Can an IP address be directly assigned to a physical interface

An MEth management port is a Layer 3 interface. You can directly configure an IP address for the interface.

To configure an IP address for a service interface, configure a VLANIF virtual interface, and assign an IP address to the VLANIF interface. Example:

system-view
[HUAWEI] vlan 10
[HUAWEI-vlan10] quit
[HUAWEI] interface vlanif 10
[HUAWEI-Vlanif10] ip address 192.168.1.10 24 In V200R005C00 and later versions, run the undo portswitch command to change the working mode of Ethernet interfaces from Layer 2 mode to Layer 3 mode. Ethernet interfaces working at Layer 3 support IP address configuration.

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