I think this answer and this one say that each ethernet adapter, such as USB-C-Gigabit Ethernet Adapter, has its own MAC address. So, that means Macbook (Pro) doesn't have a built-in ethernet card.

But I'm curious, what are the Thunderbolt MAC addresses then? In my MBP 13" (2015), networksetup -listallhardwareports command shows ethernet (MAC) addresses of Thunderbolt 1 and Thunderbolt 2. Also, the result of ifconfig -a contains bridge0 which has a MAC address.

What are they for, if every ethernet adapter decides the MAC address? Can I just ignore them?

Thank you.

1 Answer 1


You can connect two Thunderbolt-enabled Macs together using a Thunderbolt-to-Thunderbolt bridge connections, therefore you'd need each end to be able to identify itself.

More information here: https://9to5mac.com/2016/11/22/macbook-pro-thunderbolt-3-bridge-network-video/

  • Thanks for the answer. I'm a little surprised that Apple put such connecting feature while making it lack an ethernet card. Yeah, Thunderbolt might be more that that, but still.
    – noname
    Commented Oct 30, 2017 at 9:43
  • Thunderbolt is actually Intel's invention, Apple was the first the mass adopt it.
    – Cory T
    Commented Oct 30, 2017 at 16:12

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .