Classnotes | UNIX02 | RecentChanges | Preferences To hide the diversity of equipment that may be used in a networking environment, TCP/IP defines an abstract interface through which the hardware is accessed. This interface offers a set of operations that is the same for all types of hardware and basically deals with sending and receiving packets.
For each peripheral networking device, a corresponding interface has to be present in the kernel. For example, Ethernet interfaces in Linux are called by such names as eth0 and eth1; PPP interfaces are named ppp0 and ppp1; and [FDDI] interfaces are given names like fddi0 and fddi1. These interface names are used for configuration purposes when you want to specify a particular physical device in a configuration command, and they have no meaning beyond this use.