On Cumulus Linux,  LACP Bypass is a feature that allows a bond configured in 802.3ad mode to become active and forward traffic even when there is no LACP partner. A typical use case for this feature is to enable a host, without the capability to run LACP, to PXE boot while connected to a switch on a bond configured in 802.3ad mode. Once the pre-boot process finishes and the host is capable of running LACP, the normal 802.3ad link aggregation operation takes over.


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LACP Bypass All-active Mode

When a bond has multiple slave interfaces, each bond slave interface operates as an active link while the bond is in bypass mode. This is known as all-active mode. This is useful during PXE boot of a server with multiple NICs, when the user cannot determine beforehand which port needs to be active. 

Keep in the mind the following caveats with all-active mode: 

  • All-active mode is not supported on bonds that are not specified as bridge ports on the switch.
  • Spanning tree protocol (STP) does not run on the individual bond slave interfaces when the LACP bond is in all-active mode. Therefore, only use all-active mode on host-facing LACP bonds. Cumulus Networks highly recommends you configure STP BPDU guard along with all-active mode.

The following features are not supported:

  • priority mode
  • bond-lacp-bypass-period 
  • bond-lacp-bypass-priority 
  • bond-lacp-bypass-all-active

In an MLAG deployment where bond slaves of a host are connected to two switches and the bond is in all-active mode, all the slaves of bond are active on both the primary and secondary MLAG nodes.

Configure LACP Bypass

To enable LACP bypass on the host-facing bond, set bond-lacp-bypass-allow to yes.

Example VLAN-aware Bridge Mode Configuration

The following commands create a VLAN-aware bridge with LACP bypass enabled:

cumulus@switch:~$ net add bond bond1 bond slaves swp51s2,swp51s3
cumulus@switch:~$ net add bond bond1 clag id 1
cumulus@switch:~$ net add bond bond1 bond lacp-bypass-allow
cumulus@switch:~$ net add bond bond1 stp bpduguard
cumulus@switch:~$ net add bridge bridge ports bond1,bond2,bond3,bond4,peer5
cumulus@switch:~$ net add bridge bridge vids 100-105
cumulus@switch:~$ net pending
cumulus@switch:~$ net commit

These commands create the following stanzas in /etc/network/interfaces:

auto bond1
iface bond1
    bond-lacp-bypass-allow yes
    bond-slaves swp51s2 swp51s3
    clag-id 1
    mstpctl-bpduguard yes


auto bridge
iface bridge
    bridge-ports bond1 bond2 bond3 bond4 peer5
    bridge-vids 100-105
    bridge-vlan-aware yes

You can check the status of the configuration by running net show interface <bond> on the bond and its slave interfaces:

cumulus@switch:~$ net show interface bond1

   Name   MAC               Speed   MTU   Mode
-- ------ ----------------- ------- ----- ----------
UP bond1  44:38:39:00:00:5b 1G      1500  Bond/Trunk

Bond Details
------------------ -------------------------
Bond Mode:         LACP
Load Balancing:    Layer3+4
Minimum Links:     1
In CLAG:           CLAG Active
LACP Sys Priority:
LACP Rate:         Fast Timeout
LACP Bypass:       LACP Bypass Not Supported

   Port       Speed     TX   RX   Err   Link Failures
-- --------   ------- ---- ---- ----- ---------------
UP swp51s2(P) 1G         0    0     0               0
UP swp51s3(P) 1G         0    0     0               0

All VLANs on L2 Port


Vlans in disabled State

--------   ---- ------------------
swp51s2(P) ==== swp1(spine01)
swp51s3(P) ==== swp1(spine02)

Use the cat command to verify that LACP bypass is enabled on a bond and its slave interfaces:

cumulus@switch:~$ cat /sys/class/net/bond1/bonding/lacp_bypass 
on 1
cumulus@switch:~$ cat /sys/class/net/bond1/bonding/slaves
swp51 swp52
cumulus@switch:~$ cat /sys/class/net/swp52/bonding_slave/ad_rx_bypass 
cumulus@switch:~$ cat /sys/class/net/swp51/bonding_slave/ad_rx_bypass 

The following configuration shows LACP bypass enabled for multiple active interfaces (all-active mode) with a bridge in traditional bridge mode:

auto bond1
iface bond1 
    bond-slaves swp3 swp4
    bond-lacp-bypass-allow 1

auto br0
iface br0
    bridge-ports bond1 bond2 bond3 bond4 peer5
    mstpctl-bpduguard bond1=yes