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Thread: Finding a mac address locally

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2003

    Finding a mac address locally

    I was wondering if there was an easy way to find the mac adress of a local machine. Ok heres the problem: I will soon be setting up a small home network that is based around a wireless adsl router. The router documentation states that you can set up a list of allowed mac addresses (to try and stop wardirving in my front graden ). The problem is the startup screens for 2 of the computers display the mac address but it disapears to quickly to write down and the third computer does not display startup info (and im not alowed to go into the bios to change this). So like i said i was wondering if there was an easy way to get the mac address for each machine when i have physical access to them. Thanks

  2. #2
    I'd rather be fishing DjM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    The Great White North
    Run ipconfig /all, I believe the "Physical Address" is the mac address.


  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004


    try this: with a web page open in your browser for a while, open the CLI and type in
    "arp -a" at the prompt, without the quotes. You might get a response such as "No ARP entries found". This is because your ARP cache gets periodically flushed. Click on the refresh button in the tool bar of your browser. The CLI minimizes, so you'll have to open it again. Type
    "arp -a" again, and you'll see the MAC address of your gateway device to the Internet.
    Similarly, if you are on a LAN, when devices are talking to one another, their MAC addresses
    will appear in the ARP cache. Address Resolution Protocol is a data link layer protocol that uses the MAC source and destination addresses in the frame headers to locate physical addresses of network interface cards on computers or interfaces on routers.
    Switches especially, rely on MAC addresses to forward data between ports.

    The reason for the ROTF comment: in typing this response and trying to make it as accurate as possible, I refreshed this page ( the one you get when replying to a thread), only to wipe out every thing I had typed into the reply box.

    Anyway, more fun with computers....

  4. #4
    Priapistic Monk KorpDeath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    If you have yet to install the wireless NICs in the machines then the MAC address should be printed on them also. Just make a note of them before installation.
    Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.
    - Samuel Johnson

  5. #5
    ifconfig -a |grep HWaddr

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004

    ifconfig -a |grep HWaddr
    ifconfig or ipconfig, depending on the OS.

    And to add to Korpdeaths' reply, if the wireless NIC is of the PCMCIA type for
    laptops, you can always slide them out and take a looksee.

  7. #7
    Yes, if you do use ip and not if you might not be able to use grep

  8. #8
    @ΜĮЙǐЅŦГǻţΩЯ D0pp139an93r's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    St. Petersburg, FL
    Hey, Y'all dumbasses realize that the MAC addy is clearly shown in the connection properties dialog...

    Network Connections>>WHateveryourconnection>>Properties

    Linux should have something similar, it all depends on what distro you use, and what GUI you use...

    Y'all had to get all snooty with him. CLI, ARP...
    Real security doesn't come with an installer.

  9. #9
    GUIs are for lazy *****s

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    WindowsXP has a command line tool called GetMac which can be used instead of ipconfig /all
    getmac /FO csv
    that command will get the job done.
    <chsh> I've read more interesting technical discussion on the wall of a public bathroom than I have at AO at times

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