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Re: clients can't use services, ok after a minute

Dusan Smolnikar wrote:
I have freshly installed debian sarge to act as router/server.
I am using this iptables script http://tnt.aufbix.org/linux/firewall/
Everything works ok, except that my client machines from time to time  get
disconnected from the network (can ping the server but cannot access internet or any services on the server) Also I cannot ping the clients from the server. And
after some time (about a minute) everything returns to normal.

Similar problem occurs right after connecting a client to the network. I can
ping the serevr but nothing else works. traceroute shows this:

traceroute to (, 64 hops max, 40 byte packets
1  root (  1.438 ms  0.621 ms  0.445 ms
2  root (  0.486 ms !N  0.481 ms !N  0.478 ms !N
a funny thing is, when I try to access the server via
I get a password prompt saying: enter username and password for "viking" at
apache is not currently running. when things get back to normal after a minute I get an ordinary "server not found". routing also works, traceroute is normal

the same firewall script has worked on a previous sarge installation with no

any ideas where to start looking? /var/log/messages and /var/log/ syslog show
nothing related to this problem

It seems like you have another machine on the same network with the same IP of the router/server (
I had a somewhat similar problem due to a misconfiguration of a dhcp server.
The problem arises quite randomly and it depends on the refreshing of the ARP table on the clients. So, when the the client put the "wrong" MAC address in his ARP table, he can ping the server (actually he is pinging a *differet* machine), but the server can't ping the client, because the echo-reply is sent back to the wrong machine. Check the ARP table on a client machine when everything is working fine and again soon after the problem arises. You should see different MAC addresses for the same IP.

...btw, just guessing.

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