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Date:      Tue, 26 Sep 2017 14:35:03 +0200
From:      "O. Hartmann" <>
To:        freebsd-current <>,
Subject:   FreeBSD, IPFW and the SIP/VoIP NAT problem
Message-ID:  <>

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trying to build a FreeBSD based router/PBX (Asterisk 13) appliance, I ran into
several problems. My questions might have a "noobish" character, so my apology,
my experiences with IPFW are not as thorough as they should be.

Before I'll got into medias res, aquestion about Pine64/AARCH64:

- port net/asterisk13 is supposed to build only on armv6, is aarch64 about
  coming soon also supported? 
- would a Pine64 running CURRENT (12) be sufficient as a PBX platform (assumed
  having 2 GB of RAM)?

My main concern is about IPFW (we do not use PF for some reasons, I have to
stay with IPFW).

I'm a customer of two ITSPs and my SoHo network is behind NAT and not yet IPv6.
The FreeBSD system acting as a router is supposed to have a jail soon
containing the Asterisk 13 IP PBX (at the moment running on the main system).
To provide access to the VoIP infrastructure inside/behind the router/NAT
system, the in-kernel NAT facility of FreeBSD is forwarding the relevant
UPD/TCP ports for VoIP to its destination network, and here I have a problem to

While it is sumple and easy to forward 5060/udp, 5070/tcp and other ports, it
is a mess and pain in the arse to forward a whole range, say 11000/udp -
35000/udp, which is a range one of my providers is sending RTP on. A second
provider uses another range for RTP, starting at 5000/udp. So, the logical
consequence would be a union set up UDP range to forward, which exapnds then
form 5000/udp to 45000/udp - which is much more a pain ...

One of the most disturbing and well known problems is that due to the stateful
firewall the RTP session very often is half duplex - it seems one direction
of the RTP connection doesn't make it through IPFW/NAT. As often I search the
net, I always get informed this is a typical problem and solutions are
provided by so called ALGs - since SIP protocol's SDP indicates within the
payload of the packets on which UDP ports both ends wish to establish their
RTP session, it would be "easy" to pinhole the IPFW on exactly those ports for
a theoretical large number of sessions, if IPFW could "divert" those packets
to an instance inspecting SDP (or whatever is used for the RTP port
indication, I'm new to that, sorry for the terminology) and then pinholing the
NAT/IPFW for exactly this purpose without the forwarding mess. I came along
netgraph() while searching for hints and hooks, but it seems a complete Linux
domain, when it somes to appliances like VoIP/IP PBX.

Either, the problem is that trivial on FreeBSD, so no further mentioning is
necessary (which would explain the vast emptyness of explanations, hints and
so on) or FreeBSD is a complete wasteland on this subject - which I also
suspect, since pfSense and OPNsense must have come along with such problems
and I simply do not know or recognise the software used for those purposes.

So, if someone enlightened in this matter stumbles over my question and could
delegate me onto the right way (ports, ng_XXX netgraph ficilities to look at,
some ipfw techniques relevant to the problem apart from the stupid simple
forwarding large ranges of ports) - I'd appreciate this and

thanks in advance for patience and help,


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