Abnormal network errors?

Charles Swiger cswiger at mac.com
Wed May 5 12:33:54 PDT 2004

On May 5, 2004, at 2:27 PM, adp wrote:
> On this server I'm thinking I need two things:
> 1. More sockets available.
> 2. Larger sockbufs for send and recv.
> Is this an accurate assessment?

Given the application of this system, you might want to up the value of 
kern.ipc.nmbclusters by a factor of four or so (it's NBMCLUSTERS in the 
kernel config file).  However, it's not essential-- your "netstat -m" 
is OK, and your TCP send and receive windows are reasonably sized as-is 
by default.

> What is "2432320 packets for unknown/unsupported protocol"? What
> specifically does this mean? (In other words, what should I do to 
> resolve
> this?)

It means machines are sending non-IP traffic on your network, which is 
normal if you have Windows protocols (NetBEUI, SPX/IPX) or Macs 
(AppleTalk) around.  Or chatty network devices like some printers....

See /usr/include/net/ethernet.h for an idea, or maybe "tcpdump not ip" 
might give some idea of what's going by.

> What about "921363 calls to icmp_error"?

ICMP messages like responding to a ping, or people sending traffic with 
RFC-1918 unroutable addresses (gives "dest unreachable")...

> Under tcp I have "481930 embryonic connections dropped". I assume that 
> means
> I don't have enough sockets available for when this server gets loaded.
> Correct?

More likely, these are someone doing a port scan and leaving half-open 
connections lying around to get cleaned up.


It might be helpful if you gave us some idea as to what the performance 
problem you were seeing was?  Is NFS access slow, or some such?  Are 
you seeing errors or collisions in netstat -i or in whatever statistics 
your switch keeps per port?

The following areas struck me as being relevant:

> # ifconfig rl0

First, consider upgrading to a fxp or dc-based NIC.

> udp:
>         272987897 datagrams received
> [ ... ]
>         19976574 dropped due to full socket buffers

This is high enough to represent a concern, agreed.

> ip:
>         578001924 total packets received
[ ... ]
>         4899083 fragments received
>         4 fragments dropped (dup or out of space)
>         750 fragments dropped after timeout
>         842689 packets reassembled ok
[ ... ]
>         609745425 packets sent from this host
>         1914687 output datagrams fragmented
>         10496350 fragments created

Second, you're fragmenting a relatively large number of packets going 
by, you ought to see what's going on with your MTU and pMTU discovery.  
I suppose if you're using large UDP datagrams with NFS, that might be 

[ The machines I've got around with comparible traffic volume might 
have 400 frags received, and 10 transmitted, or some such. ]


More information about the freebsd-performance mailing list