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Date:	Wed, 13 Jan 2010 09:27:41 +0100
From:	Patrick McHardy <>
To:	Shan Wei <>
CC:	David Miller <>,,
	"" <>
Subject: Re: [RFC][PATCH] IP: Send a fragment reassembly time exceeded packet
 when enabling connection track

Shan Wei wrote:
> Patrick McHardy wrote, at 01/05/2010 01:44 PM:
>> Shan Wei wrote:
>>> Default, a host may send a fragment reassembly time exceeded packet
>>> (ICMP Time Exceeded Message with code value of 1) when defraging fragments timeout.
>>> But, when enabling connection track, a host can't send the packet.
>>> Because, the module of nf_defrag_ipv4 selected by connection track is registered 
>>> in PRE_ROUTING HOOK and assembles all accepted fragments(here, not begin to routing).
>>> After defrag timeout, the host can't send fragment reassembly time exceeded packet, 
>>> because of lack of router information.
>>> RFC 792 says:
>>>>>>>   If a host reassembling a fragmented datagram cannot complete the
>>>>>>>   reassembly due to missing fragments within its time limit it
>>>>>>>   discards the datagram, and it may send a time exceeded message.
>>>>>>>   If fragment zero is not available then no time exceeded need be
>>>>>>>   sent at all.
>>>>>>> Read more:
>>> So, the patch try to fix it with filling router information before sending fragment reassembly
>>> time exceeded packet when defrag timeout.
>> I guess the question is whether we really want to send an ICMP
>> message in this case. The above quote applies to end hosts,
> Yes, what you guess is what i want to ask. :-)
> Should end hosts which are using conntrack send a fragment reassembly time exceeded message?

Yes, they should.

>> while conntrack is also (probably more commonly) used on routers,
>> which normally shouldn't attempt reassembly.  
> There are two point:
> 1.Take security into account, end hosts also used conntrack. 
>   For example: When a host is attacked by denial of service TCP flaws, RedHat used the conntrack&recent
>   match to limit the TCP connections.
>   About details, see the phenomenon description:
>   See RedHat's solution:

I'm not sure I get the connection to this patch.

> 2.On the latest kernel, a router on which the conntrack is used, reassemble fragments and 
>   forward reassembled intact packet. This implementation is not coincide with what you said.

Yes, thats a necessity for conntrack to work, but its not what
a router usually does. But it actually does refragment the packet
if it exceeds the MTU of the outgoing interface.

>   nf_defrag_ipv4 module is registered on PRE_ROUTING hook with the highest priority. So, search router table 
>   after completing the reassembly and forward it to destination host.

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