Get Interface name by hardware address

At work we have had a need for getting a interface name by mac address and are in a environment that doesn’t have many common Linux tools (nor would I want to regex it as the environment will constantly be changing).

My first solution was to to write a C program (about 125 lines) which used the linux/rtnetlink library. However, now that I’m looking at Golang I figured why not rewrite this (which is only about 40 lines).

Below is the code, hopefully the comments explain the solution.

package main

import (

func main() {

	// First lets check our command line arguments and be sure we
	// have a single input value which we will assume is mac_address.
	args := os.Args
	if len(args) != 2 {
		panic("This binary takes a single argument of interface name.")

	// Get a list of all interfaces on the machine.
	interfaces, err := net.Interfaces()
	if err != nil {
		panic("Unable to get interfaces.")

	// Loop over all interfaces
	for i := range interfaces {

		// Get the interfaces Index and then load
		// the interface by Index.
		id := interfaces[i].Index
		inter, err := net.InterfaceByIndex(id)

		if err != nil {
			panic("Unable to get interface by id")

		// If our command line input matches our HardwareAddr
		// this is the MAC_ADDRESS you seek.
		if args[1] == inter.HardwareAddr.String() {

And the code works something like this:

$ ./get_interface 12:34:56:78:90:00