ether-wake (8) - Linux Manuals

ether-wake: A tool to send a Wake-On-LAN "Magic Packet"


ether-wake - A tool to send a Wake-On-LAN "Magic Packet"


ether-wake [options] Host-ID


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

ether-wake 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 ethers(5) database specified in nsswitch.conf(5)


ether-wake 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 sending a wake packet to all interfaces.
-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.


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.


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 ether-wake program was written by Donald Becker at Scyld Computing Corporation for use with the Scyld() Beowulf System.