What is this IP address: 169.254.169.254?

pradeepchhetri asked:

I have always noticed an IP something “169.254.x.x” attached even when I am not connected to any network in my Windows operating system.

In Linux, when I list my routing table.

$ ip route show 

I get an entry like

169.254.0.0/16 dev eth0  scope link  metric 1000 

Can somebody explain me what is this ip actually. Whether its something like the 127.0.0.0/8 family.

Edit: In ec2, each instance can get meta-data regarding their own by making HTTP requests to this IP.

$ curl -s http://169.254.169.254/user-data/

So can someone tell me to whom this ip is actually assigned ?

My answer:


These are dynamically configured link-local addresses. They are only valid on a single network segment and are not to be routed.

Of particular note, 169.254.169.254 is used in Amazon EC2 and other cloud computing platforms to distribute metadata to cloud instances.


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