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Old 03-22-2015, 03:28 PM   #1
daren.felton
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Help troubleshooting VPN connection


I have a machine running Debian which is connected to the internet through VPN. I am using NetworkManager to set up the connection. The problem I'm having is that occasionally when I'm downloading a large file at high speed or watching videos online, my internet connection stops working. NetworkManager still shows that the connection is established, however no traffic is being received. As soon as I disconnect and reconnect again it works fine.

I was trying to find out what is causing this but I can't find any useful information. Ifconfig doesn't show anything unusual:
Code:
root@localhost:/# ifconfig
eth1      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx
          inet addr: xx.xx.xx.xx  Bcast:xx.xx.xx.xx  Mask:255.255.255.0
          inet6 addr: xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx/64 Scope:Link
          UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
          RX packets:138178 errors:0 dropped:10 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:88767 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:1
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
          RX bytes:176891307 (168.6 MiB)  TX bytes:11465251 (10.9 MiB)

lo        Link encap:Local Loopback  
          inet addr:127.0.0.1  Mask:255.0.0.0
          inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
          UP LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:16436  Metric:1
          RX packets:738 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:738 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0 
          RX bytes:56280 (54.9 KiB)  TX bytes:56280 (54.9 KiB)

ppp0      Link encap:Point-to-Point Protocol  
          inet addr:xx.xx.xx.xxxx  P-t-P:xx.xx.x.x Mask:255.255.255.255
          UP POINTOPOINT RUNNING NOARP MULTICAST  MTU:1400  Metric:1
          RX packets:97990 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:51418 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:3 
          RX bytes:135459889 (129.1 MiB)  TX bytes:3144085 (2.9 MiB)

root@localhost:/#
Here are the last few lines in /var/log/messages after the connection was lost:
Code:
Mar 22 22:49:53 localhost pppd[5333]: Plugin /usr/lib/pppd/2.4.5/nm-pptp-pppd-plugin.so loaded.
Mar 22 22:49:53 localhost pppd[5333]: pppd 2.4.5 started by root, uid 0
Mar 22 22:49:53 localhost pppd[5333]: Using interface ppp0
Mar 22 22:49:53 localhost pppd[5333]: Connect: ppp0 <--> /dev/pts/2
Mar 22 22:49:54 localhost pppd[5333]: CHAP authentication succeeded: Welcome.
Mar 22 22:49:54 localhost pppd[5333]: CHAP authentication succeeded
Mar 22 22:49:54 localhost pppd[5333]: CCP terminated by peer (No compression negotiated)
Mar 22 22:49:54 localhost pppd[5333]: Compression disabled by peer.
Mar 22 22:49:54 localhost pppd[5333]: local  IP address xx.xx.xx.xxx
Mar 22 22:49:54 localhost pppd[5333]: remote IP address xx.xx.x.x
Mar 22 22:49:54 localhost pppd[5333]: primary   DNS address xx.xx.x.xxxx
Mar 22 22:49:54 localhost pppd[5333]: secondary DNS address 8.8.8.8
Mar 22 22:50:24 localhost kernel: [ 7650.804020] [Hardware Error]: Machine check events logged
Mar 22 22:52:54 localhost kernel: [ 7800.804026] [Hardware Error]: Machine check events logged
Dmesg output:
Code:
[    3.688924] lp: driver loaded but no devices found
[    3.706577] ppdev: user-space parallel port driver
[    3.769091] atl1 0000:02:00.0: irq 44 for MSI/MSI-X
[    3.769153] atl1 0000:02:00.0: eth1 link is up 100 Mbps full duplex
[    3.785878] atl1 0000:02:00.0: irq 44 for MSI/MSI-X
[    3.785937] atl1 0000:02:00.0: eth1 link is up 100 Mbps full duplex
[    6.508657] nvidia 0000:01:00.0: irq 45 for MSI/MSI-X
[   14.760010] eth1: no IPv6 routers present
[ 2815.209585] PPP generic driver version 2.4.2
[ 2816.235985] PPP BSD Compression module registered
[ 2816.238531] PPP Deflate Compression module registered
[ 7650.804020] [Hardware Error]: Machine check events logged
[ 7800.804026] [Hardware Error]: Machine check events logged
Ping reports 100% packet loss, traceroute shows no hosts.

Here is what I have tried so far:
  • disabling firewall
  • using a different linux distro (opensuse)
  • switching to an old PCI ethernet card
  • disabling BSD, deflate and TCP header compression
  • lowering MTU for ppp0
I was also going to try using ifup instead of network manager.

Now, I did notice some MCE errors in dmesg, however I don't think they are related to the issue that I'm having. I uploaded /var/log/mcelog to pastebin.

The sad thing is - this problem does not occur under windows

I would appreciate any help.

Last edited by daren.felton; 03-23-2015 at 04:18 PM.
 
Old 03-24-2015, 08:12 PM   #2
dijetlo
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From your MCE log
Quote:
Hardware event. This is not a software error.
MCE 1
CPU 0 BANK 3
TIME 1427054368 Sun Mar 22 22:59:28 2015
MCG status:
MCi status:
Corrected error
Error enabled
Threshold based error status: green
MCA: corrected filtering (some unreported errors in same region)
Level-2 Generic memory hierarchy error
The dimm in bank three is bad, swap it out.

Last edited by dijetlo; 03-24-2015 at 08:14 PM.
 
Old 03-24-2015, 11:47 PM   #3
daren.felton
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Thank you for the suggestion, dijetlo. Unfortunately, there is no DIMM installed in bank 3 on my machine. I have also ran all the tests from memtest86+ earlier (except for the 90min one) and had no errors whatsoever.

Nevertheless, I have taken out all the ram except for bank 0, and I still get the same MCE error (log). At the moment I am running my machine with BIOS fail-safe settings and no overclocking. This is the output of dmidecode:
Code:
Handle 0x003C, DMI type 17, 27 bytes
Memory Device
	Array Handle: 0x003A
	Error Information Handle: Not Provided
	Total Width: 64 bits
	Data Width: 64 bits
	Size: 1024 MB
	Form Factor: DIMM
	Set: None
	Locator: DIMM0
	Bank Locator: BANK0
	Type: DDR2
	Type Detail: Synchronous
	Speed: 800 MHz
	Manufacturer: Manufacturer0
	Serial Number: SerNum0
	Asset Tag: AssetTagNum0
	Part Number: PartNum0
...
Handle 0x0042, DMI type 17, 27 bytes
Memory Device
	Array Handle: 0x003A
	Error Information Handle: Not Provided
	Total Width: Unknown
	Data Width: Unknown
	Size: No Module Installed
	Form Factor: DIMM
	Set: None
	Locator: DIMM3
	Bank Locator: BANK3
	Type: Unknown
	Type Detail: Unknown
	Speed: Unknown
	Manufacturer: Manufacturer3
	Serial Number: SerNum3
	Asset Tag: AssetTagNum3
	Part Number: PartNum3
Full output of dmidecode is on pastebin.
I can still reproduce the issue that I'm having and it still doesn't seem to be related to the occasional MCE exception. As a last resort, I could try installing a different CPU as well.
Any other ideas?
 
Old 03-25-2015, 03:00 AM   #4
ferrari
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Anything unusual reported in /var/log/NetworkManager when the VPN connection fails? I use PPTP VPN connectivity for work and occasionally experience the same. You might want to open a terminal and monitor the connection in real-time using
Code:
tail -f /var/log/NetworkManager
The verbosity can be increased by editing /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf to include
Code:
[logging]
level=DEBUG
and restart NM. Refer to 'man NetworkManager.conf' for more info.

FWIW, I wanted to share a bug report concerning NM and automatic reconnection of VPNs when they fail

https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=349151#c43

While not directly related to your problem, it offers some interesting insights and proposals for maintaining VPN connectivity.

Last edited by ferrari; 03-25-2015 at 03:12 AM.
 
Old 03-25-2015, 03:08 AM   #5
dijetlo
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Darren,

Your getting an error referencing a dimm in bank three.
You don't have a dimm in bank three.
That doesn't mean you don't have problem,
it just means it's probably your board instead of your dimm

The other common source of machine code errors is overclocking/overheating. Are you overclocking your processor?
 
Old 03-25-2015, 11:54 AM   #6
daren.felton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferrari View Post
Anything unusual reported in /var/log/NetworkManager when the VPN connection fails? I use PPTP VPN connectivity for work and occasionally experience the same.
Nothing strange in nm logs apart from these lines:
Code:
NetworkManager[674]: <debug> [1427298977.880608] [nm-modem-manager.c:280] poke_modem_cb(): Requesting to (re)launch modem-manager...
NetworkManager[674]: <debug> [1427299033.925438] [nm-agent-manager.c:1400] agent_permissions_changed_done(): (:1.15/org.kde.networkmanagement/1000) updated agent permissions
Although they are not always present when the connection stops working. Thank you for the bug report you mentioned - it has some very useful info. However, in my case network manager doesn't actually "know" that the connection is lost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dijetlo View Post
Darren,

Your getting an error referencing a dimm in bank three.
You don't have a dimm in bank three.
That doesn't mean you don't have problem,
it just means it's probably your board instead of your dimm

The other common source of machine code errors is overclocking/overheating. Are you overclocking your processor?
I completely agree on that - I shouldn't treat hardware errors so carelessly. Unfortunately mcelog doesn't provide enough info for me to work with. The other thing is that connection drops usually don't occur at the same time with MCE exception and I don't experience any other noticeable problems. Finally, no problems with vpn under windows (which is not an argument, of course). Therefore, I would like to try ruling out any software-related problems first before I start replacing every piece of hardware.
As I mentioned before, I have reset all the clocks to safe defaults, RAM timings are manually set to manufacturer defaults (tested on auto as well). CPU temperature is reported to be below 40C by gkrrelm.
 
Old 03-25-2015, 02:36 PM   #7
ferrari
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Quote:
Although they are not always present when the connection stops working. Thank you for the bug report you mentioned - it has some very useful info. However, in my case network manager doesn't actually "know" that the connection is lost.
Yes, and that is because the VPN is probably still active. What type of VPN are you using? If you google "vpn up but not passing traffic" and similar, you'll get a lot of hits concerning similar behaviour, but with a variety of causes. Certificate expiry (if applicable) can be one reason and might be related to traffic volume. (I know that you already hinted about large files and video streaming.) This might be better diagnosed using wireshark to capture/monitor the traffic. This should help clarify what is happening when sessions are dropped.
 
Old 03-26-2015, 12:52 PM   #8
daren.felton
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I am using PPTP VPN. I'll try wireshark, but I would appreciate if you could point out what exactly should I look for (I'm a complete noob when it comes to networking, sorry).
 
Old 03-26-2015, 02:33 PM   #9
ferrari
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Wireshark has a good help guide available. Just point it at the desired network interface and start capturing the data. You can just leave it monitoring in the background. When the connection drops, you can stop the capture and analyse the data. Probably filter it by PPTP and PPP protocol. Anyway, the only relevant data will be around the time of the disconnect. If there's anything you don't understand, just post the output here. Someone should be able to help further.
 
Old 03-27-2015, 11:30 PM   #10
daren.felton
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I've been running wireshark for a few days, but I couldn't reproduce the issue until today. These are the last entries after which the traffic is no longer received:

Code:
74.125.173.235	my_ip	TLSv1.1	1416	Continuation Data
my_ip	74.125.173.235	TCP	96	[TCP Dup ACK 92000#84] 50654 > https [ACK] Seq=7468 Ack=2837413 Win=1021824 Len=0 TSval=308198 TSecr=870658871 SLE=3197329 SRE=3262065 SLE=3081401 SRE=3121841 SLE=2985693 SRE=3027481
my_ip	173.194.122.220	TCP	68	55022 > https [RST, ACK] Seq=463 Ack=4209 Win=29824 Len=0 TSval=308311 TSecr=874190626
my_ip	74.125.173.235	TLSv1.1	793	Application Data
my_ip	74.125.173.235	TLSv1.1	793	[TCP Retransmission] Application Data
I don't see anything interesting or unusual. Looks like I'll have to try with different hardware after-all
 
Old 03-28-2015, 01:49 AM   #11
ferrari
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The duplicate retransmission could be of interest. It might have been useful to post a bigger slice of the TCP communication. I'm not sure that there is enough to go on here. It migth take another event or two to get a better handle on this.
 
Old 03-28-2015, 03:38 PM   #12
daren.felton
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Sorry about that, I wasn't sure which events are valuable enough to post. I located the event where Duplicate ACKs are starting to occur:
Code:
Source                Destination           Protocol Length Info
    my_ip            173.194.62.75         TCP      68     48635 > https [ACK] Seq=36812 Ack=26992161 Win=1078784 Len=0 TSval=4294944148 TSecr=1384866724
173.194.62.75             my_ip            TLSv1.2  1416   [TCP Previous segment not captured] Continuation Data
    my_ip            173.194.62.75         TCP      80     [TCP Window Update] 48635 > https [ACK] Seq=36812 Ack=26992161 Win=1114112 Len=0 TSval=4294944223 TSecr=1384866724 SLE=27054169 SRE=27055517
173.194.62.75             my_ip            TLSv1.2  1416   [TCP Previous segment not captured] Continuation Data
    my_ip            173.194.62.75         TCP      88     [TCP Dup ACK 45142#1] 48635 > https [ACK] Seq=36812 Ack=26992161 Win=1114112 Len=0 TSval=4294944223 TSecr=1384866724 SLE=27056865 SRE=27058213 SLE=27054169 SRE=27055517
173.194.62.75             my_ip            TLSv1.2  1416   Continuation Data
    [...]
173.194.62.75             my_ip            TCP      1416   [TCP Previous segment not captured] [TCP segment of a reassembled PDU]
    my_ip            173.194.62.75         TCP      96     [TCP Dup ACK 45142#94] 48635 > https [ACK] Seq=36812 Ack=26992161 Win=1114112 Len=0 TSval=4294944226 TSecr=1384866724 SLE=27068997 SRE=27348033 SLE=27056865 SRE=27066301 SLE=27054169 SRE=27055517
173.194.62.75             my_ip            TCP      1416   [TCP segment of a reassembled PDU]
    my_ip            173.194.62.75         TCP      96     [TCP Dup ACK 45142#95] 48635 > https [ACK] Seq=36812 Ack=26992161 Win=1114112 Len=0 TSval=4294944226 TSecr=1384866724 SLE=27068997 SRE=27349381 SLE=27056865 SRE=27066301 SLE=27054169 SRE=27055517
173.194.62.75             my_ip            TCP      1416   [TCP segment of a reassembled PDU]
    my_ip            173.194.62.75         TCP      96     [TCP Dup ACK 45142#96] 48635 > https [ACK] Seq=36812 Ack=26992161 Win=1114112 Len=0 TSval=4294944226 TSecr=1384866724 SLE=27068997 SRE=27350729 SLE=27056865 SRE=27066301 SLE=27054169 SRE=27055517
173.194.62.75             my_ip            TCP      1416   [TCP segment of a reassembled PDU]
    my_ip            173.194.62.75         TCP      96     [TCP Dup ACK 45142#97] 48635 > https [ACK] Seq=36812 Ack=26992161 Win=1114112 Len=0 TSval=4294944226 TSecr=1384866724 SLE=27068997 SRE=27352077 SLE=27056865 SRE=27066301 SLE=27054169 SRE=27055517
173.194.62.75             my_ip            TCP      1416   [TCP segment of a reassembled PDU]
    my_ip            173.194.62.75         TCP      96     [TCP Dup ACK 45142#98] 48635 > https [ACK] Seq=36812 Ack=26992161 Win=1114112 Len=0 TSval=4294944226 TSecr=1384866724 SLE=27068997 SRE=27353425 SLE=27056865 SRE=27066301 SLE=27054169 SRE=27055517
173.194.62.75             my_ip            SSLv2    1416   Encrypted Data
    my_ip            173.194.62.75         TCP      96     [TCP Dup ACK 45142#99] 48635 > https [ACK] Seq=36812 Ack=26992161 Win=1114112 Len=0 TSval=4294944226 TSecr=1384866724 SLE=27068997 SRE=27354773 SLE=27056865 SRE=27066301 SLE=27054169 SRE=27055517
173.194.62.75             my_ip            TLSv1.2  1416   Continuation Data
    my_ip            173.194.62.75         TCP      96     [TCP Dup ACK 45142#104] 48635 > https [ACK] Seq=36812 Ack=26992161 Win=1114112 Len=0 TSval=4294944226 TSecr=1384866724 SLE=27068997 SRE=27361513 SLE=27056865 SRE=27066301 SLE=27054169 SRE=27055517
173.194.62.75             my_ip            TLSv1.2  1416   Continuation Data
173.194.62.75             my_ip            TLSv1.2  1416   [TCP Previous segment not captured] Continuation Data
    my_ip            173.194.62.75         TCP      96     [TCP Dup ACK 45142#105] 48635 > https [ACK] Seq=36812 Ack=26992161 Win=1114112 Len=0 TSval=4294944226 TSecr=1384866724 SLE=27068997 SRE=27389821 SLE=27056865 SRE=27066301 SLE=27054169 SRE=27055517
173.194.62.75             my_ip            TLSv1.2  1416   Continuation Data
    my_ip            173.194.62.75         TCP      96     [TCP Dup ACK 45142#106] 48635 > https [ACK] Seq=36812 Ack=26992161 Win=1114112 Len=0 TSval=4294944226 TSecr=1384866724 SLE=27068997 SRE=27391169 SLE=27056865 SRE=27066301 SLE=27054169 SRE=27055517
173.194.62.75             my_ip            TLSv1.2  1416   Continuation Data
    my_ip            173.194.62.75         TCP      96     [TCP Dup ACK 45142#107] 48635 > https [ACK] Seq=36812 Ack=26992161 Win=1114112 Len=0 TSval=4294944226 TSecr=1384866724 SLE=27068997 SRE=27392517 SLE=27056865 SRE=27066301 SLE=27054169 SRE=27055517
173.194.62.75             my_ip            TLSv1.2  1416   Continuation Data
    my_ip            173.194.62.75         TCP      96     [TCP Dup ACK 45142#108] 48635 > https [ACK] Seq=36812 Ack=26992161 Win=1114112 Len=0 TSval=4294944226 TSecr=1384866724 SLE=27068997 SRE=27393865 SLE=27056865 SRE=27066301 SLE=27054169 SRE=27055517
173.194.62.75             my_ip            TLSv1.2  1416   Continuation Data
    my_ip            173.194.62.75         TCP      96     [TCP Dup ACK 45142#109] 48635 > https [ACK] Seq=36812 Ack=26992161 Win=1114112 Len=0 TSval=4294944226 TSecr=1384866724 SLE=27068997 SRE=27395213 SLE=27056865 SRE=27066301 SLE=27054169 SRE=27055517
    my_ip            74.125.205.95         TCP      68     [TCP Keep-Alive] 35422 > https [ACK] Seq=13724 Ack=5313 Win=42368 Len=0 TSval=4294945376 TSecr=306847280
    my_ip            46.61.155.35          TCP      68     [TCP Keep-Alive] 53216 > https [ACK] Seq=1593 Ack=4146 Win=40704 Len=0 TSval=4294945472 TSecr=877038256
    my_ip            46.61.155.226         TCP      68     [TCP Keep-Alive] 38798 > https [ACK] Seq=1357 Ack=12525 Win=42368 Len=0 TSval=4294945632 TSecr=879669951
    my_ip            173.194.122.227       TLSv1.2  779    Application Data
    my_ip            173.194.122.227       TLSv1.2  109    Application Data
    my_ip            173.194.122.227       TLSv1.2  109    [TCP Retransmission] Application Data
    my_ip            173.194.122.227       TLSv1.2  820    [TCP Retransmission] Application Data, Application Data
    my_ip            173.194.122.227       TLSv1.2  820    [TCP Retransmission] Application Data, Application Data
    my_ip            173.194.62.75         TCP      96     48635 > https [FIN, ACK] Seq=36812 Ack=26992161 Win=1114112 Len=0 TSval=4294946377 TSecr=1384866724 SLE=27068997 SRE=27395213 SLE=27056865 SRE=27066301 SLE=27054169 SRE=27055517
    my_ip            173.194.62.75         TLSv1.2  1396   Application Data
    my_ip            173.194.122.227       TLSv1.2  820    [TCP Retransmission] Application Data, Application Data
    my_ip            173.194.62.75         TLSv1.2  1396   [TCP Retransmission] Application Data
    my_ip            173.194.62.75         TCP      96     [TCP Retransmission] 48635 > https [FIN, ACK] Seq=36812 Ack=26992161 Win=1114112 Len=0 TSval=4294946501 TSecr=1384866724 SLE=27068997 SRE=27395213 SLE=27056865 SRE=27066301 SLE=27054169 SRE=27055517
    my_ip            173.194.62.75         TLSv1.2  1396   [TCP Retransmission] Application Data
    my_ip            173.194.62.75         TCP      96     [TCP Retransmission] 48635 > https [FIN, ACK] Seq=36812 Ack=26992161 Win=1114112 Len=0 TSval=4294946625 TSecr=1384866724 SLE=27068997 SRE=27395213 SLE=27056865 SRE=27066301 SLE=27054169 SRE=27055517
    my_ip            173.194.62.75         TLSv1.2  1396   [TCP Retransmission] Application Data
    my_ip            173.194.122.227       TLSv1.2  820    [TCP Retransmission] Application Data, Application Data
    my_ip            173.194.62.75         TCP      96     [TCP Retransmission] 48635 > https [FIN, ACK] Seq=36812 Ack=26992161 Win=1114112 Len=0 TSval=4294946873 TSecr=1384866724 SLE=27068997 SRE=27395213 SLE=27056865 SRE=27066301 SLE=27054169 SRE=27055517
    my_ip            173.194.62.75         TLSv1.2  1396   [TCP Retransmission] Application Data
 
Old 03-28-2015, 04:46 PM   #13
ferrari
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All I can say is that the large number of TCP Dup ACK packets are a good indicator of packet loss (eg congested network upstream), and the 'TCP Retransmission' and 'TCP Keep-Alive' packets also suggest network congestion, or maybe an overloaded VPN server. I would progress this by contacting your VPN provider since that is where the problem is likely to be originating.
 
  


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