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I wanted to create in my Ubuntu 16.04 a bond connection on two wifi interfaces ideally just from command line (or script that will start it when needed rather than using the permanent conenction).

I installed bonding packages and tried this:

sudo modprobe bonding mode=3 miimon=100 (broadcast to two adapters at once)

sudo ifconfig bond0 192.168.2.10 broadcast 192.168.2.255 netmask 255.255.255.0
sudo ifconfig bond0 up

sudo ifenslave bond0 wlp1s0 wlx00c0ca955ecd (my two wifi interfaces that are up and running ok otherwise)

Command watch cat /proc/net/bonding/bond0 shows that the bond connection is up but it does not work properly for some reason.

I thought that perhaps adding the route would help but it does not:

/sbin/route -n
sudo ip route add default via 192.168.2.1 dev bond0

Otherwise, wlp1s0 and wlx00c0ca955ecd are two wireless adapters connected to 2MB/s and 8MB/s conenctions (DHCP). By the way, wlp1s0 and wlx00c0ca955ecd work fine by themselves. But when I try to enslave them, the bonding connection does not seem to work at all for some reason.

Now, I have the default Ubuntu 16.04 GUI network manager running. I wonder if this may be interfering but I wanted to keep it as it makes life easier for laptop users/connecting to various wifi etc.

The GUI allows also graphical way of setting up bonding but it does not allow to choose wifi adapters. It only allows vlan which creates aliases wlp1s0.0 and wlx00c0ca955e.0 to specific wifi adapters and specific networks. However, this does not work either ...

Any idea how to approach this?

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  • Get a load balancing router. That is more easy and effective.
    – user227495
    Sep 10, 2017 at 12:23

1 Answer 1

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Connected to 8MB/s and 2MB/s connections... are the WiFi-adapters connected to two different network segments? Then it does not make sense to bond them. A bonded (teamed) channel is for increasing bandwidth and/or redundancy towards a single network segment.

Furthermore, bonding wifi is not really a good idea. WiFi uses a shared medium, which means that the two cards cannot transmit at the same time. In fact more clients may lead to reduced overall performance.

In addition the other end of the connection has to be aware of the bonding arrangement. It has to know that it has two ways to the same client, and how packets should be handled. As the AP will really only have one interface (WiFi) towards the client, I'm not sure if bonding actually makes any sense.

In short: What are you trying to do, and why do you believe bonding is the answer?

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  • The two wifi cards are connected to different networks. One is 2Mbit mostly reliable ADSL line but when others go netflix, it becomes terribly slow. The second is 8Mbit 3.5G connection via mobile phone which suffers from bandwidth going up/down. I wanted to do bonding e.g. option 3 or so which provides redundancy and/or simultaneous broadcast via two routes. My understanding was that if I broadcast via two interfaces, if packet travels quicker to destination via either of devices, it will overall make my connection feel more reliable, e.g. fewer latencies. Am I completely wrong?
    – peterkey
    Sep 10, 2017 at 11:24
  • If so, what do you recommend to achieve some redundancy to either of interfaces deteriorating connection? It kind of becomes tiresome to switch between the two x times a day but together, they could probably give reliability.
    – peterkey
    Sep 10, 2017 at 11:25
  • BTW, I've seen people putting bonding on lan + wifi so I guess it wasn't the same segment. I have no idea how good this was but ... also some posts on net use bonding on multiple wifi ... maybe these are on one segment.
    – peterkey
    Sep 10, 2017 at 11:27
  • Bonding wifi+lan may work if you have hardware (AP) that supports it. But bonding to two different networks do simply not work. What you can do is to set up a connection to both networks, and give the routes different weight. An other alternative is a gateway that can do load balancing between connections, for instance pfsense.
    – vidarlo
    Sep 10, 2017 at 11:40
  • Would the load balancing + split access be a better approach? lartc.org/howto/lartc.rpdb.multiple-links.html
    – peterkey
    Sep 10, 2017 at 12:06

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