I know you can do ifconfig | grep inet, but that shows you several IPv4 addresses. How do I get the specific one for SSHing et al?

  • 3
    What you are looking for is not your Mac IP address but the public IP address your ISP attributed to the Internet interface of your router.
    – dan
    Commented Feb 12, 2019 at 11:26
  • 4
    This worked for me : > curl ipecho.net/plain; echo
    – alturium
    Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 17:37
  • 4
    You should either clarify your question, i.e. you want to know internal IP in your local network or change the accepted answer, because none of the answers give you an option to get an external IP, but a few comments do.
    – ruslaniv
    Commented Dec 4, 2020 at 7:15
  • 3
    osascript -e 'return IPv4 address of (get system info)'
    – Carsten
    Commented Jun 9, 2022 at 8:03
  • 2
    Building on other ansvers: ipconfig getifaddr $(route -n get default | awk '$1=="interface:" { print $2 }') - get the address of the interface handling the default route. I don't have enough reputation to add this to an answer.
    – sastorsl
    Commented Jan 25 at 10:45

9 Answers 9


Local IP address

For wireless: Use ipconfig getifaddr en1

For ethernet: Useipconfig getifaddr en0.

ipconfig getifaddr en0 is default for the Wi-Fi network adapter

Public IP address

dig -4 TXT +short o-o.myaddr.l.google.com @ns1.google.com

Output, e.g.:

Command explanation

The command you provided, dig -4 TXT +short o-o.myaddr.l.google.com @ns1.google.com, is a command-line instruction that uses the dig utility to perform a DNS (Domain Name System) lookup. Let's break down the components of the command:

  • dig: dig stands for "domain information groper," and it is a command-line tool commonly available on Unix-like systems for querying DNS servers.

  • -4: This option specifies that the command should use IPv4 protocol for the DNS lookup. It ensures that the query is sent using IPv4 instead of IPv6.

  • TXT: This indicates the type of DNS record being requested. In this case, the command is asking for the TXT record.

  • +short: This option is used to display only the relevant information from the DNS response, providing a concise output.

  • o-o.myaddr.l.google.com: This is the hostname used for the DNS lookup. It is a special hostname that Google uses to provide information about the IP address from which the DNS query originates.

  • @ns1.google.com: This specifies the DNS server to which the query is sent. In this case, it is set to ns1.google.com, which is one of Google's public DNS servers.

When you run this command, it queries the ns1.google.com DNS server for the TXT record associated with o-o.myaddr.l.google.com. The response will contain the TXT record, which typically includes information about the IP address of the client making the DNS query. The +short option ensures that only the relevant information is displayed, making it easier to read the output.

  • 22
    This shows my internal (to my router) IP address (e.g. 192.168.1.xxx), not the external IP address. (As do most of the other answers below.) Commented May 5, 2015 at 22:38
  • 7
    ifconfig shows all of the interfaces and their IPs
    – aralar
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 17:26
  • 18
    echo External IP: curl -s http://checkip.dyndns.org/ | sed 's/[a-zA-Z<>/ :]//g'
    – grigb
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 17:51
  • 52
    It has changed for years, 'ipconfig getifaddr en0' is default for wifi interface Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 16:35
  • 7
    when you don't know which interface you're on: ifconfig -l | xargs -n1 ipconfig getifaddr
    – epylinkn
    Commented Apr 6, 2020 at 8:14

The following works for me on 10.8 and on 10.10 Yosemite.

ifconfig | grep "inet " | grep -Fv | awk '{print $2}' 

If you find the above gives you more than one answer, save the following to a script, and run it instead


#!/usr/bin/env bash

  IT=$(ifconfig "$1") 
  if [[ "$IT" != *"status: active"* ]]; then
  if [[ "$IT" != *" broadcast "* ]]; then
  echo "$IT" | grep "inet " | grep -v | awk '{print $2}'

  # snagged from here: https://superuser.com/a/627581/38941
  DEFAULT_ROUTE=$(route -n get 2>/dev/null | awk '/interface: / {print $2}')
  if [ -n "$DEFAULT_ROUTE" ]; then
    dumpIpForInterface "$DEFAULT_ROUTE"
    for i in $(ifconfig -s | awk '{print $1}' | awk '{if(NR>1)print}')
      if [[ $i != *"vboxnet"* ]]; then
        dumpIpForInterface "$i"

  • 8
    The should be the accepted answer in my opinion since it doesn't require any wired vs. wireless specification. Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 15:14
  • @ErikNomitch except it gives me 2 with this answer Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 15:31
  • Ah, I retract then. @ZachLysobey Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 20:08
  • 1
    Can confirm this solution works great. I have multiple interfaces all with valid local IPs, but this solution properly returns the IP for the primary interface (that is, the interface used to route traffic to the wider net)
    – Chris
    Commented Oct 19, 2020 at 21:20
  • 1
    For some reason can't get it to work on oh-my-zsh...
    – ruslaniv
    Commented Dec 4, 2020 at 8:05

Typing curl ifconfig.me in Terminal will give your public IP address

  • Be advised that this works by actually making a network request to the Internet site "ifconfig.me". (It's not a purely "local" solution.) Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 16:09
  • Easier and works, Thanks
    – Anand
    Commented Jan 24 at 10:55
  • This worked for me
    – Jimmy Long
    Commented May 22 at 1:29

I've got this set up in an .aliases dotfile for frequent ip lookup:

alias ip="dig +short myip.opendns.com @resolver1.opendns.com"
alias localip="ipconfig getifaddr en0"
  • For me, the localip option there doesn't work anymore, but this does: ifconfig | grep "inet " | grep -Fv | awk '{print $2}'
    – user116913
    Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 17:51
  • This is the best answer: While dig does reach outside of your machine, it is a domain name resolver, which means its main function is precisely to match domain name to IP address. In this case, it is your own IP address, of course. Commented Mar 8, 2021 at 16:58
  • the ip alias doesn't seem to be working (I'm on OSX Catalina). This one does: curl -s http://ipecho.net/plain; echo
    – jnaklaas
    Commented Jul 12, 2021 at 14:45
  • Running the dig command on macOS Monterey produces no output. Running the curl -s command does seem to work. Commented Mar 13, 2023 at 23:20

You can do the following:

Type ifconfig or ifconfig -a. This command shows you the list of interfaces along with their IP and MAC addresses (the latter one only if applicable). You can also type ifconfig en0 or ifconfig en1 for the configuration of a particular interface only (as someone said in their answers, en0 is typically the wired Ethernet while en1 is the WiFi interface).

As an alternative, netstat -i will list all interfaces and will show you the IP addresses you have assigned to each of them.

Typically, when you have SSH daemon running on a box, it will listen on all available interfaces, ie. you can use any IP address that's configured on your machine to connect to that machine via SSH (this, obviously, subject to Firewall rules). If you're after what the OS calls a Primary interface and primary IP address, you can use the scutil command like this:

MacBook:~ scutil
> show State:/Network/Global/IPv4
<dictionary> {
  PrimaryInterface : en0
  PrimaryService : C0550F84-5C07-484F-8D62-C8B90DC977D8
  Router :
> show State:/Network/Interface/en0/IPv4
<dictionary> {
  Addresses : <array> {
    0 :
  BroadcastAddresses : <array> {
    0 :
  SubnetMasks : <array> {
    0 :

Please note, that the above, even though is a command-line command, is also interactive (so you run scutil and then enter its own commands into it). The first show command tells you the name of the primary interface for the OS (i.e. this will be the one on top of the list in your System Preferences / Network Preferences window), as well as the IP address of your default router. The second show command takes State:/Network/Interface/<ifname>/IPv4 argument (in this case, en0) and gives you the IP addresses assigned to it. You're looking for the address in the Addresses array, the other two entries are broadcast addresses and the netmasks.

Hope that helps, but if anything is not clear, let me know.

  • 3
    Thanks for this answer. I wrote a quick script to get the IP your primary interface: echo "show State:/Network/Interface/$(echo 'show State:/Network/Global/IPv4' | scutil | grep 'PrimaryInterface ' | sed 's/ PrimaryInterface : //')/IPv4" | scutil | pcregrep -Mo1 " Addresses : <array> {\n 0 : ([0-9]{1,3}\.[0-9]{1,3}\.[0-9]{1,3}\.[0-9]{1,3})"
    – HellaMad
    Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 19:09
  • en0 is WiFi interface for me.
    – Jonny
    Commented Jun 28 at 3:01

To find your Mac's current internal IP address, run:

ifconfig -l | xargs -n1 ipconfig getifaddr

This is basically equivalent to ipconfig getifaddr en0, but more reliable! en0 is not always the current network interface!

Thank you to @epylinkn in the comments of another answer for this hint. I'm posting it here so it's more visible; I initially missed it myself.

  • Seems better, but it returns two addresses. Would be nice to just use the first one.
    – Jonny
    Commented Jun 28 at 3:10
  • For me it only returns one address. Is it possible you have two active network interfaces? Commented Jun 29 at 4:35
  • I just use a Macbook with WiFi mostly so I don't think so. BTW as some other answers note the first could be picked by using | head -1.
    – Jonny
    Commented Jul 2 at 5:03
  • Yeah, so I'm trying to decide if I should edit this answer to add | head -1 to the command. The question is (A) if you really do have two active network interfaces, is that the right thing to do, and (B) why the first and not the second? Commented Jul 3 at 6:42

To get the IP address of your computer facing the Internet, here is a working receipe:

if=`netstat -nr | awk '{ if ($1 ~/default/) { print $6} }'`
ifconfig ${if} | awk '{ if ($1 ~/inet/) { print $2} }'

It should work even when you have multiple interfaces active, even when you have interfaces you don't know which one is actually the default gateway.

  • 1
    This gets the internal network IP address (eg: 192.168.0.*), not the external one exposed to the internet.
    – SimplGy
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 5:30
  • Thank you for this feedback. Could you tell me on which version of the OS you are? Could you provide me the output of netstat -nr | grep default ?
    – dan
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 6:39
  • This gets the IP of the interface that serves in/outbound traffic. If you're behind NAT, that will give your LAN address, not WAN address. But it can be useful for a lot of purposes, and it doesn't reach out for network.
    – folex
    Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 11:25

Just for the record, you can make a bash script with the following content which gives you your external IP address

wget -qO - http://ipecho.net/plain; echo
  • 4
    By default wget is not a part of macOS and needs to be installed from a non-Apple source. Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 9:39
  • Is the question macOS specific ? it is by default installed on many linux distributions.
    – user702846
    Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 19:56
  • 4
    This site is about Apple hardware and software, so macOS and iOS is presumed.
    – grg
    Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 20:47
  • 4
    The default macOS command for this would be by using curl: curl -s http://ipecho.net/plain; echo
    – thibmaek
    Commented Feb 11, 2019 at 10:32

This answer work on both mac and linux:

ifconfig | grep -E "([0-9]{1,3}\.){3}[0-9]{1,3}" | grep -v | head -1 | awk '{ print $2 }'
  • Will list just for one interface, on not nessecarily the IP that is your main route.
    – sastorsl
    Commented Jan 25 at 7:47

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .