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ifconfig reveals a surprisingly long list of network interfaces on my MacBook, which is running macOS High Sierra (10.13.6): lo0, gif0, stf0, XHC20, en0, p2p0, awdl0, en1, en2, bridge0, utun0.

There is an F5 VPN client installed, but I've rebooted the MacBook since the last VPN connection.

Are all of these network interfaces legitimate or is this something I should worry about?

1 Answer 1

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These are perfectly normal.

  • lo is the loopback interface
  • en0 and en1 are your hardware interfaces (usually Ethernet and WiFi)
  • p2p0 is a point to point link (usually VPN)
  • stf0 is a "six to four" interface (IPv6 to IPv4)
  • gif01 is a software interface
  • bridge0 is a software bridge between other interfaces
  • utun0 is used for "Back to My Mac"
  • XHC20 is a USB network interface
  • awdl0 is Apple Wireless Direct Link (Bluetooth) to iOS devices

In my personal setup I have 2 addtional en interfaces (en2 and en3), as well as two software interfaces specific to VirtualBox, vboxnet0 and vboxnet1. Other virtualization applications like VMware, Parallels, and Docker will create their own interfaces as will VPN clients.

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    utun is the tunnel interface driver, p2p is Apple’s custom WiFi-Direct (used by things like personal hotspot in place of normal WiFi in some phases, and AirDrop and other custom additions etc). utun is used by OpenVPN and IKEv2 for example Jul 28, 2018 at 0:12
  • please can you help with this question ?apple.stackexchange.com/questions/343072/…
    – stackdave
    Nov 18, 2018 at 23:58
  • where is the reference or define for XHC0, XHC1, XHC20, VHC128?
    – yee
    Sep 6, 2019 at 8:59
  • This answer is amazing. I think awdl0 now floats over WiFi for bonjour and also loops in Bluetooth but I can not be sure. Also utun0 / utun1 seem to proliferate even if you don’t have VPN software or profiles installed.
    – bmike
    Jul 27, 2020 at 15:27
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    @John - BTM is just rebanded as "Find My..." it's the same service, just a different name.
    – Allan
    Oct 4, 2020 at 16:52

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