Mpd 5.8 User Manual : Configuring Mpd : Link layer
Previous: Mpd Layers
Next: EAP

4.3. Link layer

This chapter describes commands that configure the link layer. All of these commands apply to the currently active link, i.e., the link shown at the command line prompt.

set link action (bundle|forward) name [ regexp ]
set link action drop [ regexp ]

List of such command describes how incoming calls should be processed. "bundle" means that connection should be processed locally with specified bundle. "forward" means that connection should be forwarded using repeater to the specified link. "drop" means that connection should be dropped. Optional "regexp" parameneter defines regular expression which will be checked against peer auth name.

Actions from list are checked in order of definition until regexp match will be found. Actions processed at three points. First time they are checked just after connection acception, second time just after receiving peer's auth during LCP negotiation and third time when link is authenticated. As during first check there is no peer auth name known yet, check will be skipped if there are more then one action specified for link or if action has regexp specified.

set link action clear

Clears link actions list.

set link latency microseconds
set link bandwidth bits-per-second

These commands are relevant when multi-link PPP is active. They affect the way in which packets are chopped up into fragments before being sent over the various links that make up the bundle.

To motivate the idea, imagine a bundle that had a modem link and a 1.5Mbps T1 link. If mpd sent each packet in two equal sized fragments over these links, then by the time the modem got around to transmitting the first byte of its fragment, the T1 link would have probably already sent the whole other fragment. Clearly this is not very good. By factoring in the latency and bandwidth parameters for each link, mpd can distribute the fragments in a more intelligent way.

Mpd attempts to distribute bytes over the links so that (if the configured parameters are accurate) the last byte of each fragment arrives at the peer at the same time on each link. This minimizes latency. However, if you only care about maximizing throughput, simply set all of the latency values to zero.

If all of your links are of the same type and speed (which is often the case), then they should be configured with the same values (or just not configured at all, since all links default to the same values anyway). Then mpd will distribute packets in equal sized fragments over the links.

set link mtu numbytes
set link mru numbytes
set link mrru numbytes

The set link mtu command sets the maximum transmit unit (MTU) value for the link. This is the size of the largest single PPP frame (minus PPP header) that this link will transmit, unless the peer requests an even lower value. The default value is 1500 bytes.

The set link mru command sets maximum receive unit (MRU) value for the link, which is the size of the largest single PPP frame (minus PPP header) that this link is capable of receiving. The default value is 1500 bytes.

If PPP multilink is negotiated on a link, then these values are less important, because multilink allows PPP frames themselves to be fragmented, so a PPP frame up to MRRU bytes can always pass through no matter how small the MTU is in a particular direction.

Otherwise, mpd is responsible for making sure that the MTU configured on the system networking interface is low enough so that the largest transmitted IP packet does not exceed the peer's negotiated MRU after it becomes a PPP frame. This includes e.g. PPP encryption and/or compression overhead.

However, mpd does not account for overhead that occurs ``outside'' of the PPP frame. For example, when using link types such as PPTP that encapsulate PPP frames within IP packets, a large outgoing ``inner'' IP packet can result in a fragmented ``outer'' IP packet, resulting in suboptimal performance. In this situation it may be useful to set the link MTU to a lower value to avoid fragmentation.

set link accmap value

This sets the desired asynchronous control-character map for the link at the local end. This option is only relevant for the asynchronous link types (i.e., modem and tcp). It determines which control characters need to be escaped.

The value is expressed as a 32-bit hex value; the default is 0x000a0000, which escapes the Control-S and Control-Q characters.

set link ident string

This enables the sending of an identification string to the peer via the LCP Ident code. The Ident string is sent when the link is brought up. This is useful for debugging, etc. and is meant to be human-readable. However, it confuses some broken PPP implementations.

Setting an empty string disables this feature; this is the default.

set link fsm-timeout seconds

This command is analogous to the same command at the bundle layer, but it applies to link-layer FSM's such as Link Control Protocol (LCP). The default is two seconds; normally this value shouldn't be changed.

set link keep-alive seconds max

This command enables the sending of LCP echo packets on the link. The first echo packet is sent after seconds seconds of quiet time (i.e., no frames received from the peer on that link). After seconds more seconds, another echo request is sent. If after max seconds of doing this no echo reply has been received yet, the link is brought down.

If seconds is zero, echo packets are disabled. The default values are five second intervals with a maximum no-reply time of forty.

This feature is especially useful with modems when the carrier detect signal is unreliable. However, in situations where lines are noisy and modems spend a lot of time retraining, the max value may need to be bumped up to a more generous value.

set link max-redial num

When a link fails to connect, mpd automatically retries the connection. This command limits the number of consecutive retries. After num attempts, mpd will give up.

When there is another open event, new dial-on-demand traffic, etc. mpd will try again, starting over at zero.

If max-redial is set to -1, then mpd will never redial. This setting should be used with links that are dedicated for dial-in.

If max-redial is set to 0, then mpd will redial infinitely.

The default value is -1.

set link redial-delay seconds

This command defines time between connection retries.

The default value is 1.

set link max-children num

This template option specifies maximum number of links, created using this template, that could exist at the same time. Value 0 disables template.

The default value is 10000.

set link accept option ...
set link deny option ...
set link enable option ...
set link disable option ...
set link yes option ...
set link no option ...

These commands configure various link options. Most options are bi-directional in that they can be independently enabled and disabled in each direction.

The enable and disable commands determine whether we want the corresponding option. The accept and deny commands determine whether we will allow the peer to request the corresponding option.

Note that when talking about the authentication options PAP and CHAP, when you enable an option you're saying you are going to require a login and password from the peer. When you accept an option you're saying you will allow the peer to require a login and password from us.

The yes command is the same as enable and accept. The no command is the same as disable and deny.

The options available at the link layer are:


PAP style authentication. Note that this style of authentication is insecure, since the password crosses the link in plaintext.

Default disable and accept.


CHAP style authentication. This style of authentication is safer than PAP, because only a hash of the password is passed over the link. Mpd supports MD5 style CHAP and Microsoft style CHAP versions 1 and 2. Mpd will prefer Microsoft CHAP over MD5 CHAP to get encryption keys.

This option is an alias for chap-md5 chap-msv1 chap-msv2


Traditional CHAP MD5 style authentication.

Default disable and accept.


Microsoft CHAP style authentication.

Default disable and deny.


Microsoft CHAP style authentication Version 2.

Default disable and accept.


Extensible Authentication Protocol. For details see eap.

Default disable and accept.


This option enables the acceptance of incoming connections. If this option is disabled, mpd will not accept incoming connections using this link. To avoid races it is advised to enable it after all other link options are configured.

The default is disable.


This command enables multi-link PPP on the link. This option is required in both directions if there is more than one link in the bundle. However, multi-link PPP is sometimes useful on single links when the link MTU is low; multi-link PPP allows arbitrarily long packets to go over a link in fragments.

The default is disable (i.e., normal non-multilink PPP).


This option is only meaningful if multi-link PPP is negotiated. It proscribes shorter multi-link fragment headers, saving two bytes on every frame.

The default is enable and accept.


Address and control field compression. This option only applies to asynchronous link types. It saves two bytes per frame.

The default is enable and accept.


Protocol field compression. This option saves one byte per frame for most frames.

The default is enable and accept.


The magicnum option enables using a magic number for the local end of the PPP link. This causes a unique number to be included in each LCP packet we send, which helps detect loopback conditions.

The check-magic option causes mpd to verify that the peer's magic number is correct in all received LCP frames.

Some old broken PPP implementations don't handle magic numbers correctly, so these options need to be disabled in these cases.

Default for both options is enable.

Note that the two most common reasons for seeing ``loopback condition detected'' on a modem link are:


Enables passive mode for this link. This is useful on some full time connections. See RFC 1661 for more information about this option.

Default disable.


Enables PPP callback request. If the remote peer can/wants to, it will hangup immediately after connecting and call us back.

Default disable.


Normally, if PAP or CHAP is enabled, we require the peer to authenticate to us at the beginning of each connection. This option temporarily disables this requirement if we are the one who originated the connection and the peer rejects our request for a login.

This is useful when the same link is used for both dial-in and dial-out.

Default disable.


Normally, if using MS-CHAP, the MS-Domain is stripped and only the plain username is used. Under certain circumstances the MS-Domain should be kept, for instance if IAS is used as RADIUS server.

Default disable.


Send Time-Remaining LCP packet to the peer if AAA returned session timeout.

Default disable.


Forces mpd to send remote tunnel address in Calling-Station-Id instead of addres supplied by remote peer via tunnel (for PPTP and L2TP). Can be enabled for untrusted peers.

Default is disable.


Forces mpd to send peer MAC address and interface in Calling-Station-Id.

Default disable.

4.3.1. EAP

Mpd 5.8 User Manual : Configuring Mpd : Link layer
Previous: Mpd Layers
Next: EAP