Chapter 23. Configuring IP tunnels

Similar to a VPN, an IP tunnel directly connects two networks over a third network, such as the Internet. However, not all tunnel protocols support encryption.

The routers in both networks that establish the tunnel requires at least two interfaces:

  • One interface that is connected to the local network
  • One interface that is connected to the network through which the tunnel is established.

To establish the tunnel, you create a virtual interface on both routers with an IP address from the remote subnet.

NetworkManager supports the following IP tunnels:

  • Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE)
  • Generic Routing Encapsulation over IPv6 (IP6GRE)
  • Generic Routing Encapsulation Terminal Access Point (GRETAP)
  • Generic Routing Encapsulation Terminal Access Point over IPv6 (IP6GRETAP)
  • IPv4 over IPv4 (IPIP)
  • IPv4 over IPv6 (IPIP6)
  • IPv6 over IPv6 (IP6IP6)
  • Simple Internet Transition (SIT)

Depending on the type, these tunnels act either on layer 2 or 3 of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model.

23.1. Configuring an IPIP tunnel using nmcli to encapsulate IPv4 traffic in IPv4 packets

An IP over IP (IPIP) tunnel operates on OSI layer 3 and encapsulates IPv4 traffic in IPv4 packets as described in RFC 2003.

Important

Data sent through an IPIP tunnel is not encrypted. For security reasons, use the tunnel only for data that is already encrypted, for example, by other protocols, such as HTTPS.

Note that IPIP tunnels support only unicast packets. If you require an IPv4 tunnel that supports multicast, see Section 23.2, “Configuring a GRE tunnel using nmcli to encapsulate layer-3 traffic in IPv4 packets”.

This procedure describes how to create an IPIP tunnel between two RHEL routers to connect two internal subnets over the Internet as shown in the following diagram:

IPIP tunnel

Prerequisites

  • Each RHEL router has a network interface that is connected to its local subnet.
  • Each RHEL router has a network interface that is connected to the Internet.
  • The traffic you want to send through the tunnel is IPv4 unicast.

Procedure

  1. On the RHEL router in network A:

    1. Create an IPIP tunnel interface named tun0:

      # nmcli connection add type ip-tunnel ip-tunnel.mode ipip con-name tun0 ifname tun0 remote 198.51.100.5 local 203.0.113.10

      The remote and local parameters set the public IP addresses of the remote and the local routers.

    2. Set the IPv4 address to the tun0 device:

      # nmcli connection modify tun0 ipv4.addresses '10.0.1.1/30'

      Note that a /30 subnet with two usable IP addresses is sufficient for the tunnel.

    3. Configure the tun0 connection to use a manual IPv4 configuration:

      # nmcli connection modify tun0 ipv4.method manual
    4. Add a static route that routes traffic to the 172.16.0.0/24 network to the tunnel IP on router B:

      # nmcli connection modify tun0 +ipv4.routes "172.16.0.0/24 10.0.1.2"
    5. Enable the tun0 connection.

      # nmcli connection up tun0
    6. Enable packet forwarding:

      # echo "net.ipv4.ip_forward=1" > /etc/sysctl.d/95-IPv4-forwarding.conf
      # sysctl -p /etc/sysctl.d/95-IPv4-forwarding.conf
  2. On the RHEL router in network B:

    1. Create an IPIP tunnel interface named tun0:

      # nmcli connection add type ip-tunnel ip-tunnel.mode ipip con-name tun0 ifname tun0 remote 203.0.113.10 local 198.51.100.5

      The remote and local parameters set the public IP addresses of the remote and local routers.

    2. Set the IPv4 address to the tun0 device:

      # nmcli connection modify tun0 ipv4.addresses '10.0.1.2/30'
    3. Configure the tun0 connection to use a manual IPv4 configuration:

      # nmcli connection modify tun0 ipv4.method manual
    4. Add a static route that routes traffic to the 192.0.2.0/24 network to the tunnel IP on router A:

      # nmcli connection modify tun0 +ipv4.routes "192.0.2.0/24 10.0.1.1"
    5. Enable the tun0 connection.

      # nmcli connection up tun0
    6. Enable packet forwarding:

      # echo "net.ipv4.ip_forward=1" > /etc/sysctl.d/95-IPv4-forwarding.conf
      # sysctl -p /etc/sysctl.d/95-IPv4-forwarding.conf

Verification steps

  1. From each RHEL router, ping the IP address of the internal interface of the other router:

    1. On Router A, ping 172.16.0.1:

      # ping 172.16.0.1
    2. On Router B, ping 192.0.2.1:

      # ping 192.0.2.1

Additional resources

  • For further details about using nmcli, see the nmcli man page.
  • For details about the tunnel settings you can set with nmcli, see the ip-tunnel settings section in the nm-settings(5) man page.

23.2. Configuring a GRE tunnel using nmcli to encapsulate layer-3 traffic in IPv4 packets

A Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE) tunnel encapsulates layer-3 traffic in IPv4 packets as described in RFC 2784. A GRE tunnel can encapsulate any layer 3 protocol with a valid Ethernet type.

Important

Data sent through a GRE tunnel is not encrypted. For security reasons, use the tunnel only for data that is already encrypted, for example, by other protocols, such as HTTPS.

This procedure describes how to create a GRE tunnel between two RHEL routers to connect two internal subnets over the Internet as shown in the following diagram:

GRE tunnel
Note

The gre0 device name is reserved. Use gre1 or a different name for the device.

Prerequisites

  • Each RHEL router has a network interface that is connected to its local subnet.
  • Each RHEL router has a network interface that is connected to the Internet.

Procedure

  1. On the RHEL router in network A:

    1. Create a GRE tunnel interface named gre1:

      # nmcli connection add type ip-tunnel ip-tunnel.mode gre con-name gre1 ifname gre1 remote 198.51.100.5 local 203.0.113.10

      The remote and local parameters set the public IP addresses of the remote and the local routers.

    2. Set the IPv4 address to the gre1 device:

      # nmcli connection modify gre1 ipv4.addresses '10.0.1.1/30'

      Note that a /30 subnet with two usable IP addresses is sufficient for the tunnel.

    3. Configure the gre1 connection to use a manual IPv4 configuration:

      # nmcli connection modify gre1 ipv4.method manual
    4. Add a static route that routes traffic to the 172.16.0.0/24 network to the tunnel IP on router B:

      # nmcli connection modify tun0 +ipv4.routes "172.16.0.0/24 10.0.1.2"
    5. Enable the gre1 connection.

      # nmcli connection up gre1
    6. Enable packet forwarding:

      # echo "net.ipv4.ip_forward=1" > /etc/sysctl.d/95-IPv4-forwarding.conf
      # sysctl -p /etc/sysctl.d/95-IPv4-forwarding.conf
  2. On the RHEL router in network B:

    1. Create a GRE tunnel interface named gre1:

      # nmcli connection add type ip-tunnel ip-tunnel.mode ipip con-name gre1 ifname gre1 remote 203.0.113.10 local 198.51.100.5

      The remote and local parameters sets the public IP addresses of the remote and the local routers.

    2. Set the IPv4 address to the gre1 device:

      # nmcli connection modify gre1 ipv4.addresses '10.0.1.2/30'
    3. Configure the gre1 connection to use a manual IPv4 configuration:

      # nmcli connection modify gre1 ipv4.method manual
    4. Add a static route that routes traffic to the 192.0.2.0/24 network to the tunnel IP on router A:

      # nmcli connection modify tun0 +ipv4.routes "192.0.2.0/24 10.0.1.1"
    5. Enable the gre1 connection.

      # nmcli connection up gre1
    6. Enable packet forwarding:

      # echo "net.ipv4.ip_forward=1" > /etc/sysctl.d/95-IPv4-forwarding.conf
      # sysctl -p /etc/sysctl.d/95-IPv4-forwarding.conf

Verification steps

  1. From each RHEL router, ping the IP address of the internal interface of the other router:

    1. On Router A, ping 172.16.0.1:

      # ping 172.16.0.1
    2. On Router B, ping 192.0.2.1:

      # ping 192.0.2.1

Additional resources

  • For further details about using nmcli, see the nmcli man page.
  • For details about the tunnel settings you can set with nmcli, see the ip-tunnel settings section in the nm-settings(5) man page.

23.3. Configuring a GRETAP tunnel to transfer Ethernet frames over IPv4

A Generic Routing Encapsulation Terminal Access Point (GRETAP) tunnel operates on OSI level 2 and encapsulates Ethernet traffic in IPv4 packets as described in RFC 2784.

Important

Data sent through a GRETAP tunnel is not encrypted. For security reasons, establish the tunnel over a VPN or a different encrypted connection.

This procedure describes how to create a GRETAP tunnel between two RHEL routers to connect two networks using a bridge as shown in the following diagram:

GRETAP tunnel
Note

The gretap0 device name is reserved. Use gretap1 or a different name for the device.

Prerequisites

  • Each RHEL router has a network interface that is connected to its local network, and the interface has no IP configuration assigned.
  • Each RHEL router has a network interface that is connected to the Internet.

Procedure

  1. On the RHEL router in network A:

    1. Create a bridge interface named bridge0:

      # nmcli connection add type bridge con-name bridge0 ifname bridge0
    2. Configure the IP settings of the bridge:

      # nmcli connection modify bridge0 ipv4.addresses '192.0.2.1/24'
      # nmcli connection modify bridge0 ipv4.method manual
    3. Add a new connection profile for the interface that is connected to local network to the bridge:

      # nmcli connection add type ethernet slave-type bridge con-name bridge0-port1 ifname enp1s0 master bridge0
    4. Add a new connection profile for the GRETAP tunnel interface to the bridge:

      # nmcli connection add type ip-tunnel ip-tunnel.mode gretap slave-type bridge con-name bridge0-port2 ifname gretap1 remote 198.51.100.5 local 203.0.113.10 master bridge0

      The remote and local parameters set the public IP addresses of the remote and the local routers.

    5. Optional: Disable the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) if you do not need it:

      # nmcli connection modify bridge0 bridge.stp no

      By default, STP is enabled and causes a delay before you can use the connection.

    6. Configure that activating the bridge0 connection automatically activates the slaves of the bridge:

      # nmcli connection modify bridge0 connection.autoconnect-slaves 1
    7. Active the bridge0 connection:

      # nmcli connection up bridge0
  2. On the RHEL router in network B:

    1. Create a bridge interface named bridge0:

      # nmcli connection add type bridge con-name bridge0 ifname bridge0
    2. Configure the IP settings of the bridge:

      # nmcli connection modify bridge0 ipv4.addresses '192.0.2.2/24'
      # nmcli connection modify bridge0 ipv4.method manual
    3. Add a new connection profile for the interface that is connected to local network to the bridge:

      # nmcli connection add type ethernet slave-type bridge con-name bridge0-port1 ifname enp1s0 master bridge0
    4. Add a new connection profile for the GRETAP tunnel interface to the bridge:

      # nmcli connection add type ip-tunnel ip-tunnel.mode gretap slave-type bridge con-name bridge0-port2 ifname gretap1 remote 203.0.113.10 local 198.51.100.5 master bridge0

      The remote and local parameters set the public IP addresses of the remote and the local routers.

    5. Optional: Disable the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) if you do not need it:

      # nmcli connection modify bridge0 bridge.stp no
    6. Configure that activating the bridge0 connection automatically activates the slaves of the bridge:

      # nmcli connection modify bridge0 connection.autoconnect-slaves 1
    7. Active the bridge0 connection:

      # nmcli connection up bridge0

Verification steps

  1. On both routers, verify that the enp1s0 and gretap1 connections are connected and that the CONNECTION column displays the connection name of the slave:

    # nmcli device
    nmcli device
    DEVICE   TYPE      STATE      CONNECTION
    ...
    bridge0  bridge    connected  bridge0
    enp1s0   ethernet  connected  bridge0-port1
    gretap1  iptunnel  connected  bridge0-port2
  2. From each RHEL router, ping the IP address of the internal interface of the other router:

    1. On Router A, ping 192.0.2.2:

      # ping 192.0.2.2
    2. On Router B, ping 192.0.2.1:

      # ping 192.0.2.1

Additional resources

  • For further details about using nmcli, see the nmcli man page.
  • For details about the tunnel settings you can set with nmcli, see the ip-tunnel settings section in the nm-settings(5) man page.

23.4. Additional resources

  • For a list of tunnel interfaces and on temporarily configuring tunnels using the ip utility, see the ip-link(8) man page.