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Domain Resolution Configuration Files:

File: /etc/resolv.conf - host name resolver configuration file

search - Name of your domain or ISP's domain if using

their name server
nameserver XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX - IP address of primary name server
nameserver XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX - IP address of secondary name server

This configures Linux so that it knows which DNS server will be resolving domain
names into IP addresses. If using DHCP client, this will automatically be sent to you by
the ISP and loaded into this file as part of the DHCP protocol. If using a static IP address,
ask the ISP or check another machine on your network.
Red Hat/Fedora GUI: /usr/sbin/system-config-network (select tab "DNS").
File: /etc/hosts - locally resolve node names to IP addresses localhost.localdomain

XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX node-name

Note when adding hosts to this file, place the fully qualified name first. (It helps sendmail
identify your server correctly) i.e.:
XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX superserver

This informs Linux of local systems on the network which are not handled by the DNS
server. (or for all systems in your LAN if you are not using DNS or NIS)
Red Hat/Fedora GUI: /usr/sbin/system-config-network (select tab "Hosts").
File: /etc/nsswitch.conf - System Databases and Name Service Switch configuration

hosts: files dns nisplus nis

This example tells Linux to first resolve a host name by looking at the local hosts
file(/etc/hosts), then if the name is not found look to your DNS server as defined by
/etc/resolv.conf and if not found there look to your NIS server.
In the past this file has had the following names: /etc/nsswitch.conf, /etc/svc.conf,
/etc/netsvc.conf, ... depending on the distribution.

Fedora / Red Hat Network Configuration Files:

Red Hat network configuration file used by the system during the boot process.

File: /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0
Configuration settings for your first ethernet port (0). Your second port is eth1.
o /etc/modprobe.conf (kernel 2.6)
o /etc/modules.conf (kernel 2.4)
o (or for older systems: /etc/conf.modules)

Example statement for Intel ethernet card:

alias eth0 eepro100

Modules for other devices on the system will also be listed. This tells the kernel which
device driver to use if configured as a loadable module. (default for Red Hat)

Fedora / Red Hat Network GUI Configuration Tools:

The following GUI tools edit the system configuration files. There is no difference in the
configuration developed with the GUI tools and that developed by editing system configuration
files directly.

TCP/IP ethernet configuration:

Network configuration:
config-network (FC-
2/3) GUI shown here --->
(/usr/bin/neat) (RH 7.2+
Text console
configuration tool:
(Text User Interface (TUI)
for Fedora Core 2/3)
(RH 9.0 - FC-1)
Text console network
configuration tool.
First interface only - eth0:
/usr/bin/netcfg (GUI)
(last available with RH

Gnome Desktop:

Gnome Desktop Network

(RH 9.0 - FC-3)
Proxy configuration.
Choose one of three
1. Direct internet
2. Manual proxy
(specify proxy and
3. Automatic proxy
configuration (give

Assigning an IP address:

Computers may be assiged a static IP address or assigned one dynamically. Typically a server
will require a static IP while a workstation will use DHCP (dynamic IP assignment). The Linux
server requires a static IP so that those who wish to use its resources can find the system. It is
more easily found if the IP address does not change and is static. This is not important for the
Linux client workstation and thus it is easier to use an automated Dynamic Host Configuration
Protocol (DHCP) for IP address assignment.

Static IP address assignment:

Choose one of the following methods:

Command Line:

/sbin/ifconfig eth0 netmask broadcast
Network address by convention would be the lowest:
Broadcast address by convention would be the highest:
The gateway can be anything, but following convention:

Note: the highest and lowest addresses are based on the netmask. The previous example
is based on a netmask of

Red Hat / Fedora GUI tools:

o /usr/bin/neat Gnome GUI network administration tool. Handles all interfaces.
Configure for Static IP or DHCP client.
(First available with Red Hat 7.2.)
o /usr/bin/netcfg (Handles all interfaces) (last available in Red Hat 7.1)
Red Hat / Fedora Console tools:
o /usr/sbin/system-config-network-tui (Text User Interface)
o /usr/sbin/netconfig (Only seems to work for the first network interface eth0
but not eth1,...)
Directly edit configuration files/scripts. See format below.

The ifconfig command does NOT store this information permanently. Upon reboot this
information is lost. Manually add the network configuration to /etc/sysconfig/network-
scripts/ifcfg-eth0 (Red Hat/Fedora/CentOS) for the first NIC, ifcfg-eth1 for the second,
etc, or /etc/network/interfaces (Ubuntu) as shown below. Any other commands you may
want to add to the system boot sequence can be added to the end of the file
/etc/rc.d/rc.local. The commands netcfg and netconfig make permanent changes to
system network configuration files located in /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/, so that this
information is retained and used upon system boot.

The IANA has allocated IP addresses in the range of to for private

Helpful tools:

Network Calculators: Subnet mask calculator, node calculator, mask inverter, ...
IP subnet calculator

Ubuntu / Debian IP Configuration Files:

File: /etc/network/interfaces

Static IP example:
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static

Dynamic IP (DHCP) example:

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp

auto eth1
iface eth1 inet dhcp

auto eth2
iface eth2 inet dhcp

auto ath0
iface ath0 inet dhcp

auto wlan0
iface wlan0 inet dhcp


lo: Loopback interface (network within your system without slowing down for the
real ethernet based network)
eth0: First ethernet interface card
wlan0: First wireless network interface

Also see "man interfaces"

GUI Network Tools:

network-admin (apt-get install gnome-network-admin)

Red Hat / Fedora Core IP Configuration Files:

The Red Hat configuration tools store the configuration information in the file
They will also allow one to configure routing information.

File: /etc/sysconfig/network
Static IP address Configuration: (Configure gateway address)

HOSTNAME=my-hostname - Hostname is defined here and by command hostname
FORWARD_IPV4=true - True for NAT firewall gateways and linux routers.
False for everyone else - desktops and servers.
GATEWAY="XXX.XXX.XXX.YYY" - Used if your network is connected to another
network or the internet.
Static IP configuration. Gateway not defined here
for DHCP client.

OR for DHCP client configuration:

HOSTNAME=my-hostname - Hostname is defined here and by command hostname

(Gateway is assigned by DHCP server.)

OR for NIS client configuration:

HOSTNAME=my-hostname - Hostname is defined here and by command hostname
NISDOMAIN=NISProject1 - NIS domain to attach

File (Red Hat/Fedora): /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0

(S.u.s.e.: /etc/sysconfig/network/ifcfg-eth-id-XX:XX:XX:XX:XX)
This file used by the command scripts ifup and ifdown

Static IP address configuration:

ONBOOT=yes - Will activate upon system boot

RHEL4/FC3 additions:

o TYPE=Ethernet

OR for DHCP client configuration:


RHEL4/FC3 additions:

o TYPE=Ethernet

(Used by script /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifup to bring the various network

interfaces on-line)
To disable DHCP change BOOTPROTO=dhcp to BOOTPROTO=none

In order for updated information in any of these files to take effect, one must issue the command:
service network restart (or: /etc/init.d/network restart)

Changing the host name:

This is a three step process:

1. Issue the command: hostname new-host-name

2. Change network configuration file: /etc/sysconfig/network
Edit entry: HOSTNAME=new-host-name
3. Restart systems which relied on the hostname (or reboot):
o Restart network services: service network restart
(or: /etc/init.d/network restart)
o Restart desktop:
Bring down system to console mode: init 3
Bring up X-Windows: init 5

One may also want to check the file /etc/hosts for an entry using the system name which
allows the system to be self aware.

The hostname may be changed at runtime using the command: sysctl -w


Change the host name using GUI tool: /usr/sbin/system-config-network

(Red Hat / Fedora / CentOS)

Hostname entries are made in two places:

Select the "Devices" tab + "Edit" + the "General"
Select the "DNS" tab.

Network IP aliasing:

Assign more than one IP address to one ethernet card:

ifconfig eth0 XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX netmask broadcast

ifconfig eth0:0 netmask broadcast
ifconfig eth0:1 netmask broadcast

route add -host XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX dev eth0

route add -host dev eth0
route add -host dev eth0
In this example 0 and 1 are aliases in addition to the regular eth0. The result of the ifconfig
eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:10:4C:25:7A:3F
inet addr:XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX Bcast:XXX.XXX.XXX.255
RX packets:14218 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:1362 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:1 txqueuelen:100
Interrupt:5 Base address:0xe400

eth0:0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:10:4C:25:7A:3F

inet addr: Bcast: Mask:
Interrupt:5 Base address:0xe400

eth0:1 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:10:4C:25:7A:3F

inet addr: Bcast: Mask:
Interrupt:5 Base address:0xe400
Config file: /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0:0

Aliases can also be shut down independently. i.e.: ifdown eth0:0

The option during kernel compile is: CONFIG_IP_ALIAS=y (Enabled by default in Redhat)

Note: The Apache web server can be configured so that different IP addresses can be assigned to
specific domains being hosted. See Apache configuration and "configuring an IP based virtual
host" in the YoLinux Web site configuration tutorial.

DHCP Linux Client: get connection info: /sbin/pump -i eth0 --status

(Red Hat Linux 7.1 and older)

Device eth0
Broadcast: 4.XXX.XXX.255
Network: 4.XXX.XXX.0
Boot server 131.XXX.XXX.4
Next server
Gateway: 4.XXX.XXX.1
Nameservers: 4.XXX.XXX.1 4.XXX.XXX.2 4.XXX.XXX.3
Renewal time: Sat Aug 11 08:28:55 2001
Expiration time: Sat Aug 11 11:28:55 2001
Activating and De-Activating your NIC:
Commands for starting and
stopping TCP/IP network services
on a Network Interface Card

Activate: /sbin/ifup
(Also: ifconfig eth0 up
- Note: Even if no IP
address is assigned you
can listen.)
/sbin/ifdown eth0
(Also: ifconfig eth0

These scripts use the scripts and

NIC config
files in

GUI Interface

Start/Stop network
control-network (Fedora
Core 2/3)
control-network (RH 9.0
- FC-1)
Configure Ethernet, ISDN,
modem, token Ring,
Wireless or DSL network
(RH 9 - FC-1)
h A C

1 Invalid
16,777,2 255.255.2
255 or /32 65,534 254 1
14 55.0 5
256 address

33,554,4 131,07 255.255.2 2
254 128 /31 510
30 0 54.0 addresse 4

2 hosts
67,108,8 262,14 255.255.2 4
252 64 /30 1,022
62 2 52.0 addresse 2

6 hosts
134,217, 524,28 255.255.2 8
248 32 /29 2,046
726 6 48.0 addresse 8

14 hosts
268,435, 1,048,5 255.255.2 16
240 16 /28 4,094
454 74 40.0 addresse 0

30 hosts
536,870, 2,097,1 255.255.2 32
224 8 /27 8,190
910 50 24.0 addresse 4

62 hosts
1,073,74 4,194,3 255.255.1 64
192 4 /26 16,382
1,822 02 92.0 addresse 2

2,147,48 8,388,6 255.255.1
128 2 /25 32,766 128
3,646 06 28.0 8

Binary position 8 7 6 5 4321

Value 128 64 32 16 8 4 2 1
Example: 192 1 1 0 0 0000

Example 192=128+64

Some addresses are reserved and outside this scope. Loopback (, reserved class C
192.168.XXX.XXX, reserved class B 172.31.XXX.XXX and reserved class A

Subnet Example:
Your ISP assigns you a subnet mask of for your office. Network Base address Computer 1 Computer 2 Computer 3 Computer 4 Computer 5 DSL router/Gateway Broadcast address

Of the eight addresses, there are six assigned to hardware systems and ultimately only
five usable addresses.


Subnet Cheat Sheet

Subnet calculator
Table of subnets
IP Subnetting, Variable Subnetting, and CIDR (Supernetting) Subnet Masking and Addressing

Network Classes:

The concept of network classes is a little obsolete as subnets are now used to define smaller
networks. These subnets may be part of a class A, B, C, etc network. For historical reference the
network classes are defined as follows:

Class A: Defined by the first 8 bits with a range of 0 - 127.

First number (8 bits) is defined by Internic i.e. 77.XXX.XXX.XXX
One class A network can define 16,777,214 hosts.
Range: -
Class B: Defined by the first 8 bits with a range from 128 - 191
First two numbers (16 bits) are defined by Internic i.e. 182.56.XXX.XXX
One class B network can define 65,534 hosts.
Range: -
Class C: Defined by the first 8 bits with a range from 192 - 223
First three numbers (24 bits) are defined by Internic i.e. 220.56.222.XXX
One class B network can define 254 hosts.
Range: -
Class D: Defined by the first 8 bits with a range from 224 - 239
This is reserved for multicast networks (RFC988)
Range: -
Class E: Defined by the first 8 bits with a range from 240 - 255
This is reserved for experimental use.
Range: -

Enable Forwarding:
Forwarding allows the network packets on one network interface (i.e. eth0) to be forwarded to
another network interface (i.e. eth1). This will allow the Linux computer to conect ("ethernet
bridge") or route network traffic.

The bridge configuration will merge two (or several) networks into one single network topology.
IpTables firewall rules can be used to filter traffic.

A router configuration can support multicast and basic IP routing using the "route" command.
IP masquerading (NAT) can be used to connect private local area networks (LAN) to the internet
or load balance servers.

Turn on IP forwarding to allow Linux computer to act as a gateway or router.

echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward
Default is 0. One can add firewall rules by using ipchains.

Another method is to alter the Linux kernel config file: /etc/sysctl.conf Set the following

net.ipv4.ip_forward = 1

See file /etc/sysconfig/network for storing this configuration.


Change the default "false" to "true".

All methods will result in a proc file value of "1". Test: cat /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward

The TCP Man page - Linux Programmer's Manual and /usr/src/linux/Documentation/proc.txt

(Kernel 2.2 RH 7.0-) cover /proc/sys/net/ipv4/* file descriptions.

Also see: (YoLinux tutorials)

Configure Linux as an internet gateway router: Using Linux and iptables/ipchains to set
up an internet gateway for home or office (iptables)
Load balancing servers using LVS (Linux Virtual Server) (ipvsadm)
Adding a network interface card (NIC):

Manual method: This does not alter the permanent configuration and will only configure
support until the next reboot.

cd /lib/modules/2.2.5-15/net/ - Use kernel version for your system. This example

uses 2.2.5-15
(Fedora Core 3: /lib/modules/2.6.12-1.1381_FC3/kernel/net/)
Here you will find the modules supported by your system.
It can be permanently added to:
o /etc/modprobe.conf (kernel 2.6)
o /etc/modules.conf (kernel 2.4)
o (or for older systems: /etc/conf.modules)


alias eth0 3c59x

/sbin/insmod 3c59x (For a 3Com ethernet card)

This inserts the specified module into the kernel.
/sbin/modprobe 3c59x
This also loads a module into the system kernel.
Modprobe command line options:
o -r : to unload the module.
o /sbin/modprobe -l \* : list all modules.
o /sbin/modprobe -lt net \* : List only network modules
o /sbin/modprobe -t net \* : Try loading all network modules and see what
sticks. (act of desperation)
ifconfig ...

The easy way: Red Hat versions 6.2 and later, ship with Kudzu, a device detection program
which runs during system initialization. (/etc/rc.d/init.d/kudzu) This can detect a newly installed
NIC and load the appropriate driver. Then use /usr/sbin/netconfig to configure the IP
address and network settings. The configuration will be stored so that it will be utilized upon
system boot.

Systems with two NIC cards: Typically two cards are used when connecting to two networks.
In this case the device must be defined using one of three methods:

1. Use the Red Hat GUI tool /usr/bin/netcfg


2. Define network parameters in configuration files:

Define new device in file (Red Hat/Fedora) /etc/sysconfig/network-
(S.u.s.e 9.2: /etc/sysconfig/network/ifcfg-eth-id-XX:XX:XX:XX:XX)


Special routing information may be specified, if necessary, in the file

(Red Hat/Fedora): /etc/sysconfig/static-routes
(S.u.s.e. 9.2: /etc/sysconfig/network/routes)


eth1 net XXX.XXX.XXX.0 netmask gw XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX


3. Define network parameters using Unix command line interface:

Define IP address:

ifconfig eth0 XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX netmask broadcast

ifconfig eth1 netmask broadcast

If necessary, define route with with the route command:


route add default gw XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX dev eth0

route add -net XXX.XXX.XXX.0 netmask gw
XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX dev eth0

Where XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX is the gateway to the internet as defined by your ISP or

network operator.

If a mistake is made just repeat the route command substituting "del" in place of "add".

Configuring your NIC: Speed and Duplex settings:

This is usually not necessary because most ethernet adapters can auto-negotiate link speed and
duplex setting.

List NIC speed and configuration: mii-tool

eth0: negotiated 100baseTx-FD flow-control, link ok

Verbose mode: mii-tool -v

eth0: negotiated 100baseTx-FD flow-control, link ok

product info: Intel 82555 rev 4
basic mode: autonegotiation enabled
basic status: autonegotiation complete, link ok
capabilities: 100baseTx-FD 100baseTx-HD 10baseT-FD 10baseT-HD
advertising: 100baseTx-FD 100baseTx-HD 10baseT-FD 10baseT-HD flow-
link partner: 100baseTx-FD 100baseTx-HD 10baseT-FD 10baseT-HD flow-

Set NIC configuration: mii-tool -F option

Option Parameters
-F 100baseTx-FD
-A 100baseT4

Query NIC with ethtool:

Command Description
ethtool -g eth0 Queries ethernet device for rx/tx ring parameter information.
ethtool -a eth0 Queries ethernet device for pause parameter information.
ethtool -c eth0 Queries ethernet device for coalescing information.
ethtool -i eth0 Queries ethernet device for associated driver information.
ethtool -d eth0 Prints a register dump for the specified ethernet device.
ethtool -k eth0 Queries ethernet device for offload information.
ethtool -S eth0 Queries ethernet device for NIC and driver statistics.
Man Pages:

mii-tool - view, manipulate media-independent interface status

ethtool - Display or change ethernet card settings


Static routes: IP (Internet Protocol) uses a routing table to determine where packets should be
sent. First the packet is examined to see if its' destination is for the local or remote network. If it
is to be sent to a remote network, the routing table is consulted to determine the path. If there is
no information in the routing table then the packet is sent to the default gateway. Static routes are
set with the route command and with the configuration file
(Red Hat/Fedora): /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/route-eth0
(Red Hat 7: /etc/sysconfig/static-routes)
(S.u.s.e. 9.2: /etc/sysconfig/network/routes): via

See command: /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifup-routes eth0

Dynamic routes: RIP (Routing Information Protocol) is used to define dynamic routes. If
multiple routes are possible, RIP will choose the shortest route. (Fewest hops between routers not
physical distance.) Routers use RIP to broadcast the routing table over UDP port 520. The
routers would then add new or improved routes to their routing tables.

Man pages:

route - show / manipulate the IP routing table (Static route)

o Show routing table: route -e
o Access individual computer host specified via network interface card eth1:
route add -host eth1
o Access ISP network identified by the network address and netmask using network
interface card eth0:
route add -net netmask gw
Conversly: route del -net netmask gw eth0
o Specify default gateway to use to access remote network via network interface
card eth0:
route add default gw eth0
(Gateway can also be defined in /etc/sysconfig/network)
o Specify two gateways for two network destinations: (i.e. one external, one internal
private network. Two routers/gateways will be specified.)
Add internet gateway as before: route add default gw eth0
Add second private network: route add -net netmask
gw eth0
routed - network routing daemon. Uses RIP protocol to update routing table.
ipx_route - show / manipulate the IPX routing table - IPX is the Novell networking
protocol (Not typically used unless your office has Novell servers)
ifuser - Identify destinations routed to a particular network interface.

VPN, Tunneling:

Commercial VPN Linux software solutions - YoLinux - IPSec VPN for Linux - IPSec VPN for Linux
FreeSWAN tutorial - howto
OpenVPN - SSL VPN solution for site to site, WiFi security, and enterprise-scale remote
access with load balancing, failover, and fine-grained access-controls.
SSL-Explorer - Java SLL based VPN
Quagga dynamic routing suite VLAN
n2n pier to pier within a private fabric
CIPE: Crypto IP Encapsulation (Easiest way to configure two Linux gateways connecting
two private networks over the internet with encryption.)
o CIPE Home page - CIPE is a simple encapsulation system that securely connects
two subnets.
o The Linux Cipe+Masquerading mini-HOWTO - Anthony Ciaravalo
GRE Tunneling - Generic Routing Encapsulation - Hugo Samayoa
VPN HowTo - Matthew D. Wilson
Installing and Running PPTP on Linux
L2TP Extensions (l2tpext) Internet Drafts.

Usefull Linux networking commands:

/etc/rc.d/init.d/network start - command to start, restart or stop the network

netstat - Display connections, routing tables, stats etc
o List externally connected processes: netstat -punta
o List all connected processes: netstat -nap
o Show network statistics: netstat -s
o Kernel interface table info: netstat -a -i eth0
ping - send ICMP ECHO_REQUEST packets to network hosts. Use Cntl-C to stop ping.
traceroute - print the route packets take to network host.
(Ubuntu Note: Typically Ubuntu installs tracepath for IPv4 and traceroute6 for IPv6.
One can install traceroute: apt-get install traceroute)
o traceroute IP-address-of-server
o traceroute domain-name-of-server
mtr - a network diagnostic tool introduced in Fedora - Like traceroute except it gives
more network quality and network diagnostic info. Leave running to get real time stats.
Reports best and worst round trip times in milliseconds.
o mtr IP-address-of-server
o mtr domain-name-of-server
whois - Lookup a domain name in the internic whois database.
finger - Display information on a system user. i.e. finger user@host Uses
$HOME/.plan and $HOME/.project user files. Often used by game developers. See
iptables - IP firewall administration (Linux kernel 2.6/2.4) See YoLinux firewall/gateway
ipchains - IP firewall administration (Linux kernel 2.2) See YoLinux firewall/gateway
socklist - Display list of open sockets, type, port, process id and the name of the process.
Kill with fuser or kill.
host - Give a host name and the command will return IP address. Unlike nslookup, the
host command will use both /etc/hosts as well as DNS.
Example: host domain-name-of-server
nslookup - Give a host name and the command will return IP address. Also see Testing
your DNS (YoLinux Tutorial) Note that nslookup does not use the /etc/hosts file.

inetd/xinetd: Network Socket Listener Daemons:

The network listening daemons listen and respond to all network socket connections made on the
TCP/IP ports assigned to it. The ports are defined by the file /etc/services. When a
connection is made, the listener will attempt to invoke the assigned program and pipe the data to
it. This simplified matters by allowing the assigned program to read from stdin instead of making
its own sockets connection. The listener hadles the network socket connection. Two network
listening and management daemons have been used in Red Hat Linux distributions:

inetd: Red Hat 6.x and older

xinetd: Red Hat 7.0-9.0, Fedora Core

Configuration file: /etc/inetd.conf
Entries in this file consist of a single line made up of the following fields:
service socket-type protocol wait user server cmdline

service: The name assigned to the service. Matches the name given in the file
o stream: connection protocols (TCP)
o dgram: datagram protocols (UDP)
o raw
o rdm
o seqpacket
protocol: Transport protocol name which matches a name in the file
/etc/protocols. i.e. udp, icmp, tcp, rpc/udp, rpc/tcp, ip, ipv6
wait: Applies only to datagram protocols (UDP).
o wait[.max]: One server for the specified port at any time (RPC)
o nowait[.max]: Continue to listen and launch new services if a new
connection is made. (multi-threaded)

Max refers to the maximum number of server instances spawned in 60 seconds.


user[.group]: login id of the user the process is executed under. Often nobody,
root or a special restricted id for that service.
server: Full path name of the server program to be executed.
cmdline: Command line to be passed to the server. This includes argument 0
(argv[0]), that is the command name. This field is empty for internal services.
Example of internal TCP services: echo, discard, chargen (character generator),
daytime (human readable time), and time (machine readable time). (see RFC)

Sample File: /etc/inetd.conf

#echo stream tcp nowait root internal

#echo dgram udp wait root internal

ftp stream tcp nowait root /usr/sbin/tcpd in.ftpd -l -a

#pop-3 stream tcp nowait root /usr/sbin/tcpd ipop3d
#swat stream tcp nowait.400 root /usr/sbin/swat swat
A line may be commented out by using a '#' as the first character in the line. This will
turn the service off. The maximum length of a line is 1022 characters.

The inet daemon must be restarted to pick up the changes made to the file:
/etc/rc.d/init.d/inetd restart

For more information see the man pages "inetd" and "inetd.conf".

xinetd: Extended Internet Services Daemon:

Xinetd has access control machanisms, logging capabilities, the ability to make services
available based on time, and can place limits on the number of servers that can be started,
redirect services to different ports and network interfaces (NIC) or even to a different
server, chroot a service etc... and thus a worthy upgrade from inetd.

Use the command chkconfig --list to view all system services and their state. It will
also list all network services controlled by xinetd and their respective state under the title
"xinetd based services". (Works for xinetd (RH7.0+) but not inetd)
The xinetd network daemon uses PAM also called network wrappers which invoke the
/etc/hosts.allow and /etc/hosts.deny files.

Configuration file: /etc/xinetd.conf which in turn uses configuration files found in the
directory /etc/xinetd.d/.

To turn a network service on or off:

Edit the file /etc/xinetd.d/service-name

Set the disable value:

disable = yes
disable = no

Restart the xinetd process using the signal:

o SIGUSR1 (kill -SIGUSR1 process-id) - Soft reconfiguration does not

terminate existing connections. (Important if you are connected remotely)
o SIGUSR2 - Hard reconfiguration stops and restarts the xinetd process.

(Note: Using the HUP signal will terminate the process.)


Use the chkconfig command: chkconfig service-name on

(or off)
This command will also restart the xinetd process to pick up the new

The file contains entries of the form:

service service-name
attribute assignment-operator value value ...


o disable:
o type:
UNLISTED: Not found in /etc/rpc or /etc/services
o id: By default the service id is the same as the service name.
o socket_type:
stream: TCP
dgram: UDP
raw: Direct IP access
seqpacket: service that requires reliable sequential datagram
o flags: Combination of: REUSE, INTERCEPT, NORETRY, IDONLY,
See the xinetd man page for details.
o protocol: Transport protocol name which matches a name in the file
o wait:
no: multi-threaded
yes: single-threaded - One server for the specified port at any time
o user: See file : /etc/passwd
o group: See file : /etc/group
o server: Program to execute and recieve data stream from socket. (Fully
qualified name - full pathe name of program)
o server_args: Unlike inetd, arg[0] or the name of the service is not passed.
o only_from: IP address, factorized address, netmask range, hostname or
network name from file /etc/networks.
o no_access: Deny from ... (inverse of only_from)
o access_times
o port: See file /etc/services

Also: log_type, log_on_success, log_on_failure (Log options: +=

rpc_number, env, passenv, redirect, bind, interface, banner, banner_success,
banner_fail, per_source, cps, max_load, groups, enabled, include, includedir,
rlimit_as, rlimit_cpu, rlimit_data, rlimit_rss, rlimit_stack.
The best source of information is the man page and its many examples.

o =
o +=: add a value to the set of values
o -=: delete a value from the set of values

Then restart the daemon: /etc/rc.d/init.d/xinetd restart

Example from man page: Limit telnet sessions to 8 Mbytes of memory and a total 20
CPU seconds for child processes.

service telnet
socket_type = stream
wait = no
nice = 10
user = root
server = /usr/etc/in.telnetd
rlimit_as = 8M
rlimit_cpu = 20

[Pitfall] Red Hat 7.1 with updates as of 07/06/2001 required that I restart the xinetd
services before FTP would work properly even though xinetd had started without failure
during the boot sequence. I have no explanation as to why this occurs or how to fix it
other than to restart xinetd: /etc/rc.d/init.d/xinetd restart.

Man Pages:


For more info see: xinetd - Frederic Raynal Controlling Access to Services
See RFC's: 862, 863, 864, 867, 868, 1413.
man page xinetd, xinetd.conf, xinetd.log

RWHO: Remote Who daemon - rwhod

The "rwho" command is used to display users logged into computers on your LAN.

By default, Red Hat Linux has the network interface to the rwhod disabled. Thus if one issues
the command "rwho", you will only see who is logged into the system you are logged into and
not remote systems on the network. This is a safe approach for internet servers as it reduces the
exposure of a service which could be exploited by hackers. If you wish to use rwhod on a local
private and firewall protected network, here is how:

Allow broacast capabilities. Edit /etc/init.d/rwhod

change from: daemon rwhod
to: daemon rwhod -b

Start service:

Set service to start with system boot: chkconfig --level 345 rwhod on
Start rwhod service: service rwhod start
(or: service rwhod restart)

Man pages:

rwho: who is logged in on local network machines

rwhod: system status server
who: show who is logged on to the same system

RPC: Remote Procedure Calls (Portmapper)

Portmapper is a network service required to support RPC's. Many services such as NFS (file
sharing services) require portmapper.

List RPC services supported: [root]# rpcinfo -p localhost

Starting portmap server:

/etc/rc.d/init.d/portmap start
service portmap start (Red Hat/Fedora Core)

Man Pages:


PAM: Network Wrappers:

Pluggable Authentication Modules for Linux (TCP Wrappers)

This system allows or denies network access. One can reject or allow specific IP addresses or
subnets to access your system.

File: /etc/hosts.allow

This specifically allows the given IP address to ftp to your system. One can also specify an entire
domain. i.e.
Note the beginning ".".

File: /etc/hosts.deny
This generally denies any access.

See the pam man page.

File: /etc/inetd.conf

ftp stream tcp nowait root /usr/sbin/tcpd in.ftpd -l -a

The inet daemon accepts the incoming network stream and assigns it to the PAM TCP wrapper,
/usr/sbin/tcpd, which accepts or denies the network connection as defined by /etc/hosts.allow
and /etc/hosts.deny and then passes it along to ftp. This is logged to /var/log/secure

Advanced PAM: More specific access can be assigned and controlled by controlling the level of
authentication required for access.

Files reflect the inet service name. Rules and modules are stacked to achieve the level of security

See the files in /etc/pam.d/... (some systems use /etc/pam.conf)

The format: service type control module-path module-arguments

auth - (type) Password is required for the user

o nullok - Null or non-existatant password is acceptable
o shadow - encrypted passwords kept in /etc/shadow
account - (type) Verifies password. Can track and force password changes.
password - (type) Controls password update
o retry=3 - Sets the number of login attempts
o minlen=8 - Set minimum length of password
session - (type) Controls monitoring


/lib/security/ - password database module

/lib/security/ -
/lib/security/ - checks is password is crackable

After re-configuration, restart the inet daemon: killall -HUP inetd

For more info see:

Wietse's Papers
Pluggable Authentication Modules for Linux (PAM) Home Page


ICMP is the network protocol used by the ping and traceroute commands.

ICMP redirect packets are sent from the router to the host to inform the host of a better route. To
enable ICMP redirect, add the following line to /etc/sysctl.conf :

net.ipv4.conf.all.accept_redirects = 1

Add the following to the file: /etc/rc.d/rc.local

for f in /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/*/accept_redirects
echo 1 > $f

Command to view Kernel IP routing cache: /sbin/route -Cn

NOTE: This may leave you vulnerable to hackers as attackers may alter your routes.

Blocking ICMP and look invisible to ping:

The following firewall rules will drop ICMP requests.

iptables -A OUTPUT -p icmp -d 0/0 -j DROP
ipchains -A output -p icmp -d 0/0 -j DENY
OR drop all incomming pings:
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/icmp_echo_ignore_all
This is sometimes necessary to look invisible to DOS (Denial Of Service) attackers who use ping
to watch your machine and launch an attack when it's pressence is detected

Network Monitoring Tools:

tcpdump - dump traffic on a network. See discussion below.

Command line
-c Exit after receiving count packets.
-C Specify size of output dump files.

-i Specify interface if multiple exist. Lowest used by default. i.e.

-w file-name Write the raw packets to file rather than parsing and printing them
They can later be printed with the -r option.
Improve speed by not performing DNS lookups. Report IP
-t Don't print a timestamp on each dump line.

Filter expressions:
primitive Description
host host-name If host has multiple IP's, all will be checked.
net network-number Network number.
net network-number mask mask Network number and netmask specified.
port port-number Port number specified.
tcp Sniff TCP packets.
udp Sniff UDP packets.
icmp Sniff icmp packets.

o tcpdump tcp port 80 and host server-1
o tcpdump ip host server-1 and not server-2
iptraf - Interactive Colorful IP LAN Monitor
nmap - Network exploration tool and security scanner
o List pingable nodes on network: nmap -sP
Scans network for IP addresses to using ping.
Ethereal - Network protocol analyzer. Examine data from a live network.

RPM's required:

o ethereal-0.8.15-2.i386.rpm - Red Hat 7.1 Powertools CD RPM

o ucd-snmp-4.2-12.i386.rpm - Red Hat 7.1 binary CD 1
o ucd-snmp-utils-4.2-12.i386.rpm - Red Hat 7.1 binary CD 1
o Also: gtk+, glib, glibc, XFree86-libs-4.0.3-5 (base install)

There is an error in the ethereal package because it does not show the snmp libraries as a
dependancies, but you can deduce this from the errors that you get if the ucd-snmp
libraries are not installed.

EtherApe - Graphical network monitor for Unix modeled after etherman. This is a great
network discovery program with cool graphics. (Red Hat Powertools CD 7.1)
Gkrellm - Network and system monitor. Good for monitoring your workstation. (Red Hat
Powertools CD)
IPTraf - ncurses-based IP LAN monitor. (Red Hat Powertools CD)
Cheops - Network discovery, location, diagnosis and management. Cheops can identify
all of the computers that are on your network, their IP address, their DNS name, the
operating system they are running. Cheops can run a port scan on any system on your
network. (Red Hat Powertools CD)
ntop - Shows network usage in a way similar to what top does for processes. Monitors
how much data is being sent and received on your network. (Red Hat Powertools CD)
MRTG - Multi Router Traffic Grapher - Monitor network traffic load using SNMP and
generate an HTML/GIF report. (See sample output)
dnsad - IP traffic capture. Export to Cisco Netflow for network analysis reporting.
scotty - Obtain status and configuration information about your network. Supports
SNMP, ICMP, DNS, HTTP, SUN RPC, NTP, & UDP. (Red Hat Powertools CD)
Big Brother - Monitoring ans services availablility. - Network Management using SNMP.
Nagios - host, service and network monitoring
Angel network monitor

Using tcpdump to monitor the network:

[root]# ifconfig eth0 promisc - Put nic into promiscuous mode to
sniff traffic.
[root]# tcpdump -n host not XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX | more - Sniff net but ignore
IP which is your remote session.
[root]# ifconfig eth0 -promisc - Pull nic out of promiscuous mode.

Network Intrusion and Hacker Detection Systems:

SNORT: Monitor the network, performing real-time traffic analysis and packet logging on IP
networks for the detection of an attack or probe.

Linux Journal: Planning IDS for Your Enterprise - Nalneesh Gaur

InterSect Alliance - Intrusiuon analysis. Identifies malicious or unauthorized access

ARP: Address Resolution Protocol

Ethernet hosts use the Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) to convert a 32-bit internet IP
addresses into a 48-bit Ethernet MAC address used by network hardware. (See: RFC 826) ARP
broadcasts are sent to all hosts on the subnet by the data transmitting host to see who replies. The
broadcast is ignored by all except the intended receiver which recognizes the IP address as its
own. The MAC addresses are remembered (APR cache) for future network communications.
Computers on the subnet typically keep a cache of ARP responses. ARP broadcasts are passed
on by hubs and switches but are blocked by routers.

Reverse ARP (See: RFC 903) is a bootstrap protocol which allows a client to broadcast
requesting a server to reply with its IP address.

arp (8) man page - manipulate the system ARP cache

Shows other systems on your network (including IP address conflicts): arp -a
Show ARP table Linux style: arp -e
arpwatch (8) man page - keep track of ethernet/ip address pairings
arpsnmp (8) man page - keep track of ethernet/ip address pairings. Reads information
generated by snmpwalk
arping (8) man page - send ARP REQUEST to a neighbor host
Print ARP reply (similar to arp -a): arping
List ARP table: cat /proc/net/arp
ip (8) man page - show / manipulate routing, devices, policy routing and tunnels
View ARP table: ip neighbor

ARP is something that simply works. No Linux system configuration is necessary. It's all part of
the ethernet and IP protocol. The aforementioned information is just part of the Linux culture of
full visibility into what is going on.

Configuring Linux For Network Multicast:

Regular network exchanges of data are peer to peer unicast transactions. An HTTP request to a
web server (TCP/IP), email SNMP (TCP/IP), DNS (UDP), FTP (TCP/IP), ... are all peer to peer
unicast transactions. If one wants to transmit a video, audio or data stream to multiple nodes with
one transmission stream instead of multiple individual peer to peer connections, one for each
node, one may use multicasting to reduce network load. Note that multicast and a network
broadcast are different. Multicast messages are only "heard" by the nodes on the network that
have "joined the multicast group" which are those that are interested in the information.

The Linux kernel is Level-2 Multicast-Compliant. It meets all requirements to send, receive and
act as a router for multicast datagrams. For a process to receive multicast datagrams it has to
request the kernel to join the multicast group and bind the port receiving the datagrams. When a
process is no longer interested in the multicast group, a request is made to the kernel to leave the
group. It is the kernel/host which joins the multicast group and not the process. Kernel
configuration requires "CONFIG_IP_MULTICAST=y". In order for the Linux kernel to support
multicast routing, set the following in the kernel config:

The default Red Hat / Fedora kernels are compiled to support multicast.

See the YoLinux tutorial on optimization and rebuilding the Linux kernal.

Note that on multihomed systems (more than one IP address/network card), only one device can
be configured to handle multicast.

Class D networks with a range of IP addresses from to (See Network
Classes above) have typically been reserved for multicast.

Usefull commands:

Command Description
List multicast group to which the host is subscribed. Use
cat /proc/net/igmp "Internet Group Management Protocol".
(See /usr/src/linux/net/core/igmp.c)
cat List multicast interfaces.
/proc/net/dev_mcast (See /usr/src/linux/net/core/dev_mcast.c)

All hosts configured for multicast will respond with their IP
ping All routers configured for multicast will respond
ping All PIM routers configured for multicast will respond
ping All DVMRP routers configured for multicast will respond
ping All OSPF routers configured for multicast will respond

Multicast transmissions are achieved through proper routing, router configuration (if
communicating through subnets) and programatically with the use of the following "C" function
library calls:

Function Call Description

setsockopt() Pass information to the Kernel.
getsockopt() Retrieve information broadcast using multicast.
For more on multicast programming see: Multicast Howto.

The multicast application will specify the multicast loopback interface, TTL (network
time to live), network interface and the multicast group to add or drop.

Add route to support multicast:

route add netmask dev eth0

Note that if adding a route to forward packets through a router, that the router MUST be
configured to forward multicast packets. Many routers do not support forwarding of multicast
packets or have a default configuration which does not. The internet by default does not forward
multicast packets.

Living in a MS/Windows World:

SMB4k: My favorite MS/Windows file share browser.

In Nautilus use the URL "smb:" to view MS/Windows servers. [tutorial]
LinNeighborhood: Linux workstation gui tool.

Make your life simple and use the GUI/File Manager LinNeighborhood. It uses
smbmount, samba and smbclient to give you access to MS/Windows servers and printers.

o LinNeighborhood Home Page

o LinNeighborhood Screen Shot

See the YoLinux tutorial on integrating Linux into a Microsoft network.

Network Definitions:

IPv4: Most of the Internet servers and personal computers use Internet Protocol version 4
(IPv4). This uses 32 bits to assign a network address as defined by the four octets of an IP
address up to Which is the representation of four 8 bit numbers thus
totaling 32 bits.
IPv6: Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) uses a 128 bit address and thus billions and
billions of potential addresses. The protocol has also been upgraded to include new
quality of service features and security. Currently Linux supports IPv6 but IPv4 is used
when connecting your computer to the internet.
TCP/IP: (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) uses a client - server model
for communications. The protocol defines the data packets transmitted (packet header,
data section), data integrity verification (error detection bytes), connection and
acknowledgement protocol, and re-transmission.
TCP/IP time to live (TTL): This is a counting mechanism to determine how long a
packet is valid before it reaches its destination. Each time a TCP/IP packet passes through
a router it will decrement its TTL count. When the count reaches zero the packet is
dropped by the router. This ensures that errant routing and looping aimless packets will
not flood the network.
MAC Address: (media access control) is the network card address used for
communication between other network devices on the subnet. This info is not routable.
The ARP table maps TCP/IP address (global internet) to the local hardware on the local
network. Use the command /sbin/ifconfig to view both the IP address and the MAC
address. The MAC address uniquely identifies each node of a network and is used by the
Ethernet protocol.
Full Duplex: Allows the simultaneous sending and receiving of packets. Most modern
modems support full duplex.
Half Duplex: Allows the sending and receiving of packets in one direction at a time only.
OSI 7 Layer Model: The ISO (International Standards Organization) has defined the
OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) model for current networking protocols.

Description Linux Networking Use
7 Application Layer. telnet, web browser,
The top layer for communications applications like sendmail
email and the web.
6 Presentation Layer. SMTP, http
Syntax and format of data transfer.
5 Session Layer.
4 Transport Layer. TCP
Connection, acknowledgement and data packet UDP
3 Network Layer. IP
2 Data Link Layer. Ethernet
Error control, timing
1 Physical Layer. Ethernet
Electrical characteristics of signal and NIC

Network Hub: Hardware to connect network devices together. The devices will all be on
the same network and/or subnet. All network traffic is shared and can be sniffed by any
other node connected to the same hub.
Network Switch: Like a hub but creates a private link between any two connected nodes
when a network connection is established. This reduces the amount of network collisions
and thus improves speed. Broadcast messages are still sent to all nodes.

Related Links:

Cable modem HowTo - Vladimir Vuksan

Ethernet HowTo - Paul Gortmaker
YoLinux Tutorial: Setting up an internet gateway for home or office using iptables or
Firewall HowTo - Mark Grennan
YoLinux networking tutorial
Networking Overview HowTo - Daniel Lopez Ridruejo
Networking Howto - Joshua Drake
NFS Howto - Nicolai Langfeldt
SNMP: Simple Network Management Protocol (Uses ports 161,162,391,1993)
o SNMP - Intro and tutorials
o Linux SNMP Network Management Tools
o net-snmp - tools and libraries
News/Usenet Group: comp.os.linux.networking - Deja
MARS-nwe - Netware emulator
Linux 2.4 Advanced Routing HOWTO - iproute2, traffic shaping and a bit of netfilter
o ISDN4LINUX FAQ - Matthias Hessler
o ISDN4 Linux Home Page
o Dan Kegel's ISDN Page
PPP: Point-to-Point Protocol
o YoLinux Tutorial: Configuring PPP dial up connections to an ISP
o YoLinux Tutorial: Dialing Compuserve
o YoLinux Tutorial: Dialing AOL
o YoLinux Tutorial: Configuring PPP dial-in connections
PPTP: Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol
o RFC 2637: Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP).
o PPTP-Linux Client - A PPTP Linux client that allows a linux system to connect to
a PPTP server. Developed by C. S. Ananian.
o Counterpane Systems FAQ on Microsoft's PPTP Implementation - FAQ on the
security flaws in Microsoft's PPTP Implementation.
DHCP: (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol)
o YoLinux DHCP Tutorial - How to set up a DHCP server.
o ISC Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol - DHCP home page
o YoLinux Tutorial: Configuring Linux for multicast - this tutorial in section above
o Multicast over TCP/IP HOWTO
ISP's: (National/Global)
o - Comprehensive list of ISP's
o Earthlink
o Concentric
o ATT Worldnet
NIS: (NFS infrastructure)
o YoLinux NIS tutorial
o NIS howto
o NIS configuration and use
Ethernet cables:
o Making CAT 3, 5, 5E RJ45 Ethernet Cables
o Wiring and Installation
Gigabit Ethernet
VIX: Vienna Internet eXchange - European traffic exchange for ISP's

Test Internet Bandwidth: bandwidth and diagnostic tests
Speakeasy connection speed test
CNET Bandwidth Meter speed test
Network speed test
Bandwidth explained and List of bandwidth test sites

Man Pages:

icmp - Linux IPv4 ICMP kernel module

ifport - select the transceiver type for a network interface
usernetctl - allow a user to manipulate a network interface if permitted
ripquery - query RIP (Routing Information Protocol) gateways
gated - gateway routing daemon