etherwake – A tool to send a Wake-On-LAN “Magic Packet”



etherwake [options] Host-ID


This manual page documents the usage of the ether-wake command.

etherwake is a program that generates and transmits a Wake-On-LAN
(WOL) “Magic Packet”, used for restarting machines that have been
soft-powered-down (ACPI D3-warm state). It generates the standard AMD Magic
Packet format, optionally with a password included. The single required
parameter is a station (MAC) address or a host ID that can be translated to
a MAC address by an
database specified in


etherwake needs a single dash (’-’) in front of options.
A summary of options is included below.

Send the wake-up packet to the broadcast address.
Increase the Debug Level.
-i ifname
Use interface ifname instead of the default “eth0”.
-p passwd
Append a four or six byte password to the packet. Only a few adapters
need or support this. A six byte password may be specified in Ethernet hex
format (00:22:44:66:88:aa) or four byte dotted decimal ( format.
A four byte password must use the dotted decimal format.
Show the program version information.

Exit Status

This program returns 0 on success. A permission failures (e.g. run as a
non-root user) results in an exit status of 2. Unrecognized or invalid
parameters result in an exit status of 3. Failure to retrieve network
interface information or send a packet will result in an exit status of 1.

See Also

arp(8) .


On some non-Linux systems dropping root capability allows the process
to be dumped, traced or debugged. If someone traces this program, they get
control of a raw socket. Linux handles this safely, but beware when porting
this program.


The etherwake program was written by Donald Becker at Scyld Computing
Corporation for use with the Scyld(Tm) Beowulf System.

 Posted by at 1:48 pm