Network bonding refers to the process which allows the user to combine multiple network interfaces into a single network interface. This allows us to obtain a network interface with enhanced throughput, redundancy, and increased bandwidth which can be tweaked according to our needs. There’s no doubt that network bonding is a useful tool if you’re working in the networking industry. This is because the bandwidth provided by a bonded network exceeds that provided by a single network interface.  Network bonding provides your interface with a failsafe. It protects the network from data loss (e.g., data loss due to faults in cables) and allows for optimal balancing of loads. Seeing all these advantages, we can conclude that setting up network bonding is worth the trouble, which is why you’re here. If you stumbled across this article wondering how to set up network bonding in Ubuntu, you came to the right place! With the help of this guide, you’ll be combining interfaces via network bonding in no time.  So without further waiting, let’s begin!

Modes of Network Bonding.

Knowing about the different modes of network bonding operation can prove useful, as these modes accomplish the same task, i.e., transferring data but utilizing different means or policies for the execution. These modes are explained below. Mode_0 – This mode is set as default and does the job in most cases. It accomplishes the task through Round-robin scheduling, i.e., information is transferred in the form of packets cyclically (starting from the first and ending at the last interface of the bonded network.) Mode_1 – This network bonding mode uses the Active Backup policy, i.e., only one interface runs simultaneously. A different interface will activate if and only if the first one fails. This mode is not preferred if you’re looking for load balancing. Mode_2 – This mode utilizes the XOR policy, i.e., it performs the XOR operation between the base(source) and the MAC addresses (destinations). Mode_3 – This mode implements the Broadcast policy, i.e., packets are transmitted to all bond network interfaces. It is used in specific cases for providing fault tolerance. Mode_4 – This mode refers to IEEE 802.3ad. It aggregates interfaces into groups with equal speeds. Transmit hashing determines the interface for throughput. Mode_5 – This mode uses Adaptive Transmission Load Balancing, i.e., the distribution of outgoing packets is determined by the current load on each interface. If the currently active interface doesn’t get any packets, another interface’s MAC address will act as the new receptor of the packets. Mode_6 – This mode uses the balance-tlb and Receive Load Balancing (rlb), which utilizes ARP negotiation. This method is used for dealing with IPV4 traffic. Switch support is not available with this mode. Now that you have a basic understanding of all modes, you are ready to learn how to set up network bonding in Ubuntu.

Step 1: Checking and Installing the Bonding Module.

The first step is to verify whether the bonding module is installed in your Linux distribution. If the bonding module is not installed, we can install it with the help of the terminal. Knowing whether the bonding module is installed on the system will save you from the process of trying to install the bonding module.  In other words, you will save yourself from a redundant process. With the help of the Command-Line Input(CLI), we can check for the module using the $ lsmod command.  It should be noted that you can only set up network bonding if you are a sudo or root user. Nevertheless, it’s a given that you will need multiple network interfaces for this to work.  To ensure that the module is installed on your Linux distribution, follow these steps. If the module is not installed, then type in the following command: This will successfully load the bonding module on your Linux distribution. If you followed the steps correctly, you should have configured and installed the bonding module on your system. The next step is to create a bond interface.`

Step 2: Setting Up a Bond Interface.

Now that you have installed the bonding module on your Linux distribution, you are ready to set up a bond interface. There are two methods to set up a bond interface. Although both methods accomplish the same task, i.e., creating a bond interface, the difference lies in the duration of the newly created network interface. One creates a temporary (ephemeral) network bond, while the other is a more permanent solution. Follow these steps to enable temporary bonding. In some cases, ipconfig doesn’t work. If that happens, then try the following: This will show you all the available interfaces. If you followed the steps correctly, then congratulations! You have now created a bond interface. Remember that the bond interface will cease to exist after you restart your system.  If you’re looking to create a permanent bond interface, follow these steps. You can replace nano with any text editor, such as gedit. This will enable your newly created bond interface. Or if that doesn’t work, type the following: With the steps followed correctly, you have now created a permanent bond interface. If you wish to see how your network bond operates, type the following command in the terminal. We hope our guide helped you learn how to set up network bonding in Ubuntu and wish you a pleasant experience on your journey to mastering networking. Furthermore, if you wish to learn how to connect to the WiFi from the terminal in Linux, click here. If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂

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