How to get 2 if's act like a switch?

Chuck Swiger cswiger at
Wed Feb 8 07:56:34 PST 2006

Andrew Pantyukhin wrote:
> On 2/8/06, Chuck Swiger <cswiger at> wrote:
>> Andrew Pantyukhin wrote:
[ ... ]
>> See: "man bridge".
> Thanks. First I thought that bridge is not what I want.
> Apparently, if_bridge does not switch packets, and
> with 100 hosts on each if that would create unnecessary
> overhead. But then, networks on both sides are switches,
> so the overhead should be minimal if not none.
> I still wonder if there's some way to get switch
> functionality.

Connect the machine to a switch?  :-) Your bridge machine should not see traffic
directed towards MACs on other ports on the switch if the switch is working
right.  The switch ought to learn which MAC addresses are reachable through the
port your bridge machine is on, and will just deliver the appropriate traffic
(plus broadcasts).

There's probably some netgraph trickery that would let you do STP on the bridge
machine as an alternative solution, but I don't know enough about that to advise
you on it....


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