How to add network bridge with nmcli (NetworkManager) on Linux

How to create/add network bridge with nmcli

The procedure to add a bridge interface on Linux is as follows when you want to use Network Manager:

  1. Open the Terminal app
  2. Get info about the current connection:
    nmcli con show
  3. Add a new bridge:
    nmcli con add type bridge ifname br0
  4. Create a slave interface:
    nmcli con add type bridge-slave ifname eno1 master br0
  5. Turn on br0:
    nmcli con up br0

Let us see how to create a bridge, named br0 in details.

Get current network config

Getting Network Info on Linux
View the connections with nmcli

You can view connection from the Network Manager GUI in settings:

Another option is to type the following command:
$ nmcli con show
$ nmcli connection show --active

I have a “Wired connection 1” which uses the eno1 Ethernet interface. My system has a VPN interface too. I am going to setup a bridge interface named br0 and add, (or enslave) an interface to eno1.

How to create a bridge, named br0

Create bridge interface using nmcli on Linux

$ sudo nmcli con add ifname br0 type bridge con-name br0
$ sudo nmcli con add type bridge-slave ifname eno1 master br0
$ nmcli connection show

You can disable STP too:
$ sudo nmcli con modify br0 bridge.stp no
$ nmcli con show
$ nmcli -f bridge con show br0

The last command shows the bridge settings including disabled STP:

bridge.mac-address: — bridge.stp: no bridge.priority: 32768 bridge.forward-delay: 15 bridge.hello-time: 2 bridge.max-age: 20 bridge.ageing-time: 300 bridge.multicast-snooping: yes

How to turn on bridge interface

Build a network bridge with nmcli on Linux

You must turn off “Wired connection 1” and turn on br0:
$ sudo nmcli con down "Wired connection 1"
$ sudo nmcli con up br0
$ nmcli con show

Use ip command to view the IP settings:
$ ip a s
$ ip a s br0

Optional: How to use br0 with KVM

Now you can connect VMs (virtual machine) created with KVM/VirtualBox/VMware workstation to a network directly without using NAT. Create a file named br0.xml for KVM using vi command or cat command:
$ cat /tmp/br0.xml
Append the following code:

<network> <name>br0</name> <forward mode=”bridge”/> <bridge name=”br0″ /> </network>

Run virsh command as follows:
# virsh net-define /tmp/br0.xml
# virsh net-start br0
# virsh net-autostart br0
# virsh net-list --all

Sample outputs:

Name State Autostart Persistent ———————————————————- br0 active yes yes default inactive no yes

For more info read the following man page:
$ man ip
$ man nmcli