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Quoting from the ifconfig man page:

ifconfig is used to configure the kernel-resident network interfaces. It is used at boot time to set up interfaces as necessary. After that, it is usually only needed when debugging or when system tuning is needed.

What does kernel-resident mean?

0

The kernel-resident network interfaces are network interfaces linked with kernel modules.

This term is used to make the distinction with Linux drivers in user space.

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