Posts Tagged ‘sysconfig’

Boost local network performance (Increase network thoroughput) by enabling Jumbo Frames on GNU / Linux

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Jumbo Frames boost local network performance in GNU / Linux

So what is Jumbo Frames? and why, when and how it can increase the network thoroughput on Linux?

Jumbo Frames are Ethernet frames with more than 1500 bytes of payload. They can carry up to 9000 bytes of payload. Many Gigabit switches and network cards supports them.
Jumbo frames is a networking standard for many educational networks like AARNET. Unfortunately most commercial ISPs doesn't support them and therefore enabling Jumbo frames will rarely increase bandwidth thoroughput for information transfers over the internet.
Hopefully in the years to come with the constant increase of bandwidths and betterment of connectivity, jumbo frames package transfers will be supported by most ISPs as well.
Jumbo frames network support is just great for is small local – home networks and company / corporation office intranets.

Thus enabling Jumbo Frame is absolutely essential for "local" ethernet networks, where large file transfers occur frequently. Such networks are networks where, there is often a Video or Audio streaming with high quality like HD quality on servers running File Sharing services like Samba, local FTP sites,Webservers etc.

One other advantage of enabling jumbo frames is reduce of general server overhead and decrease in CPU load / (CPU usage), when transferring large or enormous sized files.Therefore having jumbo frames enabled on office network routers with GNU / Linux or any other *nix OS is vital.

Jumbo Frames traffic is supported in GNU / Linux kernel since version 2.6.17+ in earlier 2.4.x it was possible through external third party kernel patches.

1. Manually increase MTU to 9000 with ifconfig to enable Jumbo frames

debian:~# /sbin/ifconfig eth0 mtu 9000

The default MTU on most GNU / Linux (if not all) is 1500, to check the default set MTU with ifconfig:

linux:~# /sbin/ifconfig eth0|grep -i mtu
UP BROADCAST MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1

To take advantage of Jumbo Frames, all that has to be done is increase the default Maximum Transmission Unit from 1500 to 9000

For those who don't know MTU is the largest physical packet size that can be transferred over the network. MTU is measured by default in bytes. If a information has to be transferred over the network which exceeds the lets say 1500 MTU (bytes), it will be chopped and transferred in few packs each of 1500 size.

MTUs differ on different netework topologies. Just for info here are the few main MTUs for main network types existing today:
 

  • 16 MBit/Sec Token Ring – default MTU (17914)
  • 4 Mbits/Sec Token Ring – default MTU (4464)
  • FDDI – default MTU (4352)
  • Ethernet – def MTU (1500)
  • IEEE 802.3/802.2 standard – def MTU (1492)
  • X.25 (dial up etc.) – def MTU (576)
  • Jumbo Frames – def max MTU (9000)

Setting the MTU packet frames to 9000 to enable Jumbo Frames is done with:

linux:~# /sbin/ifconfig eth0 mtu 9000

If the command returns nothing, this most likely means now the server can communicate on eth0 with MTUs of each 9000 and therefore the network thoroughput will be better. In other case, if the network card driver or card is not a gigabit one the cmd will return error:

SIOCSIFMTU: Invalid argument

2. Enabling Jumbo Frames on Debian / Ubuntu etc. "the Debian way"

a.) Jumbo Frames on ethernet interfaces with static IP address assigned Edit /etc/network/interfaces and you should have for each of the interfaces you would like to set the Jumbo Frames, records similar to:

Raising the MTU to 9000 if for one time can be done again manually with ifconfig

debian:~# /sbin/ifconfig eth0 mtu 9000

iface eth0 inet static
address 192.168.0.5
network 192.168.0.0
gateway 192.168.0.254
netmask 255.255.255.0
mtu 9000

For each of the interfaces (eth1, eth2 etc.), add a chunk similar to one above changing the changing the IPs, Gateway and Netmask.

If the server is with two gigabit cards (eth0, eth1) supporting Jumbo frames add to /etc/network/interfaces :

iface eth0 inet static
address 192.168.0.5
network 192.168.0.0
gateway 192.168.0.254
netmask 255.255.255.0
mtu 9000

iface eth1 inet static
address 192.168.0.6
network 192.168.0.0
gateway 192.168.0.254
netmask 255.255.255.0
mtu 9000

b.) Jumbo Frames on ethernet interfaces with dynamic IP obtained via DHCP

Again in /etc/network/interfaces put:

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp
post-up /sbin/ifconfig eth0 mtu 9000

3. Setting Jumbo Frames on Fedora / CentOS / RHEL "the Redhat way"

Enabling jumbo frames on all Gigabit lan interfaces (eth0, eth1, eth2 …) in Fedora / CentOS / RHEL is done through files:
 

  • /etc/sysconfig/network-script/ifcfg-eth0
  • /etc/sysconfig/network-script/ifcfg-eth1

etc. …
append in each one at the end of the respective config:

MTU=9000

[root@fedora ~]# echo 'MTU=9000' >> /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth


a quick way to set Maximum Transmission Unit to 9000 for all network interfaces on on Redhat based distros is by executing the following loop:

[root@centos ~]# for i in $(echo /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth*); do \echo 'MTU=9000' >> $i
done

P.S.: Be sure that all your interfaces are supporting MTU=9000, otherwise increase while the MTU setting is set will return SIOCSIFMTU: Invalid argument err.
The above loop is to be used only, in case you have a group of identical machines with Lan Cards supporting Gigabit networks and loaded kernel drivers supporting MTU up to 9000.

Some Intel and Realtek Gigabit cards supports only a maximum MTU of 7000, 7500 etc., so if you own a card like this check what is the max MTU the card supports and set it in the lan device configuration.
If increasing the MTU is done on remote server through SSH connection, be extremely cautious as restarting the network might leave your server inaccessible.

To check if each of the server interfaces are "Gigabit ready":

[root@centos ~]# /sbin/ethtool eth0|grep -i 1000BaseT
1000baseT/Half 1000baseT/Full
1000baseT/Half 1000baseT/Full

If you're 100% sure there will be no troubles with enabling MTU > 1500, initiate a network reload:

[root@centos ~]# /etc/init.d/network restart
...

4. Enable Jumbo Frames on Slackware Linux

To list the ethernet devices and check they are Gigabit ones issue:

bash-4.1# lspci | grep [Ee]ther
0c:00.0 Ethernet controller: D-Link System Inc Gigabit Ethernet Adapter (rev 11)
0c:01.0 Ethernet controller: D-Link System Inc Gigabit Ethernet Adapter (rev 11)

Setting up jumbo frames on Slackware Linux has two ways; the slackware way and the "universal" Linux way:

a.) the Slackware way

On Slackware Linux, all kind of network configurations are done in /etc/rc.d/rc.inet1.conf

Usual config for eth0 and eth1 interfaces looks like so:

# Config information for eth0:
IPADDR[0]="10.10.0.1"
NETMASK[0]="255.255.255.0"
USE_DHCP[0]=""
DHCP_HOSTNAME[1]=""
# Config information for eth1:
IPADDR[1]="10.1.1.1"
NETMASK[1]="255.255.255.0"
USE_DHCP[1]=""
DHCP_HOSTNAME[1]=""

To raise the MTU to 9000, the variables MTU[0]="9000" and MTU[1]="9000" has to be included after each interface config block, e.g.:

# Config information for eth0:
IPADDR[0]="172.16.1.1"
NETMASK[0]="255.255.255.0"
USE_DHCP[0]=""
DHCP_HOSTNAME[1]=""
MTU[0]="9000"
# Config information for eth1:
IPADDR[1]="10.1.1.1"
NETMASK[1]="255.255.255.0"
USE_DHCP[1]=""
DHCP_HOSTNAME[1]=""
MTU[1]="9000"

bash-4.1# /etc/rc.d/rc.inet1 restart
...

b.) The "Universal" Linux way

This way is working on most if not all Linux distributions.
Insert in /etc/rc.local:

/sbin/ifconfig eth0 mtu 9000 up
/sbin/ifconfig eth1 mtu 9000 up

5. Check if Jumbo Frames are properly enabled

There are at least two ways to display the MTU settings for eths.

a.) Using grepping the MTU from ifconfig

linux:~# /sbin/ifconfig eth0|grep -i mtu
UP BROADCAST MULTICAST MTU:9000 Metric:1
linux:~# /sbin/ifconfig eth1|grep -i mtu
UP BROADCAST MULTICAST MTU:9000 Metric:1

b.) Using ip command from iproute2 package to get MTU

linux:~# ip route get 192.168.2.134
local 192.168.2.134 dev lo src 192.168.2.134
cache mtu 9000 advmss 1460 hoplimit 64

linux:~# ip route show dev wlan0
192.168.2.0/24 proto kernel scope link src 192.168.2.134
default via 192.168.2.1

You see MTU is now set to 9000, so the two server lans, are now able to communicate with increased network thoroughput.
Enjoy the accelerated network transfers 😉

 

How to disable IPv6 on Debian / Ubuntu / CentOS and RHEL Linux

Friday, December 9th, 2011

I have few servers, which have automatically enabled IPv6 protocols (IPv6 gets automatically enabled on Debian), as well as on most latest Linux distribituions nowdays.

Disabling IPv6 network protocol on Linux if not used has 2 reasons:

1. Security (It’s well known security practice to disable anything not used on a server)
Besides that IPv6 has been known for few criticil security vulnerabilities, which has historically affected the Linux kernel.
2. Performance (Sometimes disabling IPv6 could have positive impact on IPv4 especially on heavy traffic network servers).
I’ve red people claiming disabling IPv6 improves the DNS performance, however since this is not rumors and did not check it personally I cannot positively confirm this.

Disabling IPv6 on all GNU / Linuces can be achieved by changing the kernel sysctl settings net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6 by default net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6 equals 1 which means IPv6 is enabled, hence to disable IPv6 I issued:

server:~# sysctl net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6=0

To set it permanently on system boot I put the setting also in /etc/sysctl.conf :

server:~# echo 'net.ipv6.conf.all.disable = 1 >> /etc/sysctl.conf

The aforedescribed methods should be working on most Linux kernels version > 2.6.27 in that number it should work 100% on recent versions of Fedora, CentOS, Debian and Ubuntu.

To disable IPv6 protocol on Debian Lenny its necessery to blackist the ipv6 module in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist by issuing:

echo 'blacklist ipv6' >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist

On Fedora / CentOS there is a another universal “Redhat” way disable IPv6.

On them disabling IPv6 is done by editting /etc/sysconfig/network and adding:

NETWORKING_IPV6=no
IPV6INIT=no

I would be happy to hear how people achieved disabling the IPv6, since on earlier and (various by distro) Linuxes the way to disable the IPv6 is probably different.
 

Alto to stop Iptables IPV6 on CentOS / Fedora and RHEL issue:

# service ip6tables stop

# service ip6tables off

How to add a range of virtual IPs to a CentOS and Fedora Linux server

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Recently I had the task to add a range of few IP addresses to as a virtual interface IPs.

The normal way to do that is of course using the all well known ifconfig eth0:0, ifconfig eth0:1 or using a tiny shell script which does it and set it up to run through /etc/rc.local .

However the Redhat guys could omit all this mambo jambo and do it The Redhat way TM 😉 by using a standard method documented in CentOS and RHEL documentation.
Here is how:

# go to network-script directory[root@centos ~]# cd /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts
# create ifcfg-eth0-range (if virtual ips are to be assigned on eth0 lan interface[root@centos network-scripts]# touch ifcfg-eth0-range

Now inside ifcfg-eth0-range, open up with a text editor or use the echo command to put inside:

IPADDR_START=192.168.1.120
IPADDR_END=192.168.1.250
NETMASK=255.255.255.25
CLONENUM_START=0

Now save the /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0-range file and finally restart centos networking via the network script:

[root@centos network-scripts]# service network restart

That’s all now after the network gets reinitialized all the IPs starting with 192.168.1.120 and ending in 192.168.1.250< will get assigned as virtual IPs for eth0 interface
Cheers 😉

How to configure networking in CentOS, Fedora and other Redhat based distros

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

On Debian Linux I’m used to configure the networking via /etc/network/interfaces , however on Redhat based distributions to do a manual configuration of network interfaces is a bit different.

In order to configure networking in CentOS there is a special file for each interface and some values one needs to fill in to enable networking.

These network adapters configuration files for Redhat based distributions are located in the files:

/etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-*

Just to give you and idea on the content of this network configuration file, here is how it looks like:

[root@centos:~ ]# cat /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0
# Broadcom Corporation NetLink BCM57780 Gigabit Ethernet PCIe
DEVICE=eth0
BOOTPROTO=static
DHCPCLASS=
HWADDR=00:19:99:9C:08:3A
IPADDR=192.168.0.1
NETMASK=255.255.252.0
ONBOOT=yes

This configuration is of course just for eth0 for other network card names and devices, one needs to look up for the proper file name which corresponds to the network interface visible with the ifconfig command.
For instance to list all network interfaces via ifconfig use:

[root@centos:~ ]# /sbin/ifconfig |grep -i 'Link encap'|awk '{ print $1 }'
eth0
eth1
lo

In this case there are only two network cards on my host.
The configuration files for the ethernet network devices eth0 and eth1 from below example are located in files /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth{1,2}

/etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ directory contains plenty of shell scripts related to Fedora networking.
This directory contains actually the networking boot time load up rules for fedora and CentOS hosts.

The complete list of options available which can be used in /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-ethx is located in:
/usr/share/doc/initscripts-*/sysconfig.txt

, to quickly observe the documentation:

[root@centos:~ ]# less /usr/share/doc/initscripts-*/sysconfig.txt

One typical example of configuring a CentOS based host to possess a static IP address (192.168.1.5) and a gateway (192.168.1.1), which will be assigned in boot time during the /etc/init.d/network is loaded is:

[root@centos:~ ]# cat /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0
# Broadcom Corporation NetLink BCM57780 Gigabit Ethernet PCIe
IPV6INIT=no
BOOTPROTO=static
ONBOOT=yes
USERCTL=yes
TYPE=Ethernet
DEVICE=eth0
IPADDR=192.168.1.5
NETWORK=192.168.1.0
GATEWAY=192.168.1.1
BROADCAST=192.168.1.255
NETMASK=255.255.255.0

After some changes to the network configuration files are made, to load up the new rules a /etc/init.d/network script restart is necessery with the command:

[root@centos:~ ]# /etc/init.d/network restart

Of course one can always use /etc/rc.local script as universal way to configure network rules on a Redhat based host, however using methods like rc.local to load up, ifconfig or route rules in a Fedora would break the distribution logic and therefore is not recommended.

There is also a serious additional reason against using /etc/rc.local post init commands load up script.
If one uses rc.local to load up and configure the networing, the network will get initialized only after all the other scripts in /etc/init.d/ gets started.

Therefore using /etc/rc.local might also be DANGEROUS!, if used remotely via (ssh), supposedly it might completely fail to load the networking, if all bringing the server interfaces relies on it.

Here is an example, imagine that some of the script set in to load up during a CentOS boot up hangs and does continue to load forever (for example after some crucial software upate), as a consequence the /etc/rc.local script will never get executed as it only starts up after all the rest init scripts had succesfully completed execution.

A network eth1 interface configuration for a Fedora host which has to fetch it’s network settings automatically via DHCP is as follows:

[root@fedora:/etc/network:]# cat /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth1
# Intel Corporation 82557/8/9 [Ethernet Pro 100]DEVICE=eth1
BOOTPROTO=dhcp
HWADDR=00:0A:E4:C9:7B:51
ONBOOT=yes

To sum it up I think Fedora’s /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts methodology to configure ethernet devices is a way inferior if compared to Debian.

In GNU/Debian Linux configuration of all networking is (simpler)!, everything related to networking is in one single file ( /etc/network/interfaces ), moreover getting all the thorough documentation for the network configurations options for the interfaces is available as a system wide manual (e.g. man interfaces).

Partially Debian interfaces configuration is a bit more complicated in terms of syntax if matched against Redhat’s network-scripts/ifcfg-*, lest that generally I still find Debian’s manual network configuration interface to be easier to configure networking manually vicommand line.