Revert Networking in Ubuntu (18.04/20.04)

Note: This may not be a recommended approach to configuring Ubuntu, but I found it easier to roll back to how things worked in older versions.

Ubuntu 18.04 and 20.04 use something called NetPlan and CloudInit to manage networking. It is supposed to be more flexible and more powerful than traditional networking. Myself (and many others) have instead found it to be an inconsistent, overly complicated pain. In fact, I still haven't found adequate information on where CloudInit stores its initial settings after install.

Let's assume you just completed an Ubuntu 18.04 or 20.04 install, and want to quickly get your network up and running similar to how you had it in Ubuntu 16.04 or 14.04...

Step 1

Update APT database:

sudo apt update

Install the old networking:

sudo apt install ifupdown net-tools

Disable the new DNS:

sudo systemctl disable systemd-resolved.service

To change your interface name back to the old "eth0" that you're familiar with, edit the /etc/default/grub file and change the line with GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX to look like this:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="net.ifnames=0 biosdevname=0"

Now load the new Grub configuration:

sudo update-grub

And reboot to apply your changes:

sudo reboot

Step 2

Edit/Re-create your /etc/network/interfaces file. It may look something like this:

# /etc/network/interfaces

# loopback
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

# IPv4
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static

# IPv6
# iface eth0 inet6 auto

# EoF

Restart the network:

sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart

Remove and re-create your /etc/resolv.conf file.

sudo unlink /etc/resolv.conf

It may look something like this:

# /etc/resolv.conf


search localhost

# EoF

Remove CloudInit:

sudo apt purge cloud-init

Optional, you can remove the old CloudInit configuration files:

sudo rm -fr /etc/cloud/
sudo rm -fr /var/lib/cloud/

Now you're free to change your hostname to anything you want, without CloudInit permanently keeping the old hostname in its configuration.

sudo hostname MyHostName