HomeLab: LB4M LAG setup and challenges.

The Quanta LB4M is a bloody bargain for what it is! However, there were a few times I almost wasted my investment and threw it through the window. It just wouldn’t do what I was trying to do!

Update: new post about the networking setup can be found here: HomeLab: Fixing issue with the proposed network configuration.

Workbench with networking devices

Yes, I did choose to stupidly overcomplicate this setup – However the issues I’ve been faced haven’t been due to any part of the complexity that could be removed.

The vyOS to pfSense link worked without a hitch. As did the vyOS to DMZ switch. However I continued to struggle with the LB4M to pfSense LAG.

I’ll admit, I went into this with no freakin idea of exactly what I was doing… However I’m sure I got it right quite a few times!

Yet, Nothing I seemed to do would correctly bring up the interfaces. At times I could get an IP from the DHCP server on the correct VLAN interface presented by  pfSense; but I couldn’t send traffic!

This was with specific allow all firewall rules for testing purposes. I’d even disabled the packet filtering completely many times – to no avail.

Now here’s the kicker… The one thing I didn’t think to do… Restart the PfSense box…

Are you freakin serious!?

The fact DHCP on the correct VLAN worked all the damn time make me curse non-stop at the LB4M as I was sure it was that! I mean, DHCP worked so some traffic was flowing… Right?

Well, I proceeded to get desperate last night and flick through all settings on the LB4M to see if I was missing something. Nothing seemed to work… So I moved onto intentionally trying to break shit to see if the link was affected… Yep, sometimes I find intentionally trying to break shit works well!


As I proceed to intentionally turning off STP on the LAG interface, pfSense becomes unresponsive… Managed to Kernel panic which in its self is a little worrying; but I might (or highly might not) look at that another day… Of if it panics again.


Switching back on STP and removing the 4 LAG ports, I restart pfSense; plug the ports back in… A few seconds later my Mac Pro shows Google’s homepage…


You… Are… Joking!!!

So what’s the lesson here…


pfSense is a troll.

If I’d restarted pfSense even once I’d probably have finished this part of the build days ago… Damn.


Unfortunately, whilst I was turning off all the hardware over night to not waste power… I inevitably would break the LB4M config just enough, then give up. That the following boot wouldn’t just make things work.


During that time I tried every possible firmware I could find. Including the routing FW; which I got to ‘work’ rather quickly.  However nothing I seemed to try would get the VLAN interfaces to a speed greater than 10 half.

Tonight I’ll be finishing the LB4M setup including LAG to the UniFi 16xg then adding and testing remaining VLANs… Good luck Brendan!

Enough for today, goodbye.

Posted by Brendan

An IT system Administrator from Australia, technology guru and Automotive enthusiast/wanna be mechanic.

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