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network not connected by default: bug or feature?

I've noticed the ethernet connection is not on by default when I boot
my newly installed system.  Somewhat oddly, it is at eth1.  There are
a bunch of settings for it in /etc/network/interfaces, incuding a
comment just before a mapping directive for eth1 that "This is a list
of hotpluggable network interfaces.  They will activated automatically
by the hotplug system."

It's not getting activated automatically.  The use of hotplug seems
peculiar for card that's inside the case, but I don't fully understand
what the hotplug system covers.

I also think I recall messages during the initial setup about how
there is no general solution for when to bring up network devices.

So, is this the way things are supposed to work?

Is changing to auto mapping eth1.... sufficient to bring the interface
up on system start?


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