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Mac OS X introduced a new keyword “dummynet-anchor” in pf.conf file, which not used in FreeBSD and OpenBSD. The ipfw was removed in Mac OS X 10.10, How to use “dummynet-anchor”?

UPDATE: What portion of ruleset will execute by "dummynet-anchor"?

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  • Have you looked at this site/page? – Giacomo1968 Feb 1 '15 at 9:11
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    @JakeGould Thanks, I looked that page nothing about use dummynet with pf in osx 10.10 – Yaocl Feb 1 '15 at 9:42
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Here is what I have found out so far about that topic:

You setup your dummynet configuration using the command line tool dnctl for details. Check out man dnctl. This tool allows you to configure pipes and queues. Every pipe/queue has a numeric name, as well as a set of properties (e.g. a bandwidth, a delay, a packet drop rate, etc.)

Example from the man page:

dnctl pipe 1 config bw 14Kbit/s queue 10Kbytes

This creates a pipe named 1 with a maximum bandwidth of 14 kbps and a backlog buffer of 10 KB (or maybe 10 KiB, the page is not clear about that).

Now you only need a way to tell the system what network packets must go through that pipe and this is done using pf:

dummynet in all pipe 1

This will redirect all incoming traffic to the pipe named 1.

Even though nowhere documented, the -s option of pfctl also knows a dummynet parameter. E.g. to see the dummynet entries that the Network Link Conditioner (ncl) from Apple's Dev Tools is setting, just run:

sudo pfctl -a com.apple.nlc/base -s dummynet

Here's a sample output:

no dummynet quick on lo0 all
dummynet in quick inet all allow-opts pipe 40269
dummynet in quick inet6 all allow-opts pipe 40269
dummynet out quick inet all allow-opts pipe 40270
dummynet out quick inet6 all allow-opts pipe 40270

Now let's look up what pipes it has configured:

40269:   1.000 Mbit/s  500 ms   50 sl.plr 0.100000 1 queues (1 buckets) droptail
    mask: 0x00 0x00000000/0x0000 -> 0x00000000/0x0000
40270:   1.000 Mbit/s  500 ms   50 sl.plr 0.100000 1 queues (1 buckets) droptail
    mask: 0x00 0x00000000/0x0000 -> 0x00000000/0x0000

This matches exactly what I've configured: enter image description here Okay, what is a dummynet-anchor? Well, I think it's just an anchor but one for dummynet rules, similar like there are nat-anchors for NAT (Network Address Translation) rules. Running:

sudo pfctl -sa

I get this output:

TRANSLATION RULES:
nat-anchor "com.apple/*" all
rdr-anchor "com.apple/*" all

FILTER RULES:
scrub-anchor "com.apple/*" all fragment reassemble
anchor "com.apple/*" all

DUMMYNET RULES:
dummynet-anchor "com.apple/*" all

So you see there are different kind of anchors belonging to different rule sections. From where these rules are actually loaded is still a mystery for me. There is a directory /etc/pf.anchors on macOS but this one only contains a single file com.apple and this file only refers to more anchors:

#
# AirDrop anchor point.
#
anchor "200.AirDrop/*"

#
# Application Firewall anchor point.
#
anchor "250.ApplicationFirewall/*"

A search for 250.ApplicationFirewall doesn't find any files or folders with that name on my system.

So I'm sorry, this is not really an answer to your question, I really don't know the answer either. Yet this question is over 3 years old and nobody has answered it at all, so I thought I share my findings here and maybe someone can pick up on it and gain some new insights that way.

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  • anchor can be added by application, so it may not in any config file. – Yaocl May 6 '18 at 3:09

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