IPsec, MTU & NAT

Dear lazyweb, I encounter MTU problems with an IPsec setup and NAT.

Here is a simplified version of my setup:

remote host < --- internet ---> (eth0) gateway (eth1) < --- LAN

As you may have guess, the gateway has only one public IP address and thus the hosts on the LAN are connected to the internet through NAT.

The connection between the remote host and the gateway is secured using IPsec (kame tools), and this works as expected as long, as the connection is done between the remote host and the gateway. The problems arise when I try to make a connection between the remote host and one host from the LAN. Due to the use of IPsec, the MTU is reduced by 44 bytes, however “ICMP need to frag” packets are not emitted by the gateway, so the connection just hangs.

I have tried various solution from the web (setting MTU on the various interfaces, clamping MSS with iptables, defining advmss with ip route, etc.), and the only one which actually works is reducing the MTU on the LAN hosts. Not very useable given that they are a lot of hosts on the LAN.

Note that when IPsec is disabled, if I lower the MTU of eth0, the “ICMP need to frag” packets are correctly emitted, and the connection just works.

Suggestions?

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