SUMMARY: Mac Addr and replacing

From: Robert E. Landsparger (
Date: Tue Aug 04 1992 - 02:04:21 CDT

Here we go, a summary for the following post;

Original Message:
> Sun Managers,
> How hard is it to change the machine (ethernet) address, not
> Internet address, of Sun SPARCstation 1? Upon visual inspection of the
> inside of my sun, I see that the hostid is changeable with replacing a
> chip. Where is the mac-addr stored?
> Thanks,
> Bob

The ethernet address can be changed with a call to ifconfig(8c)

                /usr/etc/ifconfig le0 ethers 1:2:3:4:5:6

This can be done when the interface is brought up, and is done sometimes:

Quoting bernards@ECN.NL (Marcel Bernards):
> That's the trick you have to perform using your sun as DECNET node with
> sunlink DNI. DECNET uses the fist 4 bytes fixed as AA:00:04:00
> and the next two bytes contain the DECNET AREA.NODE Nr.

The address is stored on the "ID PROM" for all Suns. This is where the
hostid is as well. So, if you change your hostid be installing a new
chip, the ethernet address will change as well. I didn't try swapping
them yet, the replies sounded pretty confident in the location.

Favorite bit of advice/info is from :)
> (and
> be careful about which way it goes in the socket -- Service tells me
> that putting it in backwards will destroy it.)

leave it to the guys in service. :)

followed by "Richard Wong" <rnw@math.Princeton.EDU> with:
> the ether net address is stored on the NVRAM, this is not a chip you
> can get at the local Radio Shack.

Out of 26 replies, 2 people informed me I didn't want to do that and
4 people asked why. The why part is, if a Sun were taken and the clod
decided to hook it up on campus, would he be able to hide it from
a ethernet sniffer. Answer is yes. Remember to set your eeprom
passwords. :)

A copy of the whole mail folder can be snagged from
in pub/info/MacAddr for the next month of so (or until I remember to
remove it). :)

Thanks to all the people who responded: (Jim Davis) (Stan Barber)
"Andrew Luebker" <>
Jeff Bacon <> (John M. Blasik)
"Richard Wong" <rnw@math.Princeton.EDU> (J. Theuerkauf) (Hans Baumeister)
bernards@ECN.NL (Marcel Bernards) (Wolfgang Wetz)
Larry Chin <>
Christian Damsgaard Jensen <>
Dwight Ernest <>
Sven Ole Skrivervik <> (Matt Goheen)
stern@sunne.East.Sun.COM (Hal Stern - NE Area Systems Engineer)
Mr T Crummey (DIJ) <> (Bede W P Seymour) (William LeFebvre) (Ian MacPhedran) (Russ Poffenberger) (Brett Lymn)
Mike Raffety <>
kalli!kevin@fourx.Aus.Sun.COM (Kevin Sheehan {Consulting Poster Child})

Thanks again,

= Robert E. Landsparger,
= Department of Geology  - OFFICE (906) 487-2167 / FAX 487-3371
= My comments do not represent those of my employer.

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