On 09/26/2017 10:35, O. Hartmann wrote:
> Hello,
> trying to build a FreeBSD based router/PBX (Asterisk 13) appliance, I ran into
> several problems. My questions might have a "noobish" character, so my 
> apology,
> my experiences with IPFW are not as thorough as they should be.
> Before I'll got into medias res, aquestion about Pine64/AARCH64:
> - port net/asterisk13 is supposed to build only on armv6, is aarch64 about
>   coming soon also supported? 

I'm maintaining the asterisk ports. At present I don't have any ARM64
hardware to test it on, but I plan to create an ARM64 jail in poudriere
so I can try to make it at least build there.

In such a case would you be willing to test port changes on the hardware
to actually check it runs?

> - would a Pine64 running CURRENT (12) be sufficient as a PBX platform (assumed
>   having 2 GB of RAM)?

That very much depends on the kind of load you are expecting.

Asterisk can process a lot of calls. Especially  if it can avoid being
in the media path.

On the other hand if you plan doing a lot of audio transcoding or some
video transcoding, load can get up quite fast. Compressed codecs like
the "simple" G729 will make your load grow relatively fast even with
audio transcoding. Transcoding also lowers call quality so it should
anyway be avoided as much as possible.

Also load can go up if you're doing many disk operations. Monitoring and
saving audio for a bunch of calls can be quite heavy on disk resources
AND could require additional transcoding.

> My main concern is about IPFW (we do not use PF for some reasons, I have to
> stay with IPFW).
> I'm a customer of two ITSPs and my SoHo network is behind NAT and not yet 
> IPv6.
> The FreeBSD system acting as a router is supposed to have a jail soon
> containing the Asterisk 13 IP PBX (at the moment running on the main system).
> To provide access to the VoIP infrastructure inside/behind the router/NAT
> system, the in-kernel NAT facility of FreeBSD is forwarding the relevant
> UPD/TCP ports for VoIP to its destination network, and here I have a problem 
> to
> solve.
> While it is sumple and easy to forward 5060/udp, 5070/tcp and other ports, it
> is a mess and pain in the arse to forward a whole range, say 11000/udp -
> 35000/udp, which is a range one of my providers is sending RTP on. A second
> provider uses another range for RTP, starting at 5000/udp. So, the logical
> consequence would be a union set up UDP range to forward, which exapnds then
> form 5000/udp to 45000/udp - which is much more a pain ...

The asterisk project has some suggestions on this here [1]

RTP with NAT+FW is a pain. I'm not aware of any IPFW tools able to
actively inspect SIP packets (which could also be encrypted if using
SIPS, so there would be no clean way to inspect them).

Depending on your phone providers you could use a stun and/or turn
server by enabling the ICE protocol [2], which are all technologies
supported by asterisk, but require support from your provider. Another
option is symmetric RTP, which is a trick by creating symmetric port
numbers connections which sometimes can trick firewalls properly configured.

You setup also forces you to keep asterisk in the media path
(direct_media=no in peer configuration)

Unluckily none of these technologies is 100% bulletproof.

RTP is not made to play well with NAT, so the professional solution is
to spare an IP and redirect almost all ports to the SIP/RTP box. Also
it's much better to do this with static rules, to avoid load problems on
the FW (see later).

You can sidestep the whole issue by running a proxy on your firewall
machine, if you have control of it. There are a few in the ports tree.

Take a look at:

net/kamailio - It is really a SIP proxy, but can parse SIP/SDP packets
and modify their content on the fly, allowing you to play neat tricks.
Requires some knowledge of the protocol and work though. (maybe you can
get him to punch holes in the firewall, but I have not checked if it's

net/rtpproxy: this is more specific and maybe your best bet. Beware of
the load of proxying RTP in userland though.

> One of the most disturbing and well known problems is that due to the stateful
> firewall the RTP session very often is half duplex - it seems one direction

Depending on how many simultaneous SIP calls you plan to manage keep an
eye on your firewall too. each call will create at least 3 states, one
for SIP and one for each leg of the RTP stream, so it can pile up quite

> of the RTP connection doesn't make it through IPFW/NAT. As often I search the
> net, I always get informed this is a typical problem and solutions are
> provided by so called ALGs - since SIP protocol's SDP indicates within the

This would require coding it in IPFW, and the load on the firewall could
be significant.

It could be done in userland maybe, leveraging divert(4) and having a
daemon listening there and doing the extra work, but this would be quite
expensive. Depending on your call volume the load could be too much for
your firewall.

> payload of the packets on which UDP ports both ends wish to establish their
> RTP session, it would be "easy" to pinhole the IPFW on exactly those ports for
> a theoretical large number of sessions, if IPFW could "divert" those packets
> to an instance inspecting SDP (or whatever is used for the RTP port
> indication, I'm new to that, sorry for the terminology) and then pinholing the
> NAT/IPFW for exactly this purpose without the forwarding mess. I came along
> netgraph() while searching for hints and hooks, but it seems a complete Linux
> domain, when it somes to appliances like VoIP/IP PBX.
> Either, the problem is that trivial on FreeBSD, so no further mentioning is
> necessary (which would explain the vast emptyness of explanations, hints and
> so on) or FreeBSD is a complete wasteland on this subject - which I also
> suspect, since pfSense and OPNsense must have come along with such problems
> and I simply do not know or recognise the software used for those purposes.

I'm not aware of any silver bullets in those products for this.

> So, if someone enlightened in this matter stumbles over my question and could
> delegate me onto the right way (ports, ng_XXX netgraph ficilities to look at,
> some ipfw techniques relevant to the problem apart from the stupid simple
> forwarding large ranges of ports) - I'd appreciate this and

Maybe you could also get fancy with netflow, and that could have a lower
load but you'd have to create the IP parsing code yourself.

Keep in mind that SIP, being used only for signaling, has a relatively
low cost on being manipulated(obviously it depends on the load of calls
being managed but it gets hundreds of calls starting and stopping every
few seconds to create an heavy SIP traffic).

RTP on the other hand consists on a continuous UDP packet flow, and in
VoIP it means two for each call, which count directly on the PPS
(Packets per second) load of you networking equipment, performing
manipulation on those imposes a constant, heavy per connection load on
the machines performing it, so you should try to use static FW rules and
perform no further processing on it unless you have very low call
volume(let's say that more that 10 through firewall performing extra
manipulation on RTP streams is starting to be non trivial) or
appropriate hardware.

Hope this all helps.



Guido Falsi <madpi...@freebsd.org>
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