In this article, we are going to show you how to change the primary network interface card or NIC for Proxmox VE. This often happens when either the interface name changes due to another configuration change, or there is a new NIC added to or removed from a system. Alternatively, one may simply want to change the NIC that Proxmox VE is using on a multi-NIC system. For experienced Proxmox VE or Linux admins, this is something they have seen before and have a plan for. For those who have never run into it before and are accustomed to managing systems via a web GUI, it can be frustrating. This guide will make quick work of the challenge.
How to Change Proxmox VE Primary NIC When a New Interface is Installed
Here is the setup. We have a system with two 2.5GbE NICs, and two SFP+ NICs. The NIC we used during the installation was a 2.5GbE NIC, and Proxmox VE automatically configured a Linux Bridge (vmbr0) with the interface enp87s0 as the NIC. We can now get to our Proxmox VE system at 10.11.11.3:8006.
Proxmox VE still uses (thank goodness) the /etc/network/interfaces file for networking. One can simply go type
There nano will allow you to view and edit the network interfaces including vmbr0.
If we only have that NIC installed, and want an easy way to double-check the link is up then we can simply do:
Here we can see that we are connected at 2.5GbE speeds and there is an active link.
At this point, we are going to create chaos, and install many NICs. When we do this, enp87s0 will still be on the interface bridge, but the same interface with the cable connected will be renamed.
From a Proxmox VE and Linux perspective, by default it is going to answer requests on port 8006 for the Proxmox VE management interface on the IP address associated with the Linux bridge. Therein lies the problem. The Linux Bridge is using a different interface name now, so there is no longer a link between the bridge and the physical NIC.
Our NIC was renamed to enp95s0 from enp87s0. We can see that this is a linked 2.5GbE NIC again in ethtool.
From here, we can go to the console via IPMI or locally, and go back into
Here we would change the reference on the Linux Bridge vmbr0 to enp95s0 to match the NIC’s new name:
Once that id done, we can do a
service network restart
A few seconds later, vmbr0 will be associated with the NICs new Linux interface name and the web UI will respond at the same IP address as it did before.
Now we are ready to go.
There are many folks who have more complex networking setups. Still, there are many others who end up having a NIC name change and then lose access to their Proxmox VE instance. That can be ultra frustrating. Likewise, if you intended to install Proxmox VE with the default Linux Bridge on a different interface, you can use this to change interfaces and with the last few versions of Proxmox VE, you can even use the web GUI to do so. Just be careful when changing these and make sure you have console access. Most users will have console access when installing a NIC because they will be physically present for the installation.
Overall, this can be very stressful for new Proxmox VE users, but it is actually a super simple fix. If you wanted to use a different IP address instead of an interface, we already have a guide for that in How to Change Primary Proxmox VE IP Address.