Python: get MAC address of default gateway

Is there any quick way in Python to get the <strong>MAC address</strong> of the <strong>default gateway</strong>?

I can't make any <strong>ARP requests</strong> from the <strong>Linux</strong> machine I'm running my code on, so it has to come directly from the <strong>ARP table</strong>.


The following DevFS files will provide this information:

/proc/net/arp /proc/net/route

Find the route entry with 0/0 as the host/mask:

Iface Destination Gateway Flags RefCnt Use Metric Mask MTU Window IRTT eth0 00000000 B91A210A 0003 0 0 100 00000000 0 0 0

and convert the Gateway field (it's in little-endian hex... grr):

import struct from IPy import IP address = IP(struct.unpack('<I', struct.pack('>I', int(i, 16)))[0]) #Converts 'B91A210A' to IP('')

From there, you can find your default gateway in the arp table:

IP address HW type Flags HW address Mask Device 0x1 0x2 e6:92:ec:f5:af:f7 * eth0

If it doesn't show up, issue a single ping, then check again, then fail.


Are you using Linux? You could parse the /proc/net/arp file. It contains the HW address of your gateway.


You can read from /proc/net/arp and parse the content, that will give you couples of known IP-MAC addresses.

The gateway is probably known at all times, if not you should ping it, and an ARP request will be automatically generated.

You can find the default gw in /proc/net/route


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