PPP Over Ethernet protocol network
pppoe interface encapsulates
Protocol (PPP) packets inside Ethernet frames as defined by RFC
This is often used to connect a router via a DSL modem to an
access concentrator. The
pppoe interface does not by
itself transmit or receive frames, but needs an Ethernet interface to do so.
This Ethernet interface is connected to the
ifconfig(8). The Ethernet interface needs to be marked UP, but does
not need to have an IP address.
There are two basic modes of operation, controlled via the link1 switch. The default mode, link1 not being set, tries to keep the configured session open all the time. If the session is disconnected, a new connection attempt is started immediately. The “dial on demand” mode, selected by setting link1, only establishes a connection when data is being sent to the interface.
pppoe interface is usable, it
needs to be configured. The following steps are necessary:
- Create the interface.
- Connect an Ethernet interface. This interface is used for the physical communication. As noted above it must be marked UP, but need not have an IP address.
- Configure authentication. The PPP session needs to identify the client to the peer. For more details on the available options see ifconfig(8).
- If using IPv6, configure a link-local address.
This all is typically accomplished using an /etc/hostname.pppoe0 file. A typical file looks like this:
inet 0.0.0.0 255.255.255.255 NONE \ pppoedev em0 authproto pap \ authname 'testcaller' authkey 'donttell' up dest 0.0.0.1 inet6 eui64 !/sbin/route add default -ifp pppoe0 0.0.0.1 !/sbin/route add -inet6 default -ifp pppoe0 fe80::%pppoe0
The physical interface must also be marked
# echo "up" > /etc/hostname.em0
Since this is a PPP interface, the addresses assigned to the interface may change during PPP negotiation. In the above example, 0.0.0.0 and 0.0.0.1 serve as placeholders for dynamic address configuration.
If the local address is set to wildcard address 0.0.0.0, it will be changed to an address suggested by the peer.
If the destination address is set to a wildcard address in the range from 0.0.0.1 to 0.0.0.255, it will be changed to an address suggested by the peer, and if a default route which uses this interface exists the gateway will be changed to the suggested address as well.
Otherwise, PPP negotiation will only agree to exactly the IPv4 addresses which are configured on the interface.
pppoe does not interfere with other PPPoE
implementations running on the same machine. However under some
circumstances (such as after a crash or power failure) the peer device might
initially refuse to reestablish a new PPPoE connection because there is
already an open session. This would be indicated by the client sending a
high number of PADI packets before successfully connecting. The
pppoe driver can be told to kill all unknown PPPoE
sessions by sending a PADT packet to explicitly terminate the old session.
Add the following to the kernel config file:
Problems can arise on machines with private IPs connecting to the
Internet via a machine running both Network Address Translation (NAT) and
pppoe. Standard Ethernet uses a maximum transmission
unit (MTU) of 1500 bytes, whereas PPPoE mechanisms need a further 8 bytes of
overhead. This leaves a maximum MTU of 1492.
sets the MTU on its interface to 1492 as a matter of course. However,
machines connecting on a private LAN will still have their MTUs set to 1500,
causing conflict. Using a packet filter, the maximum segment size (MSS) can
be set (clamped) to the required value. The following rule in
pf.conf(5) would set the MSS to 1440:
match on pppoe0 scrub (max-mss 1440)
Although in theory the maximum MSS over a PPPoE interface is 1452 bytes, 1440 appears to be a safer bet. Note that setting the MSS this way can have undesirable effects, such as interfering with the OS detection features of pf(4).
Alternatively in cases where the remote equipment supports RFC
4638 and the physical interface is configured to support jumbo frames, the
MTU of the
pppoe interface can be raised and it will
attempt to negotiate an increased MTU. For example, in
inet 0.0.0.0 255.255.255.255 NONE mtu 1500 \ pppoedev em0 authproto pap \ authname 'testcaller' authkey 'donttell' up dest 0.0.0.1 !/sbin/route add default -ifp pppoe0 0.0.0.1
The physical interface must also be configured like so:
# echo "up mtu 1508" > /etc/hostname.em0
With this, the previously mentioned MSS clamping rules in pf.conf(5) are no longer necessary.
If the MTU is set to a value larger than 1492 and the
remote endpoint does
not support RFC 4638,
pppoe will write “No valid PPP-Max-Payload
tag received in PADO” to the kernel message buffer and the MTU will
remain at the default value. However, RFC 4638 negotiation only takes into
account the MTU configured on the endpoints, not the maximum MTU supported
on the path between them. If the path cannot pass the larger Ethernet
frames, negotiation will succeed but the larger frames will be dropped. For
this reason it is important to test the connection with large packets when
enabling a higher MTU.
See pf.conf(5) for more information on MTU, MSS, and NAT.
sppp(4), hostname.if(5), pf.conf(5), ifconfig(8)
L. Mamakos, K. Lidl, J. Evarts, D. Carrel, D. Simone, and R. Wheeler, A Method for Transmitting PPP Over Ethernet (PPPoE), RFC 2516, February 1999.
P. Arberg, D. Kourkouzelis, M. Duckett, T. Anschutz, and J. Moisand, Accommodating a Maximum Transit Unit/Maximum Receive Unit (MTU/MRU) Greater Than 1492 in the Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet (PPPoE), RFC 4638, September 2006.
pppoe device first appeared in
This implementation is client side only.
It is important to specify “
ifconfig(8). If the netmask is unspecified, it will be set to 8 when
0.0.0.0 is configured to the interface, and it will persist after
The presence of a mygate(5) file will interfere with the routing table. Make sure this file is either empty or does not exist.
pppoe interfaces configured with the
same wildcard destination address cannot share a routing table.