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Thursday, 30 June 2011

Where is the mac address located physically?

Here is a quick hint.

For SPARC systems, it is in the NVRAM or the Non Volatile Random Access Memory. The banner command read it from here.
There are times you will find values like ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff. This could probably mean that there is a problem reading it from the NVRAM. Perhaps the NVRAM can be defective.
In other SPARC systems, there is a separate chip wherein the mac address is written.

For x86 systems, it is only in the NIC or the Network Interface Card that the mac address is written. No special chip or separate memory holds this information.
Now, what if it's a new machine and you need to know the mac address. Of course you cannot run ifconfig during this occasion. It is easy. Just power on the box and press F12 as it prompts you with bios setup. It will broadcast the mac address. But there is a requirement; the box should be equipped with updated PXE boot environment.

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