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Newbie here. I'm studying networking and struggling to understand the no shutdown command. I don't understand what no shutdown command actually does. I've read that it enables the interface but I don't even understand what that means. What does enabling the interface do? Does it allow you to configure its settings?

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In the simplest sense, shutdown turns the interface off. no shutdown turns the interface on (enables it).

You can configure an interface in either case. Using the shutdown command is one of the things you can do when configuring an interface.

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