Chapter 18. Other possibilities

This chapter is a list of projects having to do with advanced Linux routing & traffic shaping. Some of these links may deserve chapters of their own, some are documented very well of themselves, and don't need more HOWTO.

802.1Q VLAN Implementation for Linux (site)

VLANs are a very cool way to segregate your networks in a more virtual than physical way. Good information on VLANs can be found here. With this implementation, you can have your Linux box talk VLANs with machines like Cisco Catalyst, 3Com: {Corebuilder, Netbuilder II, SuperStack II switch 630}, Extreme Ntwks Summit 48, Foundry: {ServerIronXL, FastIron}.

A great HOWTO about VLANs can be found here.

Update: has been included in the kernel as of 2.4.14 (perhaps 13).

Alternate 802.1Q VLAN Implementation for Linux (site)

Alternative VLAN implementation for linux. This project was started out of disagreement with the 'established' VLAN project's architecture and coding style, resulting in a cleaner overall design.

Linux Virtual Server (site)

These people are brilliant. The Linux Virtual Server is a highly scalable and highly available server built on a cluster of real servers, with the load balancer running on the Linux operating system. The architecture of the cluster is transparent to end users. End users only see a single virtual server.

In short whatever you need to load balance, at whatever level of traffic, LVS will have a way of doing it. Some of their techniques are positively evil! For example, they let several machines have the same IP address on a segment, but turn off ARP on them. Only the LVS machine does ARP - it then decides which of the backend hosts should handle an incoming packet, and sends it directly to the right MAC address of the backend server. Outgoing traffic will flow directly to the router, and not via the LVS machine, which does therefore not need to see your 5Gbit/s of content flowing to the world, and cannot be a bottleneck.

The LVS is implemented as a kernel patch in Linux 2.0 and 2.2, but as a Netfilter module in 2.4/2.5, so it does not need kernel patches! Their 2.4 support is still in early development, so beat on it and give feedback or send patches.

CBQ.init (site)

Configuring CBQ can be a bit daunting, especially if all you want to do is shape some computers behind a router. CBQ.init can help you configure Linux with a simplified syntax.

For example, if you want all computers in your subnet (on 10mbit eth1) to be limited to 28kbit/s download speed, put this in the CBQ.init configuration file:


By all means use this program if the 'how and why' don't interest you. We're using CBQ.init in production and it works very well. It can even do some more advanced things, like time dependent shaping. The documentation is embedded in the script, which explains why you can't find a README.

Chronox easy shaping scripts (site)

Stephan Mueller ( wrote two useful scripts, 'limit.conn' and 'shaper'. The first one allows you to easily throttle a single download session, like this:

# limit.conn -s SERVERIP -p SERVERPORT -l LIMIT

It works on Linux 2.2 and 2.4/2.5.

The second script is more complicated, and can be used to make lots of different queues based on iptables rules, which are used to mark packets which are then shaped.

Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol implementation ( site1, site2 )

FIXME: This link died, anybody know where it went?

This is purely for redundancy. Two machines with their own IP address and MAC Address together create a third IP Address and MAC Address, which is virtual. Originally intended purely for routers, which need constant MAC addresses, it also works for other servers.

The beauty of this approach is the incredibly easy configuration. No kernel compiling or patching required, all userspace.

Just run this on all machines participating in a service:

# vrrpd -i eth0 -v 50

And you are in business! is now carried by one of your servers, probably the first one to run the vrrp daemon. Now disconnect that computer from the network and very rapidly one of the other computers will assume the address, as well as the MAC address.

I tried this over here and had it up and running in 1 minute. For some strange reason it decided to drop my default gateway, but the -n flag prevented that.

This is a 'live' fail over:

64 bytes from icmp_seq=3 ttl=255 time=0.2 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=4 ttl=255 time=0.2 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=5 ttl=255 time=16.8 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=6 ttl=255 time=1.8 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=7 ttl=255 time=1.7 ms

Not *one* ping packet was lost! Just after packet 4, I disconnected my P200 from the network, and my 486 took over, which you can see from the higher latency.

tc-config (site)

tc_config is set of scripts for linux 2.4+ traffic control configuration on RedHat systems and (hopefully) derivatives (linux 2.2.X with ipchains is obsotete). Uses cbq qdisc as root one, and sfq qdisc at leafs.

Includes snmp_pass utility for getting stats on traffic control via snmp. FIXME: Write