pppoe - user-space PPPoE client.
pppd pty ’pppoe [pppoe_options]’ [pppd_options]
pppoe -A [pppoe_options]
pppoe is a user-space client for PPPoE (Point-to-Point Protocol over
Ethernet) for Linux and other UNIX systems. pppoe works in concert
with the pppd PPP daemon to provide a PPP connection over Ethernet, as
is used by many DSL service providers.
The -I option specifies the Ethernet interface to use. Under
Linux, it is typically eth0 or eth1. The interface should be
"up" before you start pppoe, but should not be configured to
have an IP address.
The -T option causes pppoe to exit if no session traffic is
detected for timeout seconds. I recommend that you use this
option as an extra safety measure, but if you do, you should
make sure that PPP generates enough traffic so the timeout will
normally not be triggered. The best way to do this is to use
the lcp-echo-interval option to pppd. You should set the PPPoE
timeout to be about four times the LCP echo interval.
The -D option causes every packet to be dumped to the specified
file_name. This is intended for debugging only; it produces
huge amounts of output and greatly reduces performance.
-V The -V option causes pppoe to print its version number and exit.
-A The -A option causes pppoe to send a PADI packet and then print
the names of access concentrators in each PADO packet it
receives. Do not use this option in conjunction with pppd; the
-A option is meant to be used interactively to give interesting
information about the access concentrator.
Specifies the desired service name. pppoe will only initiate
sessions with access concentrators which can provide the
specified service. In most cases, you should not specify this
option. Use it only if you know that there are multiple access
concentrators or know that you need a specific service name.
Specifies the desired access concentrator name. pppoe will only
initiate sessions with the specified access concentrator. In
most cases, you should not specify this option. Use it only if
you know that there are multiple access concentrators. If both
the -S and -C options are specified, they must both match for
pppoe to initiate a session.
-U Causes pppoe to use the Host-Uniq tag in its discovery packets.
This lets you run multiple pppoe daemons without having their
discovery packets interfere with one another. You must supply
this option to all pppoe daemons if you intend to run multiple
-s Causes pppoe to use synchronous PPP encapsulation. If you use
this option, then you must use the sync option with pppd. You
are encouraged to use this option if it works, because it
greatly reduces the CPU overhead of pppoe. However, it MAY be
unreliable on slow machines -- there is a race condition between
pppd writing data and pppoe reading it. For this reason, the
default setting is asynchronous. If you encounter bugs or
crashes with Synchronous PPP, turn it off -- don’t e-mail me for
-m MSS Causes pppoe to clamp the TCP maximum segment size at the
specified value. Because of PPPoE overhead, the maximum segment
size for PPPoE is smaller than for normal Ethernet
encapsulation. This could cause problems for machines on a LAN
behind a gateway using PPPoE. If you have a LAN behind a
gateway, and the gateway connects to the Internet using PPPoE,
you are strongly recommended to use a -m 1412 option. This
avoids having to set the MTU on all the hosts on the LAN.
-H MAC Causes pppoe to use the indicated Ethernet MAC address as the
source address for sending packets. MAC must be specified in
the AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF syntax. If this option is specified,
pppoe puts the interface into promiscuous mode.
Causes pppoe to write its process-ID to the specified file.
This can be used to locate and kill pppoe processes.
Causes pppoe to skip the discovery phase and move directly to
the session phase. The session is given by sess and the MAC
address of the peer by mac. This mode is not meant for normal
use; it is designed only for pppoe-server(8).
-n Causes pppoe not to open a discovery socket. This mode is not
meant for normal use; it is designed only for pppoe-server(8).
-k Causes pppoe to terminate an existing session by sending a PADT
frame, and then exit. You must use the -e option in conjunction
with this option to specify the session to kill. This may be
useful for killing sessions when a buggy peer does not realize
the session has ended.
-d Causes pppoe to perform discovery and then exit, after printing
session information to standard output. The session information
is printed in exactly the format expected by the -e option.
This option lets you initiate a PPPoE discovery, perform some
other work, and then start the actual PPP session. Be careful;
if you use this option in a loop, you can create many sessions,
which may annoy your peer.
The -f option sets the Ethernet frame types for PPPoE discovery
and session frames. The types are specified as hexadecimal
numbers separated by a colon. Standard PPPoE uses frame types
8863:8864. You should not use this option unless you are
absolutely sure the peer you are dealing with uses non-standard
frame types. If your ISP uses non-standard frame types,
-h The -h option causes pppoe to print usage information and exit.
PPPoE (Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet) is described in RFC 2516
and is a protocol which allows the session abstraction to be maintained
over bridged Ethernet networks.
PPPoE works by encapsulating PPP frames in Ethernet frames. The
protocol has two distinct stages: The discovery and the session stage.
In the discovery stage, the host broadcasts a special PADI (PPPoE
Active Discovery Initiation) frame to discover any access
concentrators. The access concentrators (typically, only one access
concentrator) reply with PADO (PPPoE Active Discovery Offer) packets,
announcing their presence and the services they offer. The host picks
one of the access concentrators and transmits a PADR (PPPoE Active
Discovery Request) packet, asking for a session. The access
concentrator replies with a PADS (PPPoE Active Discovery Session-
Confirmation) packet. The protocol then moves to the session stage.
In the session stage, the host and access concentrator exchange PPP
frames embedded in Ethernet frames. The normal Ethernet MTU is 1500
bytes, but the PPPoE overhead plus two bytes of overhead for the
encapsulated PPP frame mean that the MTU of the PPP interface is at
most 1492 bytes. This causes all kinds of problems if you are using a
Linux machine as a firewall and interfaces behind the firewall have an
MTU greater than 1492. In fact, to be safe, I recommend setting the
MTU of machines behind the firewall to 1412, to allow for worst-case
TCP and IP options in their respective headers.
Normally, PPP uses the Link Control Protocol (LCP) to shut down a PPP
link. However, the PPPoE specification allows the link to be shut down
with a special PADT (PPPoE Active Discovery Terminate) packet. This
client recognizes this packet and will correctly terminate if a
terminate request is received for the PPP session.
My design goals for this PPPoE client were as follows, in descending
order of importance:
o It must work.
o It must be a user-space program and not a kernel patch.
o The code must be easy to read and maintain.
o It must be fully compliant with RFC 2516, the proposed PPPoE
o It must never hang up forever -- if the connection is broken, it
must detect this and exit, allowing a wrapper script to restart
o It must be fairly efficient.
I believe I have achieved all of these goals, but (of course) am open
to suggestions, patches and ideas. See my home page,
http://www.roaringpenguin.com, for contact information.
For best results, you must give pppd an mtu option of 1492. I have
observed problems with excessively-large frames unless I set this
option. Also, if pppoe is running on a firewall machine, all machines
behind the firewall should have MTU’s of 1412.
If you have problems, check your system logs. pppoe logs interesting
things to syslog. You may have to turn on logging of debug-level
messages for complete diagnosis.
pppoe was written by David F. Skoll <firstname.lastname@example.org>, with much
inspiration from an earlier version by Luke Stras.
The pppoe home page is http://www.roaringpenguin.com/pppoe/.
pppd(8), pppoe-sniff(8), pppoe-server(8), pppoe-relay(8),