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10 posts

Wannabe Geek

# 258580 10-Oct-2019 17:53
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Yesterday I tried to set up a pfsense box on my spark fibre connection (WAN as PPPoE on vlan 10). Everything else was disconnected except a linux laptop connected to the pfsense GUI (static IPv4 LAN). I could see my public IP address, ping Google's etc. but from the laptop itself was unreachable (laptop could ping its own ip address given by dhcp).



I gave up, shut down the pfsense router & returned to using the previous setup (Spark's HG659b). This morning I tried again, same problem, still couldn't figure it out. Then after an hour mucking around pinging & ponging & looking (but not changing) stuff in both pfsense gui & my laptop's terminal it all came right without rebooting or changing any settings. I reconnected my switch, wifi etc. & all seems well. But it bothers me that I have no idea what happened (maybe I'm blind & changed something inadvertently). I'm very much an amateur, but presumably PPPoE discovery & recognising the router's MAC address had already taken place, so why the delay? This was a pretty vanilla setup, firewall was default allowing stuff out originating on the LAN, DNS Server settings were as per the old router, DHCP was always enabled & there was only the laptop & pfsense router at my end. So my question is, for those who know much more than me, is this likely to be something at Spark's end that was so slow, or my pfsense box (its not virtualized, amd64, Intel Pro/1000 nic etc.)?



Without wishing to recreate whatever mess I was in, can anyone tell me what sort of steps I (or anyone else in a similar position) should have done to isolate the problem?


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481 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 2335259 10-Oct-2019 23:18
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Presumably the pfSense box is able to do packet captures (using Wireshark?).  So I would just capture the packets and see what is happening.

10 posts

Wannabe Geek

  # 2335331 11-Oct-2019 07:09
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Thanks, I didnt have Wireshark on the laptop at the time but pfsense has packet capture which I tried, As its a raw dump at my level of expertise I couldnt make much sense of what was happening. I think you've hit the nail on the head though, I should have downloaded the capture to wireshark to investigate further. I'm finding Hansteen's The Book of PF (its online but I'm too new to post a link) a good read. Also I found I was using as my timeserver, which seems old. I switched this to but I couldnt find reference on Spark's website as to which ntp servers customer's should use.


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Uber Geek

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  # 2335495 11-Oct-2019 12:14
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The is configured in the Spark supplied HG659's to set the router time. Personally I wouldn't use them and just go to


In theory there should be nothing stopping you using pfsense to bring up the PPPoE session on VLAN10. I've done it many times on Linux and it should just work. You don't need a username and password for PPPoE but sometimes it helps the PPPoE client if you specify it "username" and "password" work fine.

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  # 2335501 11-Oct-2019 12:38
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I'll grab you a screenshot from my pfsense box. we dont block it..

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Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.

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