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/etc/network/interfaces is a file configuring network interfaces, and ifconfig and iwconfig are commands operating on network interfaces. I saw the logical name for a network interface they use can be eth0, wlan0, wlan1, lo,...

What do "network interfaces" they refer to mean? Are the network interfaces the network controllers/adapters (which I think are the same as network interface card?) of computers?

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“Network interface” is an abstraction that encompasses physical network adapters (Ethernet card, WiFi card or dongle, FireWire cable, modem, etc.) as well as virtual ones (to connect virtual machines, VPN, etc.)

  • Thanks. By "interface", does it mean something standing between the computer and the network? – Tim Apr 13 '15 at 11:44
  • Yes, for example it's where you plug your Ethernet cable. – Gilles Apr 13 '15 at 11:46

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