Ronald F. Guilmette rfg at
Sun May 18 00:38:40 UTC 2014

Michael Sierchio kudzu at wrote:

>On Sat, May 17, 2014 at 4:17 PM, Ronald F. Guilmette
><rfg at> wrote:
>> Quite simply, I'd like to know if the defaultrouter= IPv4 address
>> specified in my /etc/rc.conf file should be the same as whatever
>> I normally see as the first hop in an outgoing traceroute.
>Maybe... see comments below.
>> defaultrouter=""
>> and here is one example of a recent outgoing traceroute:
>> % traceroute
>> traceroute to (, 64 hops max, 52 byte packets
>>  1 (  28.884 ms  31.395 ms  30.024 ms
>>  2 (  26.486 ms  26.024 ms  25.850 ms
>Do you have a fixed IP address (statically assigned),

Yes, I do.  two of them in fact... and

>or are you getting an address via DHCP from your ISP?


I do use DHCP within my local network, but my connection(s) to my ISP
are from my two static IPs.

>If it's DHCP, your
>defaultrouter definition is overridden every time you get/renew a lease.

Right.  Actually, I did know at least that much.

>netstat -r -n -f inet | grep -v link
>tells where your packets go next.

Yes, and my default route is definitely pointed at

Routing tables

Destination        Gateway            Flags    Refs      Use  Netif Expire
default        UGS         0  1615581    rl0     link#3             U           0       32    rl0      link#3             UHS         0       98    lo0          link#7             UH          0 18465739    lo0     link#4             U           0     7248   nfe0        link#4             UHS         0        0    lo0

>But in any case, it's helpful to
>know how traceroute works. It usually sends UDP packets with
>increasing TTLs which are supposed to elicit an ICMP error message
>(TTL expired) from hops along the way.

I did actually know that much (but admittedly not much more).

>The IP address you get a
>response from may be different from what you expect, especially when
>navigating the innards of your ISPs switch fabric.  It's possible that
>it isn't even the address of any interface on any router.

If you could explain all of what you just said a bit more for me, I'm
sure that it would be both enlightening and educational for me.  (But
if you don't have time, that's OK too.  I understand that I should
probably go buy a nice thick book or enroll in a two-semester course
if I seriously wanted to understand this stuff in depth.)

>On the intermittent failure issue - are you running a firewall?


>Do you permit 67-68/udp between your gateway and the ISP?

I'm not sure I underatand the question.  The gateway machine belongs to
the ISP.  I do not have any control over which packets they allow to pass
between one of their own machines and any other.

Off list I'll send you output from "ipfw -a list" and you can tell me
what you think.

In general, traceroute _does_ appear to work OK on this system.

>And did Surewest get acquired by XO?

No, a company called "Consolidated Communications":

(It used to be that when I would call tech support for Surewest, formerly
Roseville Telephone... a little tiny island of helpful friendliness
bounded on all sides by a veritable sea of PacBell unhelpfulness...
I could actually talk to somebody local here in Roseville who actually
knew something about networking... even when I called on the weekends.
Today however, when I called tech support the first level ``support''
girl... yes, I'm sexist, and I said ``girl''... told me that she was
located in Florida, and she quite clearly knew absolutely nothing about
nothing, so I asked to speak to a second level person.  This time it was
a guy, who said he was in Texas, and he also quite clearly knew absolutely
nothing.  The only even vaguely useful thing he told me was that he ran
some test on my line and the result came back at 9.6, which he said was
borderline, adding that a really good number would be between 15 and 20.
When I asked him to what these numbers referred, and what they were
measurements of, he confessed that he had no idea, adding that "I'm not
an engineer."  Geeezzzz Louise!  This caged monkey was looking at numbers
and giving out numbers, and he doesn't even have the vaguest idea what
they even mean or what they measure!  Oh well, neither do I.  But then
again I'm not being *paid* to do ISP tech support.  Geeezzzzzzz!  Well,
so he said that he'd open a ticket and send a trouble request to some
"other department"... presumably the people who actually do know something
about ISP operations... and then, after making me wait another 20 minutes
on hold, he FINALLY gave me the trouble ticket number I had insisted upon
obtaining.  In short, things have definitely gone downhill in a big way.
I'm just about ready to chuck it all and jump into the open arms of the
Last Mile Evil Empire, aka Comcast.)

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