Always know your IP address

You can find-out your IP address in a number of ways. For example, right-click NetworkManager, select Connection Information in the menu that appears, and look for IP Address in the list. At the command-line you can type ifconfig and look for the Inet addr line (assuming your computer isn't using IPv6, the new networking addressing system currently only used in a handful of academic and corporate institutions).

But you might come across a limitation if you're behind a NAT router. It's very likely the case you're behind one of these if you use a broadband modem/router, or use Ubuntu in an office environment. In that case, you'll only see the private network address—usually something like These are non-routable, which means that they mean nothing to anybody else on the Internet. They're just for use on a local network. If you're trying to make an Internet phone call using some programs, or connecting to a gaming server, then knowing your actual— rather than private—IP address can be very useful, so that others can connect.

The solution is giplet, which you can install using Synaptic. Once installed, right-click a blank spot on the panel, select Add to panel, and then select Giplet from the list. By default you'll see your private IP address so right-click the icon, click Preferences, and ensure the Get IP from Website button is selected. This will ensure your external IP address is displayed.

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