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network fragmentation

Recently I have setup my home netowrk (with a server running sarge) to
dialin to my work server (currently running gentoo (porting to sarge when
released)). The work network in turn is connected to the net with a
NAT'ing modem.

Everything worked well until I changed the mtu and mru values of the ppp
modem connection between home and work (for better ssh/terminal response)
to 542 up / 542 down. However this caused packet segment loss (which I
observed using ethereal). Email and nntp connections were broken but http
was fine (through the debian proxy or direct). The home and work lans run
at the default packets size (1500?).

So, finally my query is: why is there packet segment loss? To my
understanding each end of the ppp conenction, seeing a 1500 packet should
cut it up into smaller 542 sized chunks and the recieving end should piece
it back together, but this is not happening. That theory is correct isn't


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