One of my favorite features of Fedora 22 is systemd-networkd and all of the new features that came with it in recent systemd versions. The configuration files are easy to read, bridging is simple, and tunnels are resilient.
I’ve recently started using a small Linux server at home again as a network router and firewall. However, I used systemd-networkd this time and had some great results. Let’s get started!
Our example router in this example has two network interfaces:
- eth0: public internet connectivity
- eth1: private LAN (192.168.3.1/24)
We want machines on the private LAN to route their traffic through the router to the public internet via NAT. Also, we want clients on the LAN to get their IP addresses assigned automatically.
All of the systemd-networkd configuration files live within
and we need to create that directory:
We need to write a network configuration file for our public interface that systemd-networkd can read. Open up
and write these lines:
[Match] Name=eth0 [Network] Address=PUBLIC_IP_ADDRESS/CIDR Gateway=GATEWAY DNS=188.8.131.52 DNS=184.108.40.206 IPForward=yes
If we break this configuration file down, we’re telling systemd-networkd to apply this configuration to any devices that are called
. Also, we’re specifying a public IP address and CIDR mask (like /24 or /22) so that the interface can be configured. The gateway address will be added to the routing table. We’ve also provided DNS servers to use with systemd-resolved (more on that later).
so that systemd-networkd will automatically enable forwarding for the interface via sysctl. (That always seems to be the step I forget when I build a Linux router.)
Let’s do the same for our LAN interface. Create this configuration file and store it as
[Match] Name=eth1 [Network] Address=192.168.3.1/24 IPForward=yes
We don’t need to specify a gateway address here because this interface will be the gateway for the LAN.
Prepare the services
If we’re planning to use systemd-networkd, we need to ensure that it runs instead of traditional network scripts or NetworkManager:
systemctl disable network systemctl disable NetworkManager systemctl enable systemd-networkd
Also, let’s be sure to use systemd-resolved to handle our
systemctl enable systemd-resolved systemctl start systemd-resolved rm -f /etc/resolv.conf ln -s /run/systemd/resolve/resolv.conf /etc/resolv.conf
We’re now set to reboot! It’s possible to bring up systemd-networkd without rebooting but I’d rather verify with a reboot now than get goosed with a broken network after a reboot later.
Once your router is back up, run
and verify that you have routable in the output for both interfaces:
[root@router ~]# networkctl IDX LINK TYPE OPERATIONAL SETUP 1 lo loopback carrier unmanaged 2 eth0 ether routable configured 3 eth1 ether routable configured
Now that both network interfaces are online, we need something to tell our clients about the IP configuration they should be using. There are plenty of good options here, but I prefer dnsmasq. It has served me well over the years and it provides some handy features along with DHCP, such as DNS caching, TFTP and IPv6 router announcements.
Let’s install dnsmasq and enable it at boot:
dnf -y install dnsmasq systemctl enable dnsmasq
in your favorite text editor and edit a few lines:
- This tells dnsmasq that it’s the exclusive DHCP server on the network and that it should answer all requests
on the end (should look likeinterface=eth1
when you’re done)
- Most ISP’s filter DHCP replies on their public networks, but we don’t want to take chances here. We need to restrict DHCP to our public interface only.
- Look for the
line and change it todhcp-range=192.168.3.50,192.168.3.150,12h
- We’re giving clients 12 hour leases on 192.168.3.0/24
Save the file and start dnsmasq:
systemctl start dnsmasq
We’re almost done! Now it’s time to tell iptables to masquerade any packets from our LAN to the internet. But wait, it’s 2015 and we have tools like
to do that for us in Fedora.
Let’s enable masquerading, allow DNS, and allow DHCP traffic. We can then make the state permanent:
firewall-cmd --add-masquerade firewall-cmd --add-service=dns --add-service=dhcp firewall-cmd --runtime-to-permanent
Put a client machine on your LAN network and you should be able to ping some public sites from the client:
[root@client ~]# ping -c 4 icanhazip.com PING icanhazip.com (220.127.116.11) 56(84) bytes of data. 64 bytes from lax.icanhazip.com (18.104.22.168): icmp_seq=1 ttl=52 time=69.8 ms 64 bytes from lax.icanhazip.com (22.214.171.124): icmp_seq=2 ttl=52 time=69.7 ms 64 bytes from lax.icanhazip.com (126.96.36.199): icmp_seq=3 ttl=52 time=69.6 ms 64 bytes from lax.icanhazip.com (188.8.131.52): icmp_seq=4 ttl=52 time=69.7 ms --- icanhazip.com ping statistics --- 4 packets transmitted, 4 received, 0% packet loss, time 3005ms rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 69.659/69.758/69.874/0.203 ms
If you need to adjust your network configuration, just run
afterwards. I’ve found that it’s quite intelligent about the network devices and it won’t reconfigure anything that hasn’t changed.
command is very powerful. Check out the
functions to get more information about your network devices and the networks they’re connected to.
When something goes wrong, look in your systemd journal:
[root@router ~]# journalctl -u systemd-networkd -- Logs begin at Fri 2015-07-31 01:22:38 UTC, end at Fri 2015-07-31 02:11:24 UTC. -- Jul 31 01:46:14 router systemd: Starting Network Service... Jul 31 01:46:14 router systemd-networkd: Enumeration completed Jul 31 01:46:14 router systemd: Started Network Service. Jul 31 01:46:15 router systemd-networkd: eth1 : link configured Jul 31 01:46:15 router systemd-networkd: eth0 : gained carrier Jul 31 01:46:15 router systemd-networkd: eth0 : link configured Jul 31 01:46:16 router systemd-networkd: eth1 : gained carrier