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When I do ifconfig on my Mac, I get a list of the following interfaces:

lo0
gif0
stf0
en0
fw0
en1
vmnet8
vmnet1

I wonder what each interface is. Also, which of these is the IP interface ? I don't see eth0 anywhere, which I assume is the standard interface name used by linux systems.

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2 Answers

up vote 16 down vote accepted

I wonder what each interface is.

  • lo0 = loopback
  • gif0 = Software Network Interface
  • stf0 = 6to4 tunnel interface
  • en0 = Ethernet 0
  • fw0 = Firewire
  • en1 = Ethernet 1
  • vmnet8 = Virtual Interface
  • vmnet1 = Virtual Interface

Something like that.

Also, which of these is the IP interface ?

There hasn't been "the" IP interface since many years ago. All of them can have IPv4 and/or IPv6 configured and running. The default one to use is defined by the routing table (in particular the default or 0.0.0.0, ::/0 entry).

I don't see eth0 anywhere, which I assume is the standard interface name used by linux systems.

Mac OS X is BSD, not Linux.

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Thanks very much. –  euphoria83 Apr 7 '11 at 6:12
    
+1 Nice answer. Also, sometimes you'll see ppp0, which is also used for some VPN tunnels. –  mehaase Apr 8 '11 at 0:59
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Also, on Apple portables en0 is Ethernet and en1 is Airport(WiFi). Mac Pro's will have en3 as well as they have two Ethernet NICs and Airport(WiFi).

vmnet# is usually created by VMs(Parallels/VMWare)

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