VLAN(4) BSD Kernel Interfaces Manual VLAN(4)NAME
vlan — IEEE 802.1Q VLAN network interface
To compile this driver into the kernel, place the following lines in your
kernel configuration file:
Alternatively, to load the driver as a module at boot time, place the
following line in loader.conf(5):
The vlan driver demultiplexes frames tagged according to the IEEE 802.1Q
standard into logical vlan network interfaces, which allows rout‐
ing/bridging between multiple VLANs through a single switch trunk port.
Each vlan interface is created at runtime using interface cloning. This
is most easily done with the ifconfig(8) create command or using the
cloned_interfaces variable in rc.conf(5).
To function, a vlan interface must be assigned a parent interface and
numeric VLAN tag using ifconfig(8). A single parent can be assigned to
multiple vlan interfaces provided they have different tags. The parent
interface is likely to be an Ethernet card connected to a properly con‐
figured switch port. The VLAN tag should match one of those set up in
the switched network.
Initially vlan assumes the same minimum length for tagged and untagged
frames. This mode is selected by the sysctl(8) variable
net.link.vlan.soft_pad set to 0 (default). However, there are network
devices that fail to adjust frame length, should it fall below the
allowed minimum due to untagging. Such devices should be able to inter‐
operate with vlan after changing the value of net.link.vlan.soft_pad to
1. In the latter mode, vlan will pad short frames before tagging them so
that their length stays not less than the minimum value after untagging
by the non-compliant devices.
The vlan driver supports efficient operation over parent interfaces that
can provide help in processing VLANs. Such interfaces are automatically
recognized by their capabilities. Depending on the level of sophistica‐
tion found in a physical interface, it may do full VLAN processing or
just be able to receive and transmit long frames (up to 1522 bytes
including an Ethernet header and FCS). The capabilities may be user-con‐
trolled by the respective parameters to ifconfig(8), vlanhwtag and
vlanmtu. However, a physical interface is not obliged to react to them:
It may have either capability enabled permanently without a way to turn
it off. The whole issue is very specific to a particular device and its
By now, the list of physical interfaces able of full VLAN processing in
the hardware is limited to the following devices: ae(4), age(4), alc(4),
ale(4), bce(4), bge(4), cxgb(4), em(4), ixgb(4), jme(4), msk(4), nge(4),
re(4), sge(4), stge(4), ti(4), txp(4), and vge(4).
The rest of the Ethernet interfaces can run VLANs using software emula‐
tion in the vlan driver. However, some of them lack the capability of
transmitting and receiving long frames. Assigning such an interface as
the parent to vlan will result in a reduced MTU on the corresponding vlan
interfaces. In the modern Internet, this is likely to cause tcp(4) con‐
nectivity problems due to massive, inadequate icmp(4) filtering that
breaks the Path MTU Discovery mechanism.
The following interfaces support long frames for vlan natively: bfe(4),
cas(4), dc(4), fwe(4), fxp(4), gem(4), hme(4), le(4), nfe(4), nve(4),
rl(4), sf(4), sis(4), sk(4), ste(4), tl(4), tx(4), vr(4), and xl(4).
The vlan driver automatically recognizes devices that natively support
long frames for vlan use and calculates the appropriate frame MTU based
on the capabilities of the parent interface. Some other interfaces not
listed above may handle long frames, but they do not advertise this abil‐
ity of theirs. The MTU setting on vlan can be corrected manually if used
in conjunction with such a parent interface.
SEE ALSOifconfig(8), sysctl(8)BUGS
No 802.1Q features except VLAN tagging are implemented.
BSD April 14, 2010 BSD