[strongSwan] active TCP connection hangs during rekeying

djr dominiquej.ragot at laposte.net
Wed Jan 14 10:13:26 CET 2015

Dear strongswan experts,

I am using stronsgwan for some time now between two Linux hosts 
(starting with version 4.4.1 on Debian, now using version 4.6.4) with 
IKEv2 and it has been working very well in all use-cases I have .... 
except one.

I have observed that if there are TCP connections with traffic during 
rekeying whatever the side that triggers it (emitter or receiver), the 
behavior is normal in tunnel mode (after rekeying traffic is resumed 
with almost no delay) but not in transport mode (traffic is stalled for 
indefinite time). More precisely the emitter TCP buffer accumulates 
frames but for some _unknown_ reason it appears there is no further 
tentative to re-emit them any further.

Is this a known behavior/limitation of transport mode ?

After having investigated in both strongswan and kernel codes I have 
suspected some XFRM issue in the kernel but I do not have a clear view 
of the sequence of xfrm routines there. I would like to trace and 
compare the sequence of actions performed in tunnel mode vs transport 
mode. How shall I proceed to make progress in this analysis ?

Kind Regards,


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