Best ways of looking up the MAC Vendor (OUI) for an Ethernet hardware address

Last modified on 16 Sep, 2020. Revision 14

Ethernet MAC address format

6 bytes, formatted in lots of ways. “12-23-34-45-56-67”, “1223:4556:6778”, “1234.5678.9abc” - they’re all the same.

The first 3 bytes are often referred to as the “MAC Vendor field” or “IEEE OUI”, though note that OUI:s are also used for non-Ethernet things.

First byte odd = multicast

x1-xx-xx-xx-xx-xx, x3-xx-xx-xx-xx-xx, x5…, x7…, x9…, xb…, xd…, xf

These are typically never used as source address, only destination address. Rounding down to a multiple of 4 ( = subtracting 1 or 3 ) from the first byte MAY get you the vendor, depending on application.

First byte not divisible by 4 = locally-configured

x2-xx-xx-xx-xx-xx, x6-xx-xx-xx-xx-xx, xa-xx-xx-xx-xx-xx, xe-xx-xx-xx-xx-xx

These are not registered with IEEE - you are supposed to assign them “locally”, with varying interpretations of “local”. Subtracting 2 from the first byte MAY get you the vendor, depending on what practice the local admins follow.

First byte is x0, x4, x8, xc = you can look it up!

This ought to be an actual IEEE OUI -

01-00-5e-xx-xx-xx = IPv4 multicast

The final bytes are taken directly from the lowest 23 bits (aka 3 bytes minus highest 1 bit) of the IPv4 multicast address.

This means that several valid IPv4 multicast addresses map to the same Ethernet addresses. So: you can’t know for sure what 01-00-5e-00-00-16 … but it’s a good bet that it’s IGMP (

33-33-xx-xx-xx-xx = ipv6 multicast

The 4 lowest bytes are taken from the IPv6 address.

In summary

x0 x4 x8 xc = registered MAC vendor x1 x5 x9 xd = multicast, should belong to above x2 x6 xa xe = locally-assigned x3 x7 xa xf = multicast belonging to locally-assigned

Good lookup tools

There’s many that are poorly updated or pull from bad sources.

In our experience, is one of the best.

If you want the Official Source, it’s - but the wireshark tables also contain unassigned-but-commonly-found addresses.

Clavister HA shared (virtual) MACs


If you’re a Clavister customer, that’s likely a HA cluster shared MAC address that you are seeing.

The last (sixth) byte is the cluster ID in hexadecimal.

Multicasts to 11-00-00?

If you’re a Clavister customer, that’s likely HA Cluster Heartbeats you’re seeing - it should be a handful every second.

It’s the 10-00-00 address, +1 in the first byte, following standard multicast assignment rules.


With this setting off, the shared address will be 10-00-00-c1-4a-xx.

With this setting ON, “c1-4a” is replaced by a unique number for that Ethernet interface. VLANs still copy that base address - as normal - and are not unique among VLANs on the same trunk.

Related articles

Assigning additional IPs to cOS Core Ethernet interfaces
7 May, 2021 core ethernet vlan arp garp