If they're able to hack into the Matrix, they're creating these subroutines that otherwise wouldn't exist in the program. They are able to appear out of nowhere into the Matrix, why can't they just disappear out of nowhere from the Matrix?

Why the need for an 'exit'?


I believe this is the Matrix's version of "It is now safe to remove your device from the computer."

We know that the Matrix is a program that is closely intertwined with your mind and brain in some manner, hence the injuries and death-by-unplugging. It seems that it needs to safely release the resources before a program can be unloaded (The residual self image is itself a program that runs inside the Matrix, but controlled by its owner)

As for the location of the exits: The Matrix appears to be a software system where everything has a physical manifestation within it. There are no non-corporeal program running within it as far as I know. Agents are not system wide search programs, but humaniform programs. The tracer is a pill. A bug is an insect-like device burrowing in your abdomen etc.

So when they load any program into the Matrix, such as a exit subroutine, I think they have to load it to a physical location with a physical form. Hence the telephone booth.

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    sudo umount /dev/neo? – Kevin Apr 8 '12 at 3:20
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    @Kevin is not in the sudoers file. This incident will be reported. To the Architect. – HNL Apr 8 '12 at 3:22
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    The Matrix was made in Unity. – sebf Aug 2 '14 at 11:14

Your premise seems wrong. In the first movie it is shown that they also require a hard-line to enter the matrix (the bit where Morpheus wants to get Neo to the Oracle). They can phone with operators via mobile phones, but not transfer themselves without the use of a hard-line. Neither in nor out.

Why a mobile can be used to phone but not transmit the RSI, could relate to datarate. But at least the use of hard-lines vs. mobiles appears to be consistent.

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    I saw this discussed somewhere, and they claimed that the landline phones in the matrix was the only way they could tie in from outside. Notice while they appeared "from nowhere", it was always next to a ringing phone. – William B Swift Jun 21 '12 at 5:37
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    @WilliamBSwift: Yes, that ringing phone was what I meant. – bitmask Jun 21 '12 at 12:56

This was answered in a rare webchat by the Wachowskis in 2001.

In short, the Zionians need proximate access to a hard-line to both leave and enter the Matrix. They can't simply appear wherever they want:

Sinclair: Why were they only able to jack in through hard-lines, but still able to communicate over cell?

WachowskiBros: Sinclair, good question! Mostly we felt that the amount of information that was being sent into the Matrix required a significant portal. Those portals, we felt, were better described with the hard lines rather than cell lines. We also felt that the rebels tried to be invisible when they hacked that’s why all the entrances and exits were sort of through decrepit and low traffic areas of the Matrix.

Note that we see an example of this in the original Matrix film where the team appear together in the Lafeyette building, next to the ringing phone.

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  • rarely known would be more sound to me than just rare. after all computers can copy pretty well without loss (you couldn't do that with diamonds), so the rarity only seems to relate to famousness. – n611x007 Jan 19 '17 at 3:43
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    @n611x007 - The rarity is how infrequently they give interviews. – Valorum Jan 19 '17 at 8:50

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