HOWTO Setup Bonding Ethernet on Debian with a 2.6 kernel

This article was first written in October 2004 for the BeezNest technical
website (

To use Bonding Ethernet for High-Availability (failover) on Debian (Sarge or Sid with a 2.6.x kernel [1]) you need to:

  • install package ifenslave-2.6 [2]
  • make sure the real NICs kernel modules are loaded automatically
  • edit /etc/network/interfaces to look like this:
iface bond0 inet static
        up /sbin/ifenslave bond0 eth0 eth1
        down /sbin/ifenslave -d bond0 eth0 eth1
  • comment or borrow the lines referring to your real NICs in the same file
  • add the following lines to your /etc/modprobe.d/arch/i386:
alias bond0 bonding
options bonding mode=1 miimon=100 downdelay=200 updelay=200

[1] see HOWTO Setup Bonding Ethernet on Debian with a 2.4 kernel for 2.4.x kernels

[2] at least version 1.1.0-4 of the package, otherwise be careful ifenslave is in /usr/sbin, not /sbin

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