Grabbing the MAC address on RHEL

At work I deploy Red Hat Enterprise Linux VMs, for a variety of reasons, mostly by hand.

One of the steps I loath is setting up the network, it’s almost the only thing that truly requires manually tapping each character out. I have, however, learnt this bash one-liner such that I type it out without thinking:

ifconfig -a | grep eth0 | sed 's/.*r \([0-9A-F:]*\).*/\1/'

Simply replace “eth0” with whatever interface you want the MAC address from and redirect it into the relevant ifcfg- file, edit said file with your favourite editor and prepend “HWADDR=” to the line with the MAC address on.