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man pages section 1M: System Administration Commands

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Updated: July 2017



pppoed - PPPoE server daemon


ppoed [options]


The pppoed daemon implements the server-side negotiation of PPPoE. When a client requests service from this daemon, a copy of pppd(1M) is invoked to handle the actual PPP communication.

At startup, options are read from the command line and the /etc/ppp/pppoe file. After these options have been read, options in the per-device /etc/ppp/pppoe.device files are read, using the device names specified on the command line or in /etc/ppp/pppoe. Device names are not permitted in the per-device files. It is not an error if any of these files are absent; missing files are ignored.

Options are reread in the same order on SIGHUP. Except for the possibility of short delays due to the processing time, SIGHUP does not interfere with any client operations. Current status, including options read, is dumped to /tmp/pppoed. pid on SIGINT.

The options are used to set up a list of services to be offered to PPPoE clients on the broadcast domains (Ethernet subnets) specified by the named devices. Option parsing is always in one of two modes, either global mode or service mode. The initial mode at the beginning of each file (and the command line) is global mode. Options specified in global mode serve as default values for subsequently defined services. Service mode is entered by the service name option. In this mode, the named option is defined. Options that appear in this mode override any global mode definitions for the current service.

The option parsing follows standard shell tokenizing rules, using whitespace to delimit tokens, quotes to enclose strings that can contain whitespace, and escape sequences for special characters. Environment variables are substituted using familiar $VAR and ${VAR} syntax and set using NEWVAR=string. Variables are both usable in subsequent options and provided to the pppd(1M) processes spawned for each client, but they are interpreted as they are encountered during option processing. Thus, all set variables are seen by all processes spawned; position in the configuration files has no effect on this.


The pppoed daemon supports the following options:

client [except] client-list

This option restricts the clients that may receive the service. If the except keyword is given, then the clients on the list cannot access the service, but others can. If this keyword is not given, then only the listed clients can access the service.

This option can be specified more than once for a given service. For a given client, first match among all listed options encountered specifies the handling. If it matches an option with except specified, then access is denied. Otherwise, it is granted. The client list within a service is prepended to any list specified in the global context.

If no client options are given or if all options are specified with except, then all clients are permitted by default. If any client options without except are specified, then no clients are permitted by default.

The client-list is a comma-separated list of client identifiers. The match is made if any client on the list matches; thus, these are logically "ORed" together. Each client identifier can be either a symbolic name (resolved through /etc/ethers or NIS, as defined by /etc/nsswitch.conf) or a hexadecimal Ethernet address in the format x:x:x:x:x:x. In the latter case, any byte of the address can be “*", which matches any value in that position. For example, 40:0:1a:*:*:* matches Ethernet adapters from the manufacturer assigned block 40:0:1a.


Increase debug logging detail level by one. The detail levels are 0 (no logging), 1 (errors only; the default), 2 (warnings), 3 (informational messages), and 4 (debug messages). Log messages are written by default to syslog(3C) using facility daemon (see the log option below). When specified on the command line or in the global context of the /etc/ppp/pppoe file, this option also sets the daemon's default (non-service-related) detail level.

device device-list

Specify the devices on which the service is available. The device-list is a comma-separated list of logical device names (without the leading /dev/), such as hme0. This option is ignored if encountered in the per-device /etc/ppp/pppoe.device files.

extra string

Specifies extra options to pppd(1M). It defaults to "plugin pppoe.so directtty" and usually does not need to be overridden.

file path

Suspends parsing of the current file, returns to global mode, and reads options from path. This file must be present and readable; if it is not, an error is logged. When the end of that file is reached, processing returns to the current file and the mode is reset to global again.

The global mode options specified in files read by this command use the options set in the current file's global mode; this condition extends to any file included by those files. All files read are parsed as though the command line had specified this option, and thus inherit the command line's global modes.

This option can be used to revert to global mode at any point in an option file by specifying file /dev/null.

group name

Specifies the group ID (symbolic or numeric) under which pppd is executed. If pppoed is not run as root, this option is ignored.

log path

Specifies an alternate debug logging file. Debug messages are sent to this file instead of syslog. The special name syslog is recognized to switch logging back to syslog. When specified on the command line or in the global context of the /etc/ppp/pppoe file, this option also sets the daemon's default (non-service-related) log file.


Set debug logging detail level to 0 (no logging). When specified on the command line or in the global context of the /etc/ppp/pppoe file, this option also sets the daemon's default (non-service-related) detail level.


Specifies that the current service should not be included in response to clients requesting "any" service. The client must ask for this service by name. When specified on the command line or in the global context of the /etc/ppp/pppoe file, this option causes pppoed to ignore all wildcard service requests.

path path

Specifies the path to the pppd executable. Defaults to /usr/bin/pppd.

pppd string

Passes command-line arguments to pppd. It can be used to set the IP addresses or configure security for the session. The default value is the empty string.

server string

Specifies the PPPoE Access Concentrator name to be sent to the client. It defaults to "Solaris PPPoE".

service name

Closes any service being defined and begins definition of a new service. The same service name can be used without conflict on multiple devices. If the same service name is used on a single device, then the last definition encountered during parsing overrides all previous definitions.

user name

Specifies the user ID, symbolic or numeric, under which pppd is executed. If pppoed is not run as root, this option is ignored.


Specifies that the service should be included in responses to client queries that request "any" service, which is done by requesting a service name of length zero. When specified on the command line or in the global context of the /etc/ppp/pppoe file, this option causes pppoed to ignore all wildcard service requests. This is the default.


Example 1 Configuring for Particular Services

In the /etc/ppp/pppoe file:

service internet
    device $DEV
    pppd "proxyarp"
service debugging
    device hme0,$DEV
    pppd "debug proxyarp"

You then invoke the daemon with:

example% /usr/lib/inet/pppoed DEV=eri0

The lines in /etc/ppp/pppoe and the preceding command result in offering services "internet" and "debugging" (and responding to wildcard queries) on interface eri0, and offering only service "debugging" on interface hme0.


The pppoed daemon responds to the following signals:


Causes pppoed to reparse the original command line and all configuration files, and close and reopen any log files.


Causes a snapshot of the state of the pppoed daemon to be written to /tmp/pppoed.pid (where pid is the decimal process ID of the daemon).



executable command


Solaris PPP tunneling device driver


main configuration option file


per–device configuration option file


location of output from pppd's stderr


list of Ethernet interfaces to be plumbed at boot time


ASCII text file containing dumped pppoed state information


See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:


See Also

pppd(1M), pppoec(1M), sppptun(1M), sppptun(7M)

Mamakos, L., et al. RFC 2516, A Method for Transmitting PPP Over Ethernet (PPPoE). Network Working Group. February 1999


Because pppd is installed setuid root, this daemon need not be run as root. However, if it is not run as root, the user and group options are ignored.

The Ethernet interfaces to be used must be plumbed for PPPoE using the sppptun(1M) utility before services can be offered.

The daemon operate runs even if there are no services to offer. If you want to modify a configuration, it is not necessary to terminate the daemon. Simply use pkill –HUP pppoed after updating the configuration files.

The PPPoE protocol is far from perfect. Because it runs directly over Ethernet, there is no possibility of security and the MTU is limited to 1492 (violating RFC 1661's default value of 1500). It is also not possible to run the client and the server of a given session on a single machine with a single Ethernet interface for testing purposes. The client and server portions of a single session must be run on separate Ethernet interfaces with different MAC addresses.