System: arp: [ip] is on [if 0] but got reply from [mac] on [if 1]

(last edit: 2001-07-01)


You have a machine with two NIC's both hooked up to the same switch but both have a different subnet assigned. Everything works fine but you get allot of these messages: arp: is on rl0 but got reply from a8:0d:62:1c:42:03 on rl1 A switch works on a low level: it only knows MAC addresses. When it receives a broadcast message it will send that message to all of its ports (like it is supposed to do). Your machine maneges an arp table (try 'arp -a'). This table makes sure that your machine knows on which MAC address which ipaddress is so it can do an Internet-to-Ethernet translation. When the broadcast reaches your machine it will be received on both your NIC's. Arp notices that it gets a package from a MAC address of which it thought was on interface 0 on interface 1 and reports this problem. I think you might agree with me that this is a good thing. But everything works fine and there are situations where such a setup is desired and this problem generates allot of messages. These messages are going to hide some of the important other messages because of the amount of them so you realy want to get rid of them.


There are four solutions to this problem: ignore the error, strip the error message from the source, rewire or set the kernel state. The first option realy isn't a good one for the above reason. I've read somewhere that this error reporting is just 4 lines of code in some c file (forgot which one) and you can remove those lines without problems from the source. I'm not so fond of this sollution. If you connect one NIC with subnet A to a switch with only subnet A attached to it and the other NIC with subnet B to a switch with only subnet B attached to it your problem will be solved. So now I have mentioned all the solutions of which you imediatly had to sigh and here is IMHO the propper one: There is a kernel state for this: root@host:/#sysctl -a | grep -i arp 1 You can change this one for as long as your machine runs (when you reboot your change will be lost) with the following command: root@host:/#sysctl -w Just test your machine for a while and if this solves the problem then you can set this options permanently: Create the file '/etc/sysctl.conf' if it doesn't exists (it isn't there by default) and put the following line in it: Reboot to check if it works (not necesary but a good test)

Click here to go back to the index.