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Broadcast GRE ``tunnels''.

It is possible to set remote for GRE tunnel to a multicast address. Such tunnel becomes broadcast tunnel (though word tunnel is not quite appropriate in this case, it is rather virtual network).

  ip tunnel add Universe local 193.233.7.65 \
                         remote 224.66.66.66 ttl 16
  ip addr add 10.0.0.1/16 dev Universe
  ip link set Universe up
This tunnel is true broadcast network and broadcast packets are sent to multicast group 224.66.66.66. By default such tunnel starts to resolve both IP and IPv6 addresses via ARP/NDISC, so that if multicast routing is supported in surrounding network, all GRE nodes will find one another automatically and will form virtual Ethernet-like broadcast network. If multicast routing does not work, it is unpleasant but not fatal flaw. The tunnel becomes NBMA rather than broadcast network. You may disable dynamic ARPing by:
  echo 0 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/neigh/Universe/mcast_solicit
and to add required information to ARP tables manually:
  ip neigh add 10.0.0.2 lladdr 128.6.190.2 dev Universe nud permanent
In this case packets sent to 10.0.0.2 will be encapsulated in GRE and sent to 128.6.190.2. It is possible to facilitate address resolution using methods typical for another NBMA networks f.e. to start user level arpd daemon, which will maintain database of hosts attached to GRE virtual network or ask for information dedicated ARP or NHRP server.

Actually, such setup is the most natural for tunneling, it is really flexible, scalable and easily managable, so that it is strongly recommended to be used with GRE tunnels instead of ugly hack with NBMA mode and onlink modifier. Unfortunately, by historical reasons broadcast mode is not supported by IPIP tunnels, but this probably will change in future.


next up previous contents
Next: Traffic control issues. Up: ip-tunnels Previous: Interaction IPIP tunnels and   Contents
Martin A. Brown 2003-03-14