I see my problem. I mis-read what nmcli con mod eth0 mac "02:67:15:00:81:0B" does. It sets HWADDR; which interface to link to, not MACADDR, what MAC address you want for your interface. So I have read the nmcli pages and googled a bit. I cannot find a way to set MACADDR. I suppose I can set HWADDR then use sed to change it to MACADDR, but this seems a real hack. ARM boards do not have assigned MAC addresses. Uboot uses various information to generate a local MAC address. I want finer control of my MAC address for my servers. In the past, I just edited ifcfg-eth0. I am trying now to do it all with nmcli. I thought I had it, but I misread the manual. Any pointers? thanks BTW, I remember setting MAC addresses on 3COM 3C501C boards because the old board died and we had software licensed to specific MAC addresses. So you had to specify your MAC address in the config file. The DEC admin had to do a similar thing if he had to swap out his LAN card (related: read up on why Dr. Comer set ARP timeout to 10min). Then there was that counterfeit 3C503C from Malaysia, all with the same MAC address. Caused havoc on the networks. EVERYONE had to specify their MAC address with those. 3COM did find the plant making these clones and shut them down. But the damage was done to a lot of us.