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Old 12-17-2003, 02:33 PM   #1
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Registered: Dec 2003
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is there a way to make a 'real' virtual interface?

Hi all

I was setting up my network (i'm starting in Linux! whoopee!) and I was wondering - is there a way to make TRUE virtual interface on my network adapter? In essence, I want to create another interface all on it's own; with it's own MAC address and that can DHCP properly. I'm a network shaman in training, so naturally I want to do as much as I possibly can, and this would give me uber-flexibility and power. Is this even possible with the current network stack in the kernel? If not, I think it should be. An interface and an adapter are two very different things; they should not be treated as one. The only thing that adapter should be doing is passing frames; nothing more. As it is, the only layer 2 thing that it does is an Rx filter. While this might be thought of as a hinderance to what I want to do above, it is very easy to get around. Other than that, everything is done in software anyways. So why wouldn't someone be able to do it? I can't find info on this anywhere, just on IP Masquerading and VLANs, neither of which will do.

The point I want to get across - why doesn't Linux beat Microsoft to the punch, and begin to separate interfaces from adapters? Simply jam the NIC into promiscuous mode (to bypass the Rx filter), and voila! From software, you could maintain hosts of different interfaces across a single adapter or a range of adapters. It would be the shiznit, to put it mildly. Then add bridging and aggregation (true aggregation, not just multiplexing - I'm talking something that sits between the transport and network layers and does it's dirty work transparently w/o anything extra on the other end of the connection)(and do this across INTERFACES, not adapters), and you would have one killer network stack. The possibilities would be limitless; it would be like managing a killer raid array, with network interfaces; and since it does it's plexing at the packet level, it would be transparent; no special equipment would be necessary to aggregate internet connections. And better yet, every single networking device currently in use supports this!! Yes, switches, bridges, routers, everything would work perfectly fine with it.

So, why don't we? (I can't find anywhere to recommend this to the creators of Linux, so can someone point me in the right direction?)

Last edited by Taishan269; 12-17-2003 at 02:38 PM.


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