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Date:   Tue, 9 Aug 2022 14:58:44 -0700
From:   Stephen Hemminger <>
To:     Tim Harvey <>
Cc:     Pali Rohár <>,
        Sean Anderson <>,
        Michal Suchánek <>,
        netdev <>, u-boot <>,
        Device Tree Mailing List <>
Subject: Re: ethernet<n> dt aliases implications in U-Boot and Linux

On Tue, 9 Aug 2022 14:39:05 -0700
Tim Harvey <> wrote:

> > Maybe it would be better first to use "label" and then use ethernet alias?  
> I've been wondering the same as well which made me wonder what the
> history of the 'aliases' node is and why its not used in most cases in
> Linux. I know for the SOC's I work with we've always defined aliases
> for ethernet<n>, gpio<n>, serial<n>, spi<n>, i2c<n>, mmc<n> etc. Where
> did this practice come from and why are we putting that in Linux dts
> files it if it's not used by Linux?
> Best Regards,
> Tim

I added ifalias as part of better SNMP support.
In telco and router equipment they report the type/topology information
as ifAlias in MIB.

In Vyatta distribution this was set to information that came from
the pci subsystem for typical network PCI devices.

Recent distributions added altname support to allow for alternative
or longer names.

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