Implementing VLANs in FreeBSD

Jul 19, 2023 • FreeBSDSoftware

If you are looking to effectively manage your network resources in a FreeBSD environment, implementing VLANs (Virtutal Local Area Network) might be a good solution. In this comprehensive guide, we will take a deep dive into how VLANs work and lead you through the process of implementing VLANs on FreeBSD.

Before we start with the configuration guidelines, we suggest you to have a good understanding of FreeBSD Network Configuration and Troubleshooting fundamentals.

Understanding VLANs

A VLAN is a method of creating independent networks within a network. VLANs allow for greater efficiency and security by separating segments of a network. This isolation can be based on function, team, or project, facilitating easier administration and troubleshooting.


  1. A FreeBSD system – You can follow our guide on how to choose the best FreeBSD server for your needs.
  2. An Ethernet adapter that supports VLANs – Most of the modern network cards support VLANs.

Configuring a VLAN Interface

The first step in setting up a VLAN in FreeBSD is to configure a VLAN interface. This can be achieved using the ifconfig command with the vlan and vlandev options. You can learn more about these commands in our article about FreeBSD system configuration.

ifconfig vlan0 create
ifconfig vlan0 vlan 10 vlandev em0
ifconfig vlan0 inet netmask

In the above example, vlan0 is the VLAN network interface that we have created, 10 is the VLAN ID, and em0 is the physical network interface that will be assigned to the VLAN.

Persisting Configuration Across Reboots

To ensure that the VLAN settings persist across system reboots, you need to make the necessary changes in the /etc/rc.conf file.

ifconfig_vlan0="inet netmask"

Here, vlans_em0="10" tells FreeBSD that we want to create a VLAN with ID 10 on the em0 device. For more advanced configurations, refer to our disk management and file systems article.

Securing Your VLAN

It’s crucial to secure your VLAN from malicious attacks. You can take a look at our article about best practices for system hardening and security in FreeBSD, which gives a comprehensive understanding of securing your FreeBSD environment.

Verifying Your Configuration

It’s important to verify the configuration of your VLAN. You can use the ifconfig -a command to list all the network interfaces along with their configurations. For troubleshooting, refer to our page about common FreeBSD errors and solutions.


With this, you now have a functioning VLAN on your FreeBSD server! VLANs are a key component in making networks more manageable, secure, and efficient. Visit our FreeBSD ports page to see the variety of applications you can use to enhance your FreeBSD experience. Always continue learning and improving, and refer to our blog for more FreeBSD tutorials and documentation. Happy Networking with FreeBSD!

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