Saturday, June 20th, 2009 at 10:32am

Network Bonding in Linux

Posted by Jordan Erickson

Thanks to a good review over at , I learned how to set up network bonding in Linux.

Network bonding is a great thing when you need load balancing (using 2 or more network interfaces as one to combine bandwidth) or fault tolerance (if one network interface/cable/etc. fails, the other takes over automatically). In my case, I was mainly after load balancing, as one of my clients are expanding their Ubuntu Linux LTSP installation from a computer lab (which has 35 connected terminals) to the classrooms (which have another 25-35 total). The bandwidth utilization with the 35 being used simultaneously was fairly high (especially when doing things like visiting flash-enabled websites), sometimes hitting the top (but usually not if they’re not doing something bandwidth intensive). Adding another large group of terminals would definitely tap out the 1Gbit/sec link it had to the local network.

Here’s a YouTube video I made (sorry about the bad quality, I did it with my cellphone) shortly demonstrating the fault tolerance side of network bonding. Again, thanks to the link above for documenting how to do this – All in all, it took me only about 20 minutes to completely set up and iron out bugs (such as the second interface still getting a DHCP address, though it was a slave to the bond interface..thanks NetworkManager!). 20 minutes to double the bandwidth available to your LTSP server is well worth it!

If you like the video, subscribe to my YouTube channel as I’ll be making more of these videos in the future!

© 2009 Logical Networking Solutions: I.T. and Networking Specialist, Lake County, CA