Linux Networking — What is IP Address 169.254.169.254?

Tony
4 min readOct 13, 2023

The IP address 169.254.169.254 is a link-local address used by cloud environments, including Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Amazon Web Services (AWS), and others. This IP address is used to provide metadata to instances running in the cloud environment.

If you run the ip route command, you will see the following:

$ ip route show | grep 169.254.169.254
169.254.169.254 dev eth0

In different cloud platforms, you will see different output.

GCP Context

In the context of GCP (Google Cloud Platform), instances can query 169.254.169.254 to access instance metadata, project metadata, and other information about the instance or running processes. The metadata server is a read-only server that provides instance-specific data.

You can access the metadata server from your instance using curl or any HTTP method. Here is an example of a curl command:

$ curl "http://metadata.google.internal/computeMetadata/v1/instance/?" -H "Metadata-Flavor: Google"
attributes/
cpu-platform
description
disks/
guest-attributes/
hostname
id
image
licenses/
machine-type
maintenance-event
name
network-interfaces/
preempted
remaining-cpu-time
scheduling/
service-accounts/
tags
virtual-clock/
zone

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