Chapter 5. Configuring VLAN tagging

A Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) is a logical network within a physical network. The VLAN interface tags packets with the VLAN ID as they pass through the interface, and removes tags of returning packets. You create VLAN interfaces on top of another interface, such as Ethernet, bond, team, or bridge devices. These interfaces are called the parent interface.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides administrators different options to configure VLAN devices. For example:

  • Use nmcli to configure VLAN tagging using the command line.
  • Use the RHEL web console to configure VLAN tagging using a web browser.
  • Use nmtui to configure VLAN tagging in a text-based user interface.
  • Use the nm-connection-editor application to configure connections in a graphical interface.
  • Use nmstatectl to configure connections through the Nmstate API.
  • Use RHEL system roles to automate the VLAN configuration on one or multiple hosts.

5.1. Configuring VLAN tagging by using nmcli

You can configure Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) tagging on the command line using the nmcli utility.

Prerequisites

  • The interface you plan to use as a parent to the virtual VLAN interface supports VLAN tags.
  • If you configure the VLAN on top of a bond interface:

    • The ports of the bond are up.
    • The bond is not configured with the fail_over_mac=follow option. A VLAN virtual device cannot change its MAC address to match the parent’s new MAC address. In such a case, the traffic would still be sent with the incorrect source MAC address.
    • The bond is usually not expected to get IP addresses from a DHCP server or IPv6 auto-configuration. Ensure it by setting the ipv4.method=disable and ipv6.method=ignore options while creating the bond. Otherwise, if DHCP or IPv6 auto-configuration fails after some time, the interface might be brought down.
  • The switch, the host is connected to, is configured to support VLAN tags. For details, see the documentation of your switch.

Procedure

  1. Display the network interfaces:

    # nmcli device status
    DEVICE   TYPE      STATE         CONNECTION
    enp1s0   ethernet  disconnected  enp1s0
    bridge0  bridge    connected     bridge0
    bond0    bond      connected     bond0
    ...
  2. Create the VLAN interface. For example, to create a VLAN interface named vlan10 that uses enp1s0 as its parent interface and that tags packets with VLAN ID 10, enter:

    # nmcli connection add type vlan con-name vlan10 ifname vlan10 vlan.parent enp1s0 vlan.id 10

    Note that the VLAN must be within the range from 0 to 4094.

  3. By default, the VLAN connection inherits the maximum transmission unit (MTU) from the parent interface. Optionally, set a different MTU value:

    # nmcli connection modify vlan10 ethernet.mtu 2000
  4. Configure the IPv4 settings:

    • To use this VLAN device as a port of other devices, enter:

      # nmcli connection modify vlan10 ipv4.method disabled
    • To use DHCP, no action is required.
    • To set a static IPv4 address, network mask, default gateway, and DNS server to the vlan10 connection, enter:

      # nmcli connection modify vlan10 ipv4.addresses '192.0.2.1/24' ipv4.gateway '192.0.2.254' ipv4.dns '192.0.2.253' ipv4.method manual
  5. Configure the IPv6 settings:

    • To use this VLAN device as a port of other devices, enter:

      # nmcli connection modify vlan10 ipv6.method disabled
    • To use stateless address autoconfiguration (SLAAC), no action is required.
    • To set a static IPv6 address, network mask, default gateway, and DNS server to the vlan10 connection, enter:

      # nmcli connection modify vlan10 ipv6.addresses '2001:db8:1::1/32' ipv6.gateway '2001:db8:1::fffe' ipv6.dns '2001:db8:1::fffd' ipv6.method manual
  6. Activate the connection:

    # nmcli connection up vlan10

Verification

  • Verify the settings:

    # ip -d addr show vlan10
    4: vlan10@enp1s0: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc noqueue state UP group default qlen 1000
        link/ether 52:54:00:72:2f:6e brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff promiscuity 0
        vlan protocol 802.1Q id 10 <REORDER_HDR> numtxqueues 1 numrxqueues 1 gso_max_size 65536 gso_max_segs 65535
        inet 192.0.2.1/24 brd 192.0.2.255 scope global noprefixroute vlan10
           valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
        inet6 2001:db8:1::1/32 scope global noprefixroute
           valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
        inet6 fe80::8dd7:9030:6f8e:89e6/64 scope link noprefixroute
           valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever

Additional resources

  • nm-settings(5) man page

5.2. Configuring nested VLANs by using nmcli

802.1ad is a protocol used for Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) tagging. It is also known as Q-in-Q tagging. You can use this technology to create multiple VLAN tags within a single Ethernet frame to achieve the following benefits:

  • Increased network scalability by creating multiple isolated network segments within a VLAN. This enables you to segment and organize large networks into smaller, manageable units.
  • Improved traffic management by isolating and controlling different types of network traffic. This can improve the network performance and reduce network congestion.
  • Efficient resource utilization by enabling the creation of smaller, more targeted network segments.
  • Enhanced security by isolating network traffic and reducing the risk of unauthorized access to sensitive data.

Prerequisites

  • The interface you plan to use as a parent to the virtual VLAN interface supports VLAN tags.
  • If you configure the VLAN on top of a bond interface:

    • The ports of the bond are up.
    • The bond is not configured with the fail_over_mac=follow option. A VLAN virtual device cannot change its MAC address to match the parent’s new MAC address. In such a case, the traffic would still be sent with the incorrect source MAC address.
    • The bond is usually not expected to get IP addresses from a DHCP server or IPv6 auto-configuration. Ensure it by setting the ipv4.method=disable and ipv6.method=ignore options while creating the bond. Otherwise, if DHCP or IPv6 auto-configuration fails after some time, the interface might be brought down.
  • The switch, the host is connected to, is configured to support VLAN tags. For details, see the documentation of your switch.

Procedure

  1. Display the physical network devices:

    # nmcli device status
    DEVICE   TYPE      STATE         CONNECTION
    enp1s0  ethernet  connected      enp1s0
    ...
  2. Create the base VLAN interface. For example, to create a base VLAN interface named vlan10 that uses enp1s0 as its parent interface and that tags packets with VLAN ID 10, enter:

    # nmcli connection add type vlan con-name vlan10 dev enp1s0 vlan.id 10

    Note that the VLAN must be within the range from 0 to 4094.

  3. By default, the VLAN connection inherits the maximum transmission unit (MTU) from the parent interface. Optionally, set a different MTU value:

    # nmcli connection modify vlan10 ethernet.mtu 2000
  4. Create the nested VLAN interface on top of the base VLAN interface:

    # nmcli connection add type vlan con-name vlan10.20 dev enp1s0.10 id 20 vlan.protocol 802.1ad

    This command creates a new VLAN connection with a name of vlan10.20 and a VLAN ID of 20 on the parent VLAN connection vlan10. The dev option specifies the parent network device. In this case it is enp1s0.10. The vlan.protocol option specifies the VLAN encapsulation protocol. In this case it is 802.1ad (Q-in-Q).

  5. Configure the IPv4 settings of the nested VLAN interface:

    • To use DHCP, no action is required.
    • To set a static IPv4 address, network mask, default gateway, and DNS server to the vlan10.20 connection, enter:

      # nmcli connection modify vlan10.20 ipv4.method manual ipv4.addresses 192.0.2.1/24 ipv4.gateway 192.0.2.254 ipv4.dns 192.0.2.200
  6. Configure the IPv6 settings of the nested VLAN interface:

    • To use stateless address autoconfiguration (SLAAC), no action is required.
    • To set a static IPv4 address, network mask, default gateway, and DNS server to the vlan10 connection, enter:

      # nmcli connection modify vlan10 ipv4.addresses '192.0.2.1/24' ipv4.gateway '192.0.2.254' ipv4.dns '192.0.2.253' ipv4.method manual
  7. Activate the profile:

    # nmcli connection up vlan10.20

Verification

  1. Verify the configuration of the nested VLAN interface:

    # ip -d addr show enp1s0.10.20
    10: enp1s0.10.20@enp1s0.10: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc noqueue state UP group default qlen 1000
        link/ether 52:54:00:d2:74:3e brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff promiscuity 0 minmtu 0 maxmtu 65535
        vlan protocol 802.1ad id 20 <REORDER_HDR> numtxqueues 1 numrxqueues 1 gso_max_size 65536 gso_max_segs 65535 tso_max_size 65536 tso_max_segs 65535 gro_max_size 65536
        inet 192.0.2.1/24 brd 192.0.2.255 scope global noprefixroute enp1s0.10.20
           valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
        inet6 2001:db8:1::1/32 scope global noprefixroute
           valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
        inet6 fe80::ce3b:84c5:9ef8:d0e6/64 scope link noprefixroute
           valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever

Additional resources

  • nm-settings(5) man page

5.3. Configuring VLAN tagging by using the RHEL web console

Use the RHEL web console to configure VLAN tagging if you prefer to manage network settings using a web browser-based interface.

Prerequisites

  • The interface you plan to use as a parent to the virtual VLAN interface supports VLAN tags.
  • If you configure the VLAN on top of a bond interface:

    • The ports of the bond are up.
    • The bond is not configured with the fail_over_mac=follow option. A VLAN virtual device cannot change its MAC address to match the parent’s new MAC address. In such a case, the traffic would still be sent with the incorrect source MAC address.
    • The bond is usually not expected to get IP addresses from a DHCP server or IPv6 auto-configuration. Ensure it by disabling the IPv4 and IPv6 protocol creating the bond. Otherwise, if DHCP or IPv6 auto-configuration fails after some time, the interface might be brought down.
  • The switch, the host is connected to, is configured to support VLAN tags. For details, see the documentation of your switch.

Procedure

  1. Select the Networking tab in the navigation on the left side of the screen.
  2. Click Add VLAN in the Interfaces section.
  3. Select the parent device.
  4. Enter the VLAN ID.
  5. Enter the name of the VLAN device or keep the automatically-generated name.

    vlan settings
  6. Click Apply.
  7. By default, the VLAN device uses a dynamic IP address. If you want to set a static IP address:

    1. Click the name of the VLAN device in the Interfaces section.
    2. Click Edit next to the protocol you want to configure.
    3. Select Manual next to Addresses, and enter the IP address, prefix, and default gateway.
    4. In the DNS section, click the + button, and enter the IP address of the DNS server. Repeat this step to set multiple DNS servers.
    5. In the DNS search domains section, click the + button, and enter the search domain.
    6. If the interface requires static routes, configure them in the Routes section.

      bond team bridge vlan.ipv4
    7. Click Apply

Verification

  • Select the Networking tab in the navigation on the left side of the screen, and check if there is incoming and outgoing traffic on the interface:

    vlan verify

5.4. Configuring VLAN tagging by using nmtui

The nmtui application provides a text-based user interface for NetworkManager. You can use nmtui to configure VLAN tagging on a host without a graphical interface.

Note

In nmtui:

  • Navigate by using the cursor keys.
  • Press a button by selecting it and hitting Enter.
  • Select and clear checkboxes by using Space.

Prerequisites

  • The interface you plan to use as a parent to the virtual VLAN interface supports VLAN tags.
  • If you configure the VLAN on top of a bond interface:

    • The ports of the bond are up.
    • The bond is not configured with the fail_over_mac=follow option. A VLAN virtual device cannot change its MAC address to match the parent’s new MAC address. In such a case, the traffic would still be sent with the then incorrect source MAC address.
    • The bond is usually not expected to get IP addresses from a DHCP server or IPv6 auto-configuration. Ensure it by setting the ipv4.method=disable and ipv6.method=ignore options while creating the bond. Otherwise, if DHCP or IPv6 auto-configuration fails after some time, the interface might be brought down.
  • The switch the host is connected to is configured to support VLAN tags. For details, see the documentation of your switch.

Procedure

  1. If you do not know the network device name on which you want configure VLAN tagging, display the available devices:

    # nmcli device status
    DEVICE     TYPE      STATE                   CONNECTION
    enp1s0     ethernet  unavailable             --
    ...
  2. Start nmtui:

    # nmtui
  3. Select Edit a connection, and press Enter.
  4. Press Add.
  5. Select VLAN from the list of network types, and press Enter.
  6. Optional: Enter a name for the NetworkManager profile to be created.

    On hosts with multiple profiles, a meaningful name makes it easier to identify the purpose of a profile.

  7. Enter the VLAN device name to be created into the Device field.
  8. Enter the name of the device on which you want to configure VLAN tagging into the Parent field.
  9. Enter the VLAN ID. The ID must be within the range from 0 to 4094.
  10. Depending on your environment, configure the IP address settings in the IPv4 configuration and IPv6 configuration areas accordingly. For this, press the button next to these areas, and select:

    • Disabled, if this VLAN device does not require an IP address or you want to use it as a port of other devices.
    • Automatic, if a DHCP server or stateless address autoconfiguration (SLAAC) dynamically assigns an IP address to the VLAN device.
    • Manual, if the network requires static IP address settings. In this case, you must fill further fields:

      1. Press Show next to the protocol you want to configure to display additional fields.
      2. Press Add next to Addresses, and enter the IP address and the subnet mask in Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR) format.

        If you do not specify a subnet mask, NetworkManager sets a /32 subnet mask for IPv4 addresses and /64 for IPv6 addresses.

      3. Enter the address of the default gateway.
      4. Press Add next to DNS servers, and enter the DNS server address.
      5. Press Add next to Search domains, and enter the DNS search domain.

    Figure 5.1. Example of a VLAN connection with static IP address settings

    nmtui vlan static IP
  11. Press OK to create and automatically activate the new connection.
  12. Press Back to return to the main menu.
  13. Select Quit, and press Enter to close the nmtui application.

Verification

  • Verify the settings:

    # ip -d addr show vlan10
    4: vlan10@enp1s0: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc noqueue state UP group default qlen 1000
        link/ether 52:54:00:72:2f:6e brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff promiscuity 0
        vlan protocol 802.1Q id 10 <REORDER_HDR> numtxqueues 1 numrxqueues 1 gso_max_size 65536 gso_max_segs 65535
        inet 192.0.2.1/24 brd 192.0.2.255 scope global noprefixroute vlan10
           valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
        inet6 2001:db8:1::1/32 scope global noprefixroute
           valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
        inet6 fe80::8dd7:9030:6f8e:89e6/64 scope link noprefixroute
           valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever

5.5. Configuring VLAN tagging by using nm-connection-editor

You can configure Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) tagging in a graphical interface using the nm-connection-editor application.

Prerequisites

  • The interface you plan to use as a parent to the virtual VLAN interface supports VLAN tags.
  • If you configure the VLAN on top of a bond interface:

    • The ports of the bond are up.
    • The bond is not configured with the fail_over_mac=follow option. A VLAN virtual device cannot change its MAC address to match the parent’s new MAC address. In such a case, the traffic would still be sent with the incorrect source MAC address.
  • The switch, the host is connected, to is configured to support VLAN tags. For details, see the documentation of your switch.

Procedure

  1. Open a terminal, and enter nm-connection-editor:

    $ nm-connection-editor
  2. Click the + button to add a new connection.
  3. Select the VLAN connection type, and click Create.
  4. On the VLAN tab:

    1. Select the parent interface.
    2. Select the VLAN id. Note that the VLAN must be within the range from 0 to 4094.
    3. By default, the VLAN connection inherits the maximum transmission unit (MTU) from the parent interface. Optionally, set a different MTU value.
    4. Optionally, set the name of the VLAN interface and further VLAN-specific options.

      vlan settings nm connection editor

  5. Configure the IP address settings on both the IPv4 Settings and IPv6 Settings tabs:

    • To use this bridge device as a port of other devices, set the Method field to Disabled.
    • To use DHCP, leave the Method field at its default, Automatic (DHCP).
    • To use static IP settings, set the Method field to Manual and fill the fields accordingly:

      vlan IP settings nm connection editor

  6. Click Save.
  7. Close nm-connection-editor.

Verification

  1. Verify the settings:

    # ip -d addr show vlan10
    4: vlan10@enp1s0: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc noqueue state UP group default qlen 1000
        link/ether 52:54:00:d5:e0:fb brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff promiscuity 0
        vlan protocol 802.1Q id 10 <REORDER_HDR> numtxqueues 1 numrxqueues 1 gso_max_size 65536 gso_max_segs 65535
        inet 192.0.2.1/24 brd 192.0.2.255 scope global noprefixroute vlan10
           valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
        inet6 2001:db8:1::1/32 scope global noprefixroute
           valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
        inet6 fe80::8dd7:9030:6f8e:89e6/64 scope link noprefixroute
           valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever

5.6. Configuring VLAN tagging by using nmstatectl

Use the nmstatectl utility to configure Virtual Local Area Network VLAN through the Nmstate API. The Nmstate API ensures that, after setting the configuration, the result matches the configuration file. If anything fails, nmstatectl automatically rolls back the changes to avoid leaving the system in an incorrect state.

Depending on your environment, adjust the YAML file accordingly. For example, to use different devices than Ethernet adapters in the VLAN, adapt the base-iface attribute and type attributes of the ports you use in the VLAN.

Prerequisites

  • To use Ethernet devices as ports in the VLAN, the physical or virtual Ethernet devices must be installed on the server.
  • The nmstate package is installed.

Procedure

  1. Create a YAML file, for example ~/create-vlan.yml, with the following content:

    ---
    interfaces:
    - name: vlan10
      type: vlan
      state: up
      ipv4:
        enabled: true
        address:
        - ip: 192.0.2.1
          prefix-length: 24
        dhcp: false
      ipv6:
        enabled: true
        address:
        - ip: 2001:db8:1::1
          prefix-length: 64
        autoconf: false
        dhcp: false
      vlan:
        base-iface: enp1s0
        id: 10
    - name: enp1s0
      type: ethernet
      state: up
    
    routes:
      config:
      - destination: 0.0.0.0/0
        next-hop-address: 192.0.2.254
        next-hop-interface: vlan10
      - destination: ::/0
        next-hop-address: 2001:db8:1::fffe
        next-hop-interface: vlan10
    
    dns-resolver:
      config:
        search:
        - example.com
        server:
        - 192.0.2.200
        - 2001:db8:1::ffbb

    These settings define a VLAN with ID 10 that uses the enp1s0 device. As the child device, the VLAN connection has the following settings:

    • A static IPv4 address - 192.0.2.1 with the /24 subnet mask
    • A static IPv6 address - 2001:db8:1::1 with the /64 subnet mask
    • An IPv4 default gateway - 192.0.2.254
    • An IPv6 default gateway - 2001:db8:1::fffe
    • An IPv4 DNS server - 192.0.2.200
    • An IPv6 DNS server - 2001:db8:1::ffbb
    • A DNS search domain - example.com
  2. Apply the settings to the system:

    # nmstatectl apply ~/create-vlan.yml

Verification

  1. Display the status of the devices and connections:

    # nmcli device status
    DEVICE      TYPE      STATE      CONNECTION
    vlan10      vlan      connected  vlan10
  2. Display all settings of the connection profile:

    # nmcli connection show vlan10
    connection.id:              vlan10
    connection.uuid:            1722970f-788e-4f81-bd7d-a86bf21c9df5
    connection.stable-id:       --
    connection.type:            vlan
    connection.interface-name:  vlan10
    ...
  3. Display the connection settings in YAML format:

    # nmstatectl show vlan0

Additional resources

  • nmstatectl(8) man page
  • /usr/share/doc/nmstate/examples/ directory

5.7. Configuring VLAN tagging by using the network RHEL system role

You can use the network RHEL system role to configure VLAN tagging. This example adds an Ethernet connection and a VLAN with ID 10 on top of this Ethernet connection. As the child device, the VLAN connection contains the IP, default gateway, and DNS configurations.

Depending on your environment, adjust the play accordingly. For example:

  • To use the VLAN as a port in other connections, such as a bond, omit the ip attribute, and set the IP configuration in the child configuration.
  • To use team, bridge, or bond devices in the VLAN, adapt the interface_name and type attributes of the ports you use in the VLAN.

Prerequisites

Procedure

  1. Create a playbook file, for example ~/playbook.yml, with the following content:

    ---
    - name: Configure the network
      hosts: managed-node-01.example.com
      tasks:
        - name: Configure a VLAN that uses an Ethernet connection
          ansible.builtin.include_role:
            name: rhel-system-roles.network
          vars:
            network_connections:
              # Add an Ethernet profile for the underlying device of the VLAN
              - name: enp1s0
                type: ethernet
                interface_name: enp1s0
                autoconnect: yes
                state: up
                ip:
                  dhcp4: no
                  auto6: no
    
              # Define the VLAN profile
              - name: enp1s0.10
                type: vlan
                ip:
                  address:
                    - "192.0.2.1/24"
                    - "2001:db8:1::1/64"
                  gateway4: 192.0.2.254
                  gateway6: 2001:db8:1::fffe
                  dns:
                    - 192.0.2.200
                    - 2001:db8:1::ffbb
                  dns_search:
                    - example.com
                vlan_id: 10
                parent: enp1s0
                state: up

    These settings define a VLAN to operate on top of the enp1s0 device. The VLAN interface has the following settings:

    • A static IPv4 address - 192.0.2.1 with a /24 subnet mask
    • A static IPv6 address - 2001:db8:1::1 with a /64 subnet mask
    • An IPv4 default gateway - 192.0.2.254
    • An IPv6 default gateway - 2001:db8:1::fffe
    • An IPv4 DNS server - 192.0.2.200
    • An IPv6 DNS server - 2001:db8:1::ffbb
    • A DNS search domain - example.com
    • VLAN ID - 10

      The parent attribute in the VLAN profile configures the VLAN to operate on top of the enp1s0 device. As the child device, the VLAN connection contains the IP, default gateway, and DNS configurations.

  2. Validate the playbook syntax:

    $ ansible-playbook --syntax-check ~/playbook.yml

    Note that this command only validates the syntax and does not protect against a wrong but valid configuration.

  3. Run the playbook:

    $ ansible-playbook ~/playbook.yml

Additional resources

  • /usr/share/ansible/roles/rhel-system-roles.network/README.md file
  • /usr/share/doc/rhel-system-roles/network/ directory