cidrsubnet calculates a subnet address within given IP network address prefix.
cidrsubnet(prefix, newbits, netnum)
prefix must be given in CIDR notation, as defined in
RFC 4632 section 3.1.
newbits is the number of additional bits with which to extend the prefix.
For example, if given a prefix ending in
/16 and a
newbits value of
4, the resulting subnet address will have length
netnum is a whole number that can be represented as a binary integer with
no more than
newbits binary digits, which will be used to populate the
additional bits added to the prefix.
This function accepts both IPv6 and IPv4 prefixes, and the result always uses the same addressing scheme as the given prefix.
Unlike the related function
allows you to give a specific network number to use.
cidrsubnets can allocate
multiple network addresses at once, but numbers them automatically starting
> cidrsubnet("172.16.0.0/12", 4, 2) 172.18.0.0/16 > cidrsubnet("10.1.2.0/24", 4, 15) 10.1.2.240/28 > cidrsubnet("fd00:fd12:3456:7890::/56", 16, 162) fd00:fd12:3456:7800:a200::/72
»Netmasks and Subnets
cidrsubnet requires familiarity with some network addressing concepts.
The most important idea is that an IP address (whether IPv4 or IPv6) is fundamentally constructed from binary digits, even though we conventionally represent it as either four decimal octets (for IPv4) or a sequence of 16-bit hexadecimal numbers (for IPv6).
Taking our example above of
cidrsubnet("10.1.2.0/24", 4, 15), the function
will first convert the given IP address string into an equivalent binary
10 . 1 . 2 . 0 00001010 00000001 00000010 | 00000000 network | host
/24 at the end of the prefix string specifies that the first 24
bits -- or, the first three octets -- of the address identify the network
while the remaining bits (32 - 24 = 8 bits in this case) identify hosts
within the network.
The CLI tool
ipcalc is useful for
visualizing CIDR prefixes as binary numbers. We can confirm the conversion
above by providing the same prefix string to
ipcalc 10.1.2.0/24 Address: 10.1.2.0 00001010.00000001.00000010. 00000000 Netmask: 255.255.255.0 = 24 11111111.11111111.11111111. 00000000 Wildcard: 0.0.0.255 00000000.00000000.00000000. 11111111 => Network: 10.1.2.0/24 00001010.00000001.00000010. 00000000 HostMin: 10.1.2.1 00001010.00000001.00000010. 00000001 HostMax: 10.1.2.254 00001010.00000001.00000010. 11111110 Broadcast: 10.1.2.255 00001010.00000001.00000010. 11111111 Hosts/Net: 254 Class A, Private Internet
This gives us some additional information but also confirms (using a slightly different notation) the conversion from decimal to binary and shows the range of possible host addresses in this network.
cidrhost allows calculating single host IP addresses,
cidrsubnet on the other hand creates a new network prefix within the given
network prefix. In other words, it creates a subnet.
When we call
cidrsubnet we also pass two additional arguments:
newbits decides how much longer the resulting prefix will be in
bits; in our example here we specified
4, which means that the resulting
subnet will have a prefix length of 24 + 4 = 28 bits. We can imagine these
bits breaking down as follows:
10 . 1 . 2 . ? 0 00001010 00000001 00000010 | XXXX | 0000 parent network | netnum | host
Four of the eight bits that were originally the "host number" are now being repurposed as the subnet number. The network prefix no longer falls on an exact octet boundary, so in effect we are now splitting the last decimal number in the IP address into two parts, using half of it to represent the subnet number and the other half to represent the host number.
netnum argument then decides what number value to encode into those
four new subnet bits. In our current example we passed
15, which is
represented in binary as
1111, allowing us to fill in the
in the above:
10 . 1 . 2 . 15 0 00001010 00000001 00000010 | 1111 | 0000 parent network | netnum | host
To convert this back into normal decimal notation we need to recombine the
two portions of the final octet. Converting
11110000 from binary to decimal
gives 240, which can then be combined with our new prefix length of 28 to
produce the result
10.1.2.240/28. Again we can pass this prefix string to
ipcalc to visualize it:
ipcalc 10.1.2.240/28 Address: 10.1.2.240 00001010.00000001.00000010.1111 0000 Netmask: 255.255.255.240 = 28 11111111.11111111.11111111.1111 0000 Wildcard: 0.0.0.15 00000000.00000000.00000000.0000 1111 => Network: 10.1.2.240/28 00001010.00000001.00000010.1111 0000 HostMin: 10.1.2.241 00001010.00000001.00000010.1111 0001 HostMax: 10.1.2.254 00001010.00000001.00000010.1111 1110 Broadcast: 10.1.2.255 00001010.00000001.00000010.1111 1111 Hosts/Net: 14 Class A, Private Internet
The new subnet has four bits available for host numbering, which means
that there are 14 host addresses available for assignment once we subtract
the network's own address and the broadcast address. You can thus use
cidrhost function to calculate those host addresses by
providing it a value between 1 and 14:
cidrhost("10.1.2.240/28", 1) 10.1.2.241 cidrhost("10.1.2.240/28", 14) 10.1.2.254
For more information on CIDR notation and subnetting, see Classless Inter-domain Routing.