My new edge router threatens to become a doorstop

Kernels & Hardware, configuring network, installing services

My new edge router threatens to become a doorstop

Postby Ellen1910 » 2020-01-30 13:56

This all started when I got fed up with CenturyLink's charges for basic telephone services and signed up with a VoIP provider. Since my telephone is analog and I didn't own a router, I got an ATA with router. Hooking it up between my cable modem and my computer was easily done. But its restricted throughput cut my DL speed from 125Mb/s to 20Mb/s, so I bought a consumer-style wifi router. It easily connected my modem and computer without a problem. But it cut my 125Mb/s DL speed down to 30Mb/s, so I replaced it with a Ubiquity ER-X edge router -- but I can't get that device connected, not even initially connected so I can configure it.

I'm on Debian GNU/Linux 9 (stretch) with kernel 4.9.0-11-amd64 and ifupdown (no netplan as far as I know). I started out using DHCP but giving my computer a static ip address. Note: out of the box </etc/network/interfaces> has an entry for loopback but no entry for the network interface (adapter); apparently, it doesn't need that old entry. Anyway, I edited that file by adding this text:

#temporary static ip to setup ER-X
auto enp5s0
iface enp5s0 inet static
address 192.168.1.16
netmask 255.255.255.0

Then, I stopped dhcp services with <dhclient -r enp5s0>. In later attempts I added "gateway [router's address]" to the interfaces file.

I powered up the router, removed the ethernet cable from the modem and inserted it in the eth0 router port. The router's address is 192.168.1.1, but Firefox couldn't "establish a connection to the server at 192.168.1.1." I rebooted the computer and got the same result -- no connection. The "ethernet connection icon" on the gdm3 desktop toolbar shows one square exed out (Wired Unmanaged). I unhooked the cable from the router and inserted it back in the modem, replaced the edited interfaces file with the backup and ran <dhclient -1 -v>. That got me back up, although I'm still showing Wired Unmanaged.

Next, I tried giving the router an address by running <arp -s 192.168.1.16 [router's MAC address]>. I got this response: SIOCSARP: Invalid argument.

That all seems like a half hour of effort, but I've been reading man pages and internet advice and kludging around with the equipment for two days already. I have reset the devices; plugged devices in with power, with power off; rebooted sometimes, sometimes did cold starts; changed the order of device hookup. It should be simple. What am I overlooking? Where am I going wrong? Any help you can give me will be most appreciated. And I'll be trying out each and every suggestion.
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Re: My new edge router threatens to become a doorstop

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2020-01-30 14:24

Ellen1910 wrote:The router's address is 192.168.1.1

Are you sure? Have you tried 192.168.1.254?

Ellen1910 wrote:The "ethernet connection icon" on the gdm3 desktop toolbar shows one square exed out (Wired Unmanaged).

That's to be expected, anything listed in /etc/network/interfaces{,.d/*} is ignored by NetworkManager.
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Re: My new edge router threatens to become a doorstop

Postby shep » 2020-01-30 16:20

My setup:

Code: Select all
# The primary network interface
auto enp37s0
iface enp37s0 inet static
        address 192.168.2.2/24
        gateway 192.168.2.1


After verifying your link with
Code: Select all
ip link
, try
Code: Select all
# The primary network interface
auto enp5s0
iface enp5s0 inet static
        address 192.168.1.16/24
        gateway 192.168.1.1


I currently have CenturyLink in a rural area with the oldest DSL standard: ANSI_T1.413_Issue_2
I've utilized my own Netis DL 4201 modem which I bought for $18 USD for over 3 years. I also bought a Trendnet recertified router directly from Trendnet for $13 USD and flashed it OpenWRT firmware. CenturyLink's rental charge for a Modem/Router is $10/month, I figure I've saved (12 x3 years x $10) - $31 = $329. OpenWRT is addressing security and just put out a new version within the last week. This combination has been stable and without bottlenecks on my end. Occasionally, CenturyLink throttles my connection, but a call/complaint restores it.

You state you are on cable now. It is possible to get your own cable modem with most ISPs and I've seen refurbished DOCIS 3.1 modems.. OpenWRT firmware is available for the Ubiquiti and there is a writeup on increasing speeds with hardware-offloading:
https://forum.openwrt.org/t/ubiquiti-edgerouter-x-loading-openwrt-and-performance-numbers/27470
Is hardware-offloading an option with the stock firmware?

There are also 2 ways to setup:
1) modem <-bridge mode-> router
2) modem <-subnet-> router.
On my hardware, I saw no difference in throughput between the 2 modes. I went with a subnet so I could packet filter easily.

https://openwrt.org/toh/ubiquiti/ubiquiti_edgerouter_x_er-x_ka#installation

Note: This is more involved firmware flash than needed for my Trendnet router where it can be done from the Trendnet web interface.
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Re: My new edge router threatens to become a doorstop

Postby Ellen1910 » 2020-01-30 20:38

Hi Head on a Stick,

Changing the router's ip address doesn't appear to help. Ubiquity's guides all say 192.168.1.1 is the address to use to reach the configuration page.

I've been wondering whether the fact that I have network-manager installed might have something to do with my problem. Start out here: the /etc/network/interfaces file which comes with the stretch release doesn't mention the adapter's interface. In the past it did. Obviously, dhcp has been made the default.

Is it possible that the text we use to establish a static connection is disregarded? Always? Or under certain conditions?

My networking knowledge is weak. I quit woody for that reason. I'd try using the Network Manager gui except I hate to edit software when I don't know what files the edits will wind up in.
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Joined: 2006-09-30 13:49

Re: My new edge router threatens to become a doorstop

Postby shep » 2020-01-30 21:46

If NetworkManager is running, it will overwrite your configurations.

https://linuxconfig.org/how-to-setup-a-static-ip-address-on-debian-linux

Note that 192.168.1.16/24 specifies both the IP and Netmask in one stanza.

I think the Debian Wiki has an error and interchanged the Gateway and Broadcast addresses

https://wiki.debian.org/NetworkConfiguration

Instead of Firefox, you can use the ping command which will give you some error messages.
Code: Select all
jsh@PooBear:~$ ping -c 4 192.168.1.1
PING 192.168.1.1 (192.168.1.1) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=1 ttl=29 time=1.57 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=2 ttl=29 time=1.49 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=3 ttl=29 time=1.49 ms
64 bytes from 192.168.1.1: icmp_seq=4 ttl=29 time=1.47 ms


The configuration I posted earlier works on my system. There is also the possibility of defective router. If you have access to another system like a laptop, try using it to access the router.
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Re: My new edge router threatens to become a doorstop

Postby Ellen1910 » 2020-01-31 01:01

HI shep,

Thanks for the reply and the included link. It seems likely to be the solution to my problem. I will be back -- to report on the results.
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