Interfaces are devices that interface with other devices and are responsible for controlling them. An example is an alarm panel, which is responsible for all the sensors in your home. Most sensor devices, like motion detectors, glass break sensors, smoke detectors, etc., do not communicate directly with the LinuxMCE system. Rather they connect to your alarm panel-the interface device-which does communicate with the LinuxMCE system. The interface device, the alarm panel, is responsible for controlling and monitoring all the sensor devices.
Other examples are lighting control systems, which control lights, blinds and other devices; and climate control system, which control thermostats and thermometers.
There are also infrared interface devices that control a/v equipment by sending infrared codes. And there are general purpose interface devices, like the Global Cache gc100 and the EIB interfaces which control a variety of devices.
You will need to add all the devices using the LinuxMCE Admin Website -both the interface devices (alarm panels, EIB interfaces, lighting control systems, etc.), and the devices they control (motion detectors, light switches, blinds, etc.). But first you must add the interfaces on this page. You will not be able to add child devices (like motion sensors, light switches, etc.), until you first add the interface device that it requires on this page.
If the device plugs directly into the network, or into a LinuxMCE Core or Media Director, then it probably does not require an interface. You can add the device directly in the page for Lights / Climate/ Security, etc. But if it needs to hook up to another interface device, please add the interface device here before proceeding to one of the Environment pages to add the other devices.
Note about the gc100: The Global Cache gc100 is the most popular interface module that is used to control a/v equipment (TV's/stereo's) using infrared, and also a variety of devices using rs232. The gc100 plugs in directly to the ethernet. However, it is not completely plug-and-play. You must plug in a gc100, then on any Orbiter, click the 'Advanced' button (the LinuxMCE logo in the lower left corner of the screen), and choose the 'add gc100 device' button. This will add the gc100 that you just plugged in. After the Orbiter tells you it has finished, then you can plug another gc100 into the network and repeat the process for however many gc100's you have.