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KVM bridged to the LAN with DHCP

The goal here is to instantiate VMs with a br0 interface grabbing an IP from the LAN DHCP, so in turn the VM can instantiate LXD containers whose IP is also exposed to the LAN. That way everything is visible on the same network segment and this makes some experimentation easier.

Host configuration

Some info taken from this URL.

The metal host is running Ubuntu 18.04, which uses netplan. Here’s the netplan.yaml file:

network:
    ethernets:
        enp7s0:
            addresses: []
            dhcp4: no
            dhcp6: no
            optional: true
    bridges:
        br0:
            dhcp4: true
            dhcp6: no
            interfaces:
                - enp7s0
            parameters:
                stp: false
                forward-delay: 0
    version: 2

With this, on boot the system grabs an address from the network’s DHCP service (from my home router) and puts it on the br0 interface (which bridges enp7s0, a Gigabit Ethernet port).

The system also has avahi-daemon installed so I can ssh the-server.local easily.

VM configuration

Next, the VM which I created using uvt-kvm:

# Get a Xenial cloud image
uvt-simplestreams-libvirt --verbose sync release=xenial arch=amd64
# Create/launch a VM
PARAMS='--memory 8192 --disk 32 --cpu 4'
uvt-kvm create the-vm  $PARAMS --bridge br0 --packages avahi-daemon,bridge-utils,haveged --run-script-once setup_network.sh

The setup_network.sh script takes care of setting up the network 🙂 This can more cleanly be done with cloud-init but I’m lazy and wanted something fast.

The script deletes the cloudconfig-created .cfg file, tells cloud-init to NOT reconfigure the network, and drops the config file I actually need in place.

#!/bin/bash

echo "Acquire::http::Proxy \"http://192.168.1.187:3128\"; " >/etc/apt/apt.conf.d/80proxy

# Drop the cloudinit-configured interface
ifdown ens3

# Reconfigure the network...
cat </etc/network/interfaces.d/1-bridge.cfg
auto lo br0

iface lo inet loopback

iface ens3 inet manual

iface br0 inet dhcp
    bridge_ports ens3
    bridge_stp off       # disable Spanning Tree Protocol
    bridge_waitport 0    # no delay before a port becomes available
    bridge_fd 0          # no forwarding delay
EOF

echo "network: {config: disabled}" > /etc/cloud/cloud.cfg.d/99-disable-network-config.cfg
rm /etc/network/interfaces.d/50-cloud-init.cfg

# Then bring up the new nice bridge
ifup br0

apt-get remove -y snapd && apt-get -y autoremove

 

The network config in /etc/network/interfaces.d/1-bridge.cfg should look like:

auto lo br0

iface lo inet loopback

iface ens3 inet manual

iface br0 inet dhcp
    bridge_ports ens3
    bridge_stp off       # disable Spanning Tree Protocol
    bridge_waitport 0    # no delay before a port becomes available
    bridge_fd 0          # no forwarding delay

LXD configuration

Finally,  install lxd. When asked to configure the lxd bridge, respond “no”, and on the next question you’ll be asked whether to supply an existing bridge. Respond “yes” and specify “br0”.

Now, when an lxd container is instantiated, it’ll by default appear on the same network (the home network!) as the VM and the main host, getting its DHCP from the home router.

When things break

Suddenly the bridge interface stopped working. I checked this to help diagnose it. But that wasn’t it. Turns out, I’d installed Docker on the main host and Docker messes with the firewall configuration by setting iptables -P FORWARD DROP. I just set it back to ACCEPT to get it working.

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