FreeBSD vnet jails with jng

Posted on 2022-02-10

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đź’¬ Introduction

FreeBSD 13.0-RELEASE has a script in /usr/share/examples/jails/jng that can be used to quickly create/destroy vnet interfaces for jails using netgraph(4). It's a simple bridging setup where the jails appear as just another server on the network which is perfect for private networks.

jng netgraph topology for a simple jail
jng netgraph topology for a simple jail

All the tools needed to create jails like this are in the base system.

âś“ Preparations

With this setup assigning IP addresses to the jails needs to happen inside of them. I prefer to use DHCP for it which requires some initial setup. We to unhide bpf(4) by first setting a devfs ruleset in /etc/devfs.rules and later assigning it to the jails in /etc/jail.conf:

add include $devfsrules_jail_vnet
add path 'bpf*' unhide

Reload the rules:

$ service devfs restart

Load ng_ether(4):

$ sysrc kld_list+=ng_ether
$ service kld restart

Prepare /etc/jail.conf with some common variables for our vnet jails. em0 is the name of the external interface the jail interfaces are bridged to.

$jng = "sh /usr/share/examples/jails/jng";
$extif = "em0";
path = "/usr/jails/${name}";

host.hostname = "${name}";
vnet.interface = "ng0_${name}";
vnet = new;

exec.consolelog = "/var/log/jail_${name}_console.log";
exec.prestart = "$jng bridge $name $extif";
exec.start = "/bin/sh /etc/rc";
exec.stop = "/bin/sh /etc/rc.shutdown jail";
exec.release = "$jng shutdown $name";

devfs_ruleset = 11;

Run jails on system startup:

$ service jail enable

⚠ If your FreeBSD host is running inside Hyper-V and if your jails need to reach the external network you might need to enable »Settings→Network Adapter→Advanced Features→Enable MAC address spoofing«.

🧪 Setting up jails

Create ZFS dataset for the jail:

$ zfs create zpool/usr/jails/vnetjail

Install FreeBSD inside the jail:

$ bsdinstall jail /usr/jails/vnetjail

Apply errata and security fixes to the jail:

$ freebsd-update -b /usr/jails/vnetjail fetch install

Enable DHCP in the jail. Normally devd(8) would start dhclient(8) asynchronously for interfaces marked with »DHCP«. However devd is not running inside jails (marked as nojail in /etc/rc.d/devd), so we need to enable either synchronous_dhclient=YES or mark the interface »SYNCDHCP« to get it to start as part of the normal jail boot.

$ sysrc -f /usr/jails/vnetjail/etc/rc.conf ifconfig_ng0_vnetjail=SYNCDHCP

Set it up in /etc/jail.conf:

$ echo 'vnetjail {}' >>/etc/jail.conf

Start it immediately:

$ service jail start vnetjail

This document is also available on Gemini: gemini://