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On debian squeeze, I setup a bridge based on eth0. My /etc/network/interfaces is

# The loopback network interface
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

# The primary network interface
#allow-hotplug eth1
#auto eth0
iface eth0 inet manual
iface eth0 inet6 manual

auto br0
iface br0 inet dhcp
    bridge_ports    eth0
    bridge_stp      off
#    bridge_maxwait  0
    bridge_fd       9
bridge_hello 2
bridge_maxage 12

Despite setting eth0 to manual, it get's an ip address via DHCP. Setting ifconfig eth0 down explicitly, disables the interface for a few seconds before it comes back up again.

How can I disable eth0 and use br0 has my only network interface?

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I'm not sure about this (that's why it's a comment), but have you tried restarting the network manager so it will accept eth0 as manual? – David Kohen Nov 26 '12 at 13:54
You try to comment all lines for eth0 (except the bridge_ports one of course) and restart networking. – Not Now Nov 26 '12 at 19:12
Are you running NetworkManager or Wicd? Without them the interface shouldn't come up automatically. Check the system logs (/var/log/*, look for files modified around the time the network came up) for clues. – Gilles Nov 26 '12 at 23:40
Wicd was running. Can you write it as an answer, so I can close this question? – Shoan Nov 27 '12 at 11:28

Gilles appears to have answered this one in the comments, with:

Are you running NetworkManager or Wicd?

as followed up by the OP:

Wicd was running.

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