Per my other question on monitoring network throughput, I now have a series of graphs, some of which are distinctly non-obvious as to what they are.

Is there documentation on what every interface on a Time Capsule (in this case, current generation, 1TB Wireless N Base Station), pollable via SNMP are?

Here is the list that is available:


gec0 and vlan1 are the most important for monitoring overall traffic flow.

gec0 corresponds to the local traffic (behind the firewall) and vlan1 represents external traffic upstream to the internet. I haven't seen anything that makes sense what gec0 but on larger cisco switches they were internal routing queues where packets went to get headers constructed and routed across Vlans in the switching fabric. Perhaps it's the same on airport hardware.

athX are wireless vlans wlanX are wired vlans

Apple used to publish MIBs for SNMP back when the first Airport Extremes were around but I don't know of anything better than using a generic MIB for the more recent hardware.

There used to be more information on these ports up at http://www.uname.nl/closer-look-airport-extreme/ but I can't find it anywhere (since archive.org respected it's robots.txt directive) - the best is a dated summary from http://gigo.com/archives/blog/monitoring-apples-80211n-airpo.html

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The wlan[0..3] ones are the wired Ethernet ports. ath0 and ath1 are the wireless (2x antennas, this is an N model, isn't it?)

vlan1 is a virtual LAN. Lots of documentation around about those, just google it.

Not sure about gec0 and rxq0. One of those is the WAN port. The other.. dunno.

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  • I don't understand the applicability of a vlan interface in this case... but I'll take a gander. Yes, it is a dual-antenna wireless-N model. – Jason Salaz Feb 6 '11 at 4:38
  • Yeah, it doesn't make sense, particularly, unless Apple intends on building in the ability to change that. It also could be that whatever OS is running on these devices requires interfaces to be part of a vlan to do routing properly. shrug – Harv Feb 6 '11 at 5:03
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    "Just google it" is not an accepted answer on the stack exchange network. The whole point is to have concise documentation on the question to the point it's relevant. – Jason Salaz Feb 15 '11 at 1:54
  • You asked what the interfaces were, not how virtual LANs work. Virtual LANs are just that. You can create collision domains without using a physical device, simply by setting it up to "group" certain ports together, into the same virtual LAN segment. Typically, as in a physical network, vlans can't talk to each other, just like LAN segments can't talk to each other when divided by a router. Typically. – Harv Feb 16 '11 at 0:44
  • You're right, I falsely attributed "Just Google It" to the entirety of the message, instead of just the VLAN interface, I'm sorry. – Jason Salaz Feb 28 '11 at 3:46

I too was looking for a more definitive answer as to the port names and there real functions. I found this like that explained them in better detail:


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  • John, welcome to the Stack Exchange network. Please note that answers that are nothing more than a link are generally not accepted. Sites disappear, domains get squatted/or simply expire, page urls change. Citing your sources is important, but you should also populate your answer with any/all relevant details as well, to serve as an archive should the link stop working. – Jason Salaz Sep 13 '11 at 17:24
  • Additionally, please do not leave "signatures" in your answers. (e.g. "Cheers, John"). Answers are generally user-independent, as they can be edited by anyone. – Jason Salaz Sep 13 '11 at 17:46

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