Reinis Ivanovs wrote:

I have a strange HTTP connectivity problem in my LAN. There is a
FreeBSD 7.1 system that runs the httpd, a Vista system that I use to
connect to it, and a Tomato 1.23 WRT54GL router between them. It often
occurs that I can ping the FreeBSD system just fine, but HTTP
connections get "stuck" for minutes on end. After they become
"unstuck", everything works normally for a while, and then the problem
might come back. I know the httpd is running fine during those times
because there are no delays connecting locally or from outside the
LAN. It seems I also get similar delays when I try to connect to the
router's web administration panel. There are so many variables that
I'm not sure whether the problem lies with FreeBSD or something else.
I'm hoping somebody with more networking experience could give me some
hints about where to look, because I'm seriously stuck.

This sounds suspiciously like MTU problems.  ie. one of those machines
is occasionally sending packets too big for the other side to cope with
*and* PathMTU discovery is not working.

However, I can't see why that should be an issue with two machines and a
router all directly connected via ethernet: the standard MTU of 1500 bytes
is almost certainly correct in that case.

MTU problems usually occur when you tunnel one protocol through another
(which includes such things as IPSec) or when you convert from ethernet
to some other wire protocol, such as PPP.  In any case, there should be
an automatic mechanism to enable the MTU to be adjusted dynamically --
firewalling out all ICMP traffic (which is the not the latest bit of bogus security lore but merely the most intractable and stupid) will
lead to effects like that.



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                   7 Priory Courtyard
                                                 Flat 3
PGP:     Ramsgate
                                                 Kent, CT11 9PW

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