Bond network interfaces in linux

Short intro:

Bonding (or ‘teaming’) network interfaces is a way to bind 2 interfaces as one. This way you can configure a more redundant network connection. A normal bonded setup should of course be connected to a redundant switch (lan port1 to switch 1, lan port 2 to switch 2). It is also possible to do load balancing, but in this case traffic is low but availability should be high so i’m going for redundancy.

This setup is for a IBM Xserver running ubuntu 6.06.1 LTS server, this is a server with two Broadcom NetXtreme BCM5703X Gigabit Ethernet network interfaces which uses the ‘t3’ module.

Before proceeding check what interfaces you have and what module you are using for your network interfaces.

To get started with ‘bonding’ first you will need to look at your situation and check in what ‘mode’ you want to configure the interface, while I normally use ‘mode: 2’ this could maybe not work in your configuration so Google for a few pages that explain the differences (this is a referance base remember..)

The Configuration:

First edit /etc/modprobe.d/aliases and at the end of the file add (be sure to change the module, mode and miimon if necessary) :

alias bond0 bonding
alias eth0 t3
alias eth1 t3
options bonding mode=2 miimon=100

Then edit /etc/modprobe.d/arch/i386 (and again be sure to change the module and miimon setting if necessary):

alias bond0 bonding
options bonding mode=2 miimon=100 downdelay=200 updelay=200

First we need to check what mac interface we are going to use so use ‘ifconfig’ to get the mac for the primary adapter in your server (this is the one I normally use).

trouble@sun:$ /sbin/ifconfig eth0
eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr YOUR MAC

Now edit /etc/network/interfaces, disable all the settings for the current interface (except lo of course) and add the following:

auto bond0
iface bond0 inet static
   hwaddress ether YOUR MAC
   post-up ifenslave bond0 eth0 eth1

Now reboot and you should be ready to go.

Testing the config:

Test it out by starting a ping to a other host in your network and unplug one cable at a time (no unplugging both interfaces won’t work..)

Also you can check the status with:

trouble@sun:$ cat /proc/net/bonding/bond0
Ethernet Channel Bonding Driver: v3.0.0 (November 8, 2005)

Bonding Mode: load balancing (xor)
Transmit Hash Policy: layer2 (0)
MII Status: up
MII Polling Interval (ms): 100
Up Delay (ms): 200
Down Delay (ms): 200

Slave Interface: eth0
MII Status: up
Link Failure Count: 0
Permanent HW addr: MAC

Slave Interface: eth1
MII Status: up
Link Failure Count: 0
Permanent HW addr: MAC


Changing the usplash theme

Already got tired of the default ubuntu usplash theme?
(* for the one’s that don’t know what the ‘usplash’ is: its that nice graphical boot screen used in ubuntu linux)

Here’s the way to change it to a brand new one (first the ‘geeky’ hardway then the easy way)

The hardway

First of course find a nice usplash theme (for some links to site’s with usplash theme’s see below) download it to your desktop and extract the downloaded file to get the .so file and move the new file to /usr/lib/usplash/.
(* note that in ubuntu you can do: sudo apt-get install usplash* to install some already default usplash themes to /usr/lib/usplash)

trouble@sun:$ cd (Your dlded theme dir)
trouble@sun:$ sudo mv /usr/lib/usplash/

Then we need to link the new usplash theme to be the default:

trouble@sun:$ sudo ln -sf /usr/lib/usplash/ /etc/alternatives/

And finaly reconfigure the kernel:

trouble@sun:$ sudo dpkg-reconfigure linux-image-`uname -r`

To get a preview of your just installed usplash (get out with ‘ctrl’ ‘alt’ ‘F7’):

trouble@sun:$ sudo usplash

The easy way

First install the ‘startupmanager’ available from apt-get.

trouble@sun:$ apt-get install startupmanager

Then download your new usplash theme and extract the .so file from the archive and follow the next steps:

  • startup the startup manager by going to ‘system’ -> ‘Administration’ -> StartUp-Manager or open a console and type ‘sudo startupmanager’
  • go to the ‘appearance’ tab and select ‘manage usplash themes’
  • select ‘add’
  • browse to your new usplash file
  • double click the .so file or select it and choose ‘open’
  • now select your new theme and choose ‘close’
  • press ‘close’ for the 2nd time and the new usplash will be installed

Some sites with usplash themes:

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