
       arp [-n] -a
       arp -d hostname [pub]
       arp -d -a
       arp -s hostname ether_addr [temp] [pub]
       arp -S hostname ether_addr [temp] [pub]
       arp -f filename

Sample output, using the IP address of the default gateway:

# arp
? ( at 0:14:bf:8f:53:2d on en0 [ethernet]
# /usr/sbin/arp
grex ( at 00:e0:18:d3:6f:3f on bge0 static

Sample output, showing entire arp cache:

arp -a
? ( at 0:14:bf:8f:53:2d on en0 [ethernet]
? ( at 0:e:c:59:46:c0 on en0 [ethernet]
? ( at (incomplete) on en0 [ethernet]
? ( at 40:0:1:0:0:1 on en1 [ethernet]
? ( at ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff on en1 [ethernet]

Systems tested of this type (uname -a):

FreeBSD 4.6-RC FreeBSD 4.6-RC #0: Wed Nov 16 13:44:00 EST 2005
Darwin louise.local 8.4.0 Darwin Kernel Version 8.4.0: Tue Jan  3 18:22:10 PST 2006
OpenBSD 3.8 GENERIC#0 i386



RedHat, Sharp Zaurus SL-5500, NSLU2 Linux, Debian


  arp [-vn]  [<HW>] [-i <if>] [-a] [<hostname>]             <-Display ARP cache
  arp [-v]          [-i <if>] -d  <hostname> [pub][nopub]    <-Delete ARP entry
  arp [-vnD] [<HW>] [-i <if>] -f  [<filename>]              <-Add entry from file
  arp [-v]   [<HW>] [-i <if>] -s  <hostname> <hwaddr> [temp][nopub] <-Add entry
  arp [-v]   [<HW>] [-i <if>] -s  <hostname> <hwaddr> [netmask <nm>] pub  <-''-
  arp [-v]   [<HW>] [-i <if>] -Ds <hostname> <if> [netmask <nm>] pub      <-''-

        -a                       display (all) hosts in alternative (BSD) style
        -e                       display (all) hosts in default (Linux) style
        -s, --set                set a new ARP entry
        -d, --delete             delete a specified entry
        -v, --verbose            be verbose
        -n, --numeric            don't resolve names
        -i, --device             specify network interface (e.g. eth0)
        -D, --use-device         read <hwaddr> from given device
        -A, -p, --protocol       specify protocol family
        -f, --file               read new entries from file or from /etc/ethers

  <HW>=Use '-H <hw>' to specify hardware address type. Default: ether
  List of possible hardware types (which support ARP):
    strip (Metricom Starmode IP) ash (Ash) ether (Ethernet) 
    tr (16/4 Mbps Token Ring) tr (16/4 Mbps Token Ring (New)) ax25 (AMPR AX.25) 
    netrom (AMPR NET/ROM) rose (AMPR ROSE) arcnet (ARCnet) 
    dlci (Frame Relay DLCI) fddi (Fiber Distributed Data Interface) hippi (HIPPI) 
    irda (IrLAP) x25 (generic X.25)

Sample output, using the IP address of the default gateway:

# arp
Address                  HWtype  HWaddress           Flags Mask            Iface              ether   00:14:BF:8F:53:2D   C                     eth0

Sample output, showing entire arp cache:

# arp -a
? ( at 00:14:BF:8F:53:2D [ether] on eth0
? ( at 00:04:AC:E5:E1:2C [ether] on eth0
? ( at 00:03:93:BF:AE:8A [ether] on eth0
? ( at 00:0E:08:AA:FA:D5 [ether] on eth0

Systems tested of this type (cat /etc/issue ; uname -a):

Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES release 4 (Nahant Update 2)
Linux 2.6.9-22.0.2.EL #1 Thu Jan 5 17:03:45 EST 2006 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux

Red Hat Linux release 8.0 (Psyche)
Linux wallis 2.4.20-13.8 #1 Mon May 12 12:20:54 EDT 2003 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux

Embedix 2.0 | Linux for Embedded Devices
Linux zaurus 2.4.18-rmk7-pxa3-embedix #1 Fri, 9 May 2003 09:20:18 +0900

Linux edgar 2.4.22-xfs #1 Sun Jun 12 21:17:17 PDT 2005 armv5b unknown

Debian GNU/Linux 3.1
Linux goddess #2 Tue May 17 16:11:40 CEST 2005 i686


Sample output, showing entire arp cache:

# arp
IP address       HW type     Flags       HW address            Mask     Device  0x1         0x2         00:50:BA:BF:37:77     *        vlan1     0x1         0x2         00:0E:0C:59:46:C0     *        br0

Systems tested of this type:

BusyBox v1.00 (2005.11.23-21:46+0000) Built-in shell (ash)
Linux nettie 2.4.30 #1 Wed Nov 23 22:35:53 CET 2005 mips unknown


Windows 2000


Displays and modifies the IP-to-Physical address translation tables used by
address resolution protocol (ARP).

ARP -s inet_addr eth_addr [if_addr]
ARP -d inet_addr [if_addr]
ARP -a [inet_addr] [-N if_addr]

  -a            Displays current ARP entries by interrogating the current
                protocol data.  If inet_addr is specified, the IP and Physical
                addresses for only the specified computer are displayed.  If
                more than one network interface uses ARP, entries for each ARP
                table are displayed.
  -g            Same as -a.
  inet_addr     Specifies an internet address.
  -N if_addr    Displays the ARP entries for the network interface specified
                by if_addr.
  -d            Deletes the host specified by inet_addr. inet_addr may be
                wildcarded with * to delete all hosts.
  -s            Adds the host and associates the Internet address inet_addr
                with the Physical address eth_addr.  The Physical address is
                given as 6 hexadecimal bytes separated by hyphens. The entry
                is permanent.
  eth_addr      Specifies a physical address.
  if_addr       If present, this specifies the Internet address of the
                interface whose address translation table should be modified.
                If not present, the first applicable interface will be used.
  > arp -s   00-aa-00-62-c6-09  .... Adds a static entry.
  > arp -a                                    .... Displays the arp table.

Sample output, using the IP address of the default gateway:

# arp -a

Interface: on Interface 0x2
  Internet Address      Physical Address      Type       00-00-0f-00-00-00     dynamic