How to Set up Network Bonding Ubuntu 20.04

Networking bonding or teaming refers to a process of combining two or more network interfaces into one. The primary purpose of network bonding is to provide increased throughput and bandwidth, and network redundancy. In addition, network bonding is beneficial when fault tolerances in a critical factor, load balancing networks.

The Linux kernel provides us with modules to perform network bonding. This tutorial discusses how to use the Linux bonding module to connect multiple network interfaces into a single interface.

Before we dive into the terminal and enable network bonding, let us discuss key concepts in network bonding.

Types Of Network Bonding

There are six types of network bonding. They are:

  1. mode=0 – This is the default bonding type. It is based on the Round-Robin policy (from the first interface to the last) and provides fault tolerance and load balancing features.
  2. mode=1 – This type of bonding is based on the Active-Backup policy (only a single interface is active, and until it fails, the other activates). This mode can provide fault tolerance.
  3. mode=2 – This type of bonding provides features such as load balancing and fault tolerance. It sets an XOR mode performing an XOR operation of the source MAC address with the destination MAC address.
  4. mode=3 – Mode 3 is based on broadcast policy, transmitting all packets to all interfaces. This mode is not a typical bonding mode and applies to specific instances only.
  5. mode=4 – Mode 4 or Dynamic Link Aggregation mode create aggregation groups with the same speed. Interface selection for outgoing traffic is carried out based on the transmit hashing method. You can modify the hashing method from XOR using the xmit_hash_policy. It requires a switch with 802.3ad dynamic link
  6. mode=5 – In this mode, the current load on each interface determines the distribution of the outgoing packets. The current interface receives the incoming packets. If the current interface does not receive the incoming packets, it is replaced by the MAC address of another interface. It is also known as Adaptive transmission load balancing.
  7. mode=6 – This type of balancing is also known as Adaptive load balancing. It has a balance-transmit load balancing and a receive-load balancing. The receiving-load balancing uses ARP negotiation. The network bonding driver intercepts the ARP replies from the local device and overwrites the source address with a unique address of one of the interfaces in the bond. This mode does not require switch support.
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How to Configure Network Bonding on Ubuntu

Let us dive into the terminal and configure network bonding in ubuntu. Before we begin, ensure you have:

  • A root or a sudo user account
  • Two or more network interfaces

Install Bonding module

Ensure you have the bonding module installed and enabled in your kernel. Use the lsmod command as:

sudo lsmod | grep bonding

bonding 180224 1

If the module is unavailable, use the command below to install.

sudo apt-get install ifenslave

Ephemeral Bonding

You can set up a temporary network bonding using two interfaces in your system. To do this, start by loading the bonding driver.

sudo modprobe bonding

In the next step, let us get the names of the ethernet interfaces in our systems. Use the command:

sudo ifconfig

The above command shows the interfaces in the system. You can find an example output in the image below:

How to Set up Network Bonding Ubuntu 20.04 1

Now, let us create a network bond using the ip command as:

Finally, add the two interfaces:

sudo ip link set ens33 master bond0

sudo ip link set ens36 master bond0

To confirm the successful creation of the bond, use the command:

sudo ip link

How to Set up Network Bonding Ubuntu 20.04 2

NOTE: Creating a bond, as shown above, will not survive a reboot.

Permanent Bonding

We need to edit the interface configuration file and add the bonding settings to create a permanent bond.

sudo vim /etc/network/interfaces

In the file, add the following configuration.

auto ens33

iface ens33 inet manual

auto ens36

iface ens36 inet manual

auto bond0

iface bond inet static




dns-search domain-name.local

slaves ens33 ens36

bond_mode 4

bond-miimon 100

bond-downdelay 0

bond-updelay 0

NOTE: Ensure that the interfaces are bond=4 compliant. If not, you can use bond=0 instead. You may also need to take the two interfaces down and enable the bond.

Use the command below to activate the bond.

sudo ifconfig ens33 down && sudo ifconfig ens36 down & sudo ifconfig bond0 up

sudo service restart network-manager

To confirm the interface is up and running, use the command:

sudo ifconfig bond0

How to Set up Network Bonding Ubuntu 20.04 3

To view the status of the bond, use the command as:

sudo cat /proc/net/bonding/bond0

Here is an example output:

How to Set up Network Bonding Ubuntu 20.04 4

In Closing

This guide walked you through how to set up network bonding in Ubuntu and Debian-based distributions. To get detailed information about bonding, consider the documentation.

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