In Debian 5.0 you would like to set up an Ethernet bridge which combines all of your Ethernet cards. Packets received from one card should be forwarded to the others, unless the packets are for the computer itself. Thus these network cards should work in a similar way to a switch or bridge.
You also want a solution that sets up the bridge correctly on every reboot (not just a call to
You need such a bridge, for example, to set up virtual hosts which can access the LAN under XEN or VirtualBox.
The Debian package
bridge-utils contains an extension for the file
/etc/network/interfaces. Instead of
eth0 you define a device
br0. With the new keyword
bridge_ports you define which network cards are to be bound to this bridge. The special keyword
all binds all existing LAN cards to the bridge (these cards themselves must not be listed in interfaces).
The following example shows a configuration with a bridge and a static IP configuration:
auto lo br0 iface lo inet loopback # The primary network interface iface br0 inet static address 10.10.1.1 netmask 255.255.0.0 gateway 10.10.0.66 bridge_ports all
After a reboot, or after a
ifup br0, the bridge
br0 will be available as a new network card. The command
brctl show displays the bridge:
user@linux> brctl show bridge name bridge id STP enabled interfaces br0 8000.00248c24f2af no eth0
From now on, network traffic no longer goes directly via
eth0, but instead officially via
br0. If you refer to
eth0 in shell scripts etc., you may have to change this to