This is a meant to be a collected set of thoughts which don't fit anyplace else about the iproute2 tools. If you are reading this in search of more details about the iproute2 tools, you should run (not walk) to your nearest command line, and execute the following command: bash -c ' gv $( locate ip-cref.ps ) '.
In any case, I suggest that the reader consult the documentation which comes with the iproute2 package for canonical answers.
Each of the iproute2 object names can be shortened to the shortest unique set of characters. This means that ip route show can be abbreviated ip ro s and ip rule show can be abbreviated ip ru s. Also ip address show can be ip a s. Such convenient shortcuts on the command line are often confusing in documentation. For this reason, I have preferred examples featuring the complete object names and action verbs. Note also below that iproute2 accepts not only abbreviations but also synonyms as described in Table H.1.
There are some syntactic synonyms available within the iproute2 package. See this Table H.1 for a complete list of synonyms.
Because the iproute2 command suite is under development, there may be slight differences between the output described in this documentation and that of your release of iproute2. I have tried to focus on the overwhelmingly common uses of the iproute2 tools rather than the ones which are under active development, and are subject to syntactic changes or new output presentations.
There are extensions to the iproute2 command suite, which can alter the sets of objects or syntax available for manipulation and inspection. Where these are covered in detail in this documentation, they will be relegated to a non-canonical ghetto. Examples will (someday) include ip arp and tc extensions.
There are some common synonyms in iproute2 syntax. Outlined below in Table H.1 is a list of the common synonyms. Note, that these synonyms are available in addition to the abbreviations indicated above.
Table H.1. iproute2 Synonyms
|ip neighbor||ip neighbour|
|ip tunnel||ip tunl|
|ip OBJECT show||ip OBJECT ls, ip OBJECT list|
|ip OBJECT change||ip OBJECT chg, ip OBJECT replace|
Because the iproute2 suite of tools is so tightly integrated with linux, it is not available for other operating systems. This is at once its strength and weakness. For users contemplating linux for the first time, ifconfig, netstat, and route are familiar and they feel intuitive. More experienced users and control freaks will find the iproute2 tools attractive and perhaps indispensable.