Frequently Asked Questions

Modified: 22 May 2023 20:32 UTC

What networks can my instance connect to?

Triton has core features that handle the virtualization and management of layer 2 and layer 3 networks, and both can be broken down in two basic types:

Importantly, these networking features are available to all the instance types Triton supports, including Docker containers, infrastructure containers, and hardware VMs.

How do I find my IP address(es)?

Each instance, including Docker containers, infrastructure containers, and hardware VMs, gets one or more IP addresses on different networks. You can check the IP address(es) assigned to each instance in a number of different ways:

Finding instance IP addresses using the Triton portal

Sign into the Triton portalComputeInstances, where you'll see a full list of all of the containers and VMs you have running on Triton Computer Services.

Triton Dashboard

By clicking on the name of an instance, you’ll see a summary of all of those instance details. In the first section, labeled Summary, several pieces of information will appear. Among the data, you can get the instance IP addresses.

Triton Dashboard

Finding instance IP addresses using Triton CLI

The Triton CLI tool is a fast and convenient way to mange infrastructure on Triton. You can get a list of your instances with triton instances, but watch the screencast for a quick overview of how to use it. To get the IP address of your instance using Triton, run the following command:

triton inst ip <instance>

This will give you the primaryIp address for your instance. On Triton, primaryIp is often a public IP address on your instance, but if you didn't request a public IP address (see below for how to request or not public IPs for your instance), it will typically1 be the next most public IP address.

There may be more than one IP listed for your instance in an ips array. To get all of these IP addresses and more information about your instance, run:

triton instance get <instance>

That command will return information about your instance, including the image it is running, instance state, DNS names, and the instance IP(s). It will look something like this:

    "id": "ea66e367-031b-47c4-8a56-3649becb789f",
    "name": "<instance name>",
    "type": "smartmachine",
    "brand": "lx",
    "state": "running",
    "image": "6e9f2ba8-0ec3-3b9e-86a9-c0b84f0d042a",
    "ips": [
    "primaryIp": ""

If you install this JSON-parser with npm install -g json, then you can extract the primaryIP address from the JSON output, instead of having to read the entire array:

triton instance get -j <instance> | json primaryIp

You can also get the primaryIp address when listing instances. For example:

$ triton instances -l
ID                                    NAME   IMG                 BRAND   PACKAGE          STATE    FLAGS  PRIMARYIP       CREATED
40ea080c-8436-4fa3-9048-16b31ab063f0  gloom  base-64-lts@15.4.1  joyent  g4-highcpu-256M  running  -  2016-05-16T19:43:58.304Z

$ triton instances -o name,primaryIp
NAME                     PRIMARYIP

Finding instance IP addresses using Docker

It is possible to find your primary IP address for your Docker containers with Docker CLI. You can get your list of containers (to get the <container> name or ID) using triton-docker ps.

triton-docker inspect <container>

This will output a large JSON array of information about your Docker container, and the primary IP address will be buried inside NetworkSettingsIPAddress.

If you want to get just the IP address, this command uses Go to parse out that information:

triton-docker inspect --format '{{ .NetworkSettings.IPAddress }}' <container>

Finding instance IP addresses from inside the instance

If you're inside an instance, within a shell, you can use either ifconfig -a or ip addr to show the IP address. The command in use depends on the base OS/distro.

eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 90:b8:d0:7d:9f:e5
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: fe80::92b8:d0ff:fe7d:9fe5/10 Scope:Link
          RX packets:3 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:22 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1
          RX bytes:138 (138.0 B)  TX bytes:1480 (1.4 KB)

eth1      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 90:b8:d0:20:27:06
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: fe80::92b8:d0ff:fe20:2706/10 Scope:Link
          RX packets:30142 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:13926 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1
          RX bytes:42094996 (42.0 MB)  TX bytes:983433 (983.4 KB)

lo        Link encap:Local Loopback
          inet addr:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
          RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
          RX bytes:0 (0.0 B)  TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)

In the example above, from ifconfig -a, eth0 is connected to a private overlay network and is best used for internal connections between application components. The eth1 interface is connected to the public internet with a routable public IP address,

What are NICs and why do I have so many?

Network Interface Controllers (NICs) connect your instances to a computer network. Each of your instances has one or more NICs, each connected to particular networks. This is a key feature of network virtualization and isolation in Triton: the virtual NICs maximize performance, security, and convenience. Docker containers, for example, can be directly connected to the public internet on their own NIC, and you'll never need to worry about port collisions among multiple containers trying to use ports 80 or 443, or other common ports.

Each NIC can give you access to a different network, allowing you to create the exact network topology you need to isolate your applications while still connecting the components.

When do I get charged for bandwidth?

We charge bandwidth for interfaces with a public IP address and an external network. So if you have an application and a database which communicate over external interfaces, you will be charged. If those instances communicate over internal interfaces with only private IP addresses, you are not charged.

To determine which interfaces, if any, are public, you'll need your container name or UUID, which you can get from triton inst ls. Use that name to get information to get the networks attached to your instance with triton inst get.

$ triton inst get <instance>
    "id": "faa1e2e8-25fc-4579-8257-f99ccfc7b0af",
    "name": "angry_fermi",
    "type": "smartmachine",
    "networks": [

Using the networks' IDs, run triton network get <network> to determine if the network is public or private.

$ triton network get dcef4216-d34a-44fd-bf83-635172bf9e46
    "id": "dcef4216-d34a-44fd-bf83-635172bf9e46",
    "name": "My-Fabric-Network",
    "public": false,
    "fabric": true,
    "gateway": "",
    "internet_nat": true,
    "provision_end_ip": "",
    "provision_start_ip": "",
    "resolvers": [
    "subnet": "",
    "vlan_id": 2

$ triton network get a4294278-a494-4f7d-b5d6-983c70729c58
    "id": "a4294278-a494-4f7d-b5d6-983c70729c58",
    "name": "JoyentSDC-",
    "public": true,
    "description": "JoyentSDC-"

The first network, dcef4216-d34a-44fd-bf83-635172bf9e46, is a private network, while a4294278-a494-4f7d-b5d6-983c70729c58 is a public network.

Want a shortcut? Find the networks associated with an instance with this one line command:

$ triton inst get <instance> | json networks | json -a | xargs -L1 -n1 triton network get
    "id": "2065ac74-8d04-4077-8682-7feffb0d7dee",
    "name": "Joyent-SDC-",
    "public": true,
    "description": "Joyent-SDC-Public-Pool-"
    "id": "43b174ba-03cd-48bb-8fb4-45c0584cfb15",
    "name": "JoyentSDC-",
    "public": false

Note: Instances can be provisioned with a public network by selecting it at provision time via the Triton web portal or with the triton CLI tool. For Docker instances, you can be give public network access using the -p or -P flag.

To view all available networks, run triton network list.

Can I connect my instances together on a private network?

Yes. You can choose the networks you want to connect your instance to when you create it, and add or remove network connections (NICs) while the instance is running.

By default, each instance will be connected to a private fabric network. It is also possible to connect instances to a public network. Exactly what type of private network and whether or not the instance gets a public network depends on the instance type.

Private fabric networks are a good choice for connecting the components of your application, since their isolation from the public internet and other users in the data center (for user-defined networks) can improve the security of those application components. For example, databases are typically connected just to other application components in the data center and not exposed on the public internet.

What are the default networks for my instance?

Triton user-defined networks (also called "fabrics" and "overlay networks") are built using VXLAN and 802.1Q industry standards. Check out the docs.

Every account in Triton starts with a private user-defined network named "default", which is the default network for Docker containers and an optional network for other instances. To list the networks available, go to the Triton portalNetworks or use the Triton CLI command triton networks.

Your container may also be connected to a public network, reachable over the internet. The IP address the public network is given varies based on the data center. By default, all containers and VM instances are given public VNICs. Docker containers do not have a public VNIC unless you request it with the -p or -P argument to triton-docker run ....

How do get a public IP address?

Docker containers on Triton only get interfaces and IP addresses on the public internet if you request one with the -p or -P argument to triton-docker run ....

Infrastructure containers and hardware virtual machines get public IP addresses by default.

Use the instructions above to find the IP address(es) for your instances.

What if I don't want a public IP address?

Applications often have many components or services, only a small portion of which should be exposed on the public internet. You want certain components such as a load balancer and the front-end design to be easily seen by the user. However, databases and certain back-end components should most often be hidden from the public for the safety of your application.

Public IP addresses are optional. They're on by default for infrastructure containers and hardware VMs, but you can create containers without them if you want. For Docker containers, they're off by default, and you have to explicitly ask for a public IP address using the -p or -P argument in your triton-docker run....

Can I firewall my instance?

Firewalls can help protect your instances from network attacks by blocking (or allowing) traffic based on a set of rules you can define. This can be especially valuable for protecting instances on public or shared networks. Triton Cloud Firewall makes firewall management easy. In some cases, it's even automatic!

Triton Cloud Firewall can automatically apply firewall rules based on instance tags or Docker labels, making it easy to apply or change firewall policies.

And, for Docker instances, Triton Cloud Firewall will automatically set rules that block traffic to all the ports on a public network except those specified in the -p argument in your triton-docker run....

You can modify these rules in your terminal with triton fwrule or on my.mnx.ioNetworkFirewall.

How can I get a consistent address for instances as I change them?

As you scale your application or replace or upgrade the instances, the IP addresses that you use to find it on the internet will change (don't worry, IP addresses won't change on a running instance, but you'll get new IP addresses with each new instance).

In traditional systems, you would have to update your DNS information to point the DNS name to the correct IP addresses for your app. Triton offers Container Name Service (CNS), an automated DNS solution. Watch an introduction video to understand the benefits of using Triton CNS.

See the docs for an example of how to use it for global DNS and how to use it with:

To learn how to add a vanity domain to your applications, watch the assign a vanity domain with Triton CNS screencast.

  1. Actually, the behavior here can be improved, follow PUBAPI-1291 for updates.