I have a network interface that refuses to receive traffic destined for it (destination MAC is equal to the interface's configured hw address).

Here is the driver info;

# ethtool -i eth0
driver: ixgbe
version: 4.0.1-k
firmware-version: 0x80000534
bus-info: 0000:04:00.0
supports-statistics: yes
supports-test: yes
supports-eeprom-access: yes
supports-register-dump: yes
supports-priv-flags: no

As soon as I enter ifconfig eth0 promisc the interface will start receiving frames. A tcpdump shows that the destination MAC does indeed line up with the interface's configure MAC address.

# ifconfig eth0
eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:01:02:03:04:05
          RX packets:600363 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:230866 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
          RX bytes:904700278 (862.7 MiB)  TX bytes:16161664 (15.4 MiB)

Why does the interface need to be promiscuous?

  • 1
    Did you check if there is only one mac address ? maybe another interface on your network does have the same ip/mac address ? – Kingofkech Mar 22 '17 at 15:15
  • 3
    Please add to the question the outputs of ifconfig and/or ip link and uname -r ; do you have VLANs? – Rui F Ribeiro Mar 22 '17 at 15:18
  • There are no VLANs configured on this interface, although the traffic is VLAN tagged. – Críostóir Ó Catháin Mar 22 '17 at 15:44
  • Please do not mask the first 3 bytes of the MAC in the question, you surely have it not as 00:01:02:03:04:05? ; also try to post the ifconfig without having the interface in promisc mode. Please add also uname -r . – Rui F Ribeiro Mar 22 '17 at 16:35

I read through the ixgbe driver source in the search for answers.

As far as I can ascertain this driver utilizes hardware VLAn filtering (it has been suggested on some support tickets that reasons include security and performance).

This behavior is controlled via the IXGBE_VLNCTRL_VFE VLAN control flag.

The two options for successfully traversing these filters into the kernel are:

  • Enable promiscuous mode on the interface
  • Add a VLAN (e.g. using vconfig) to the interface

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