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6. Protocols

6.1 Babel

Introduction

The Babel protocol (RFC 6126) is a loop-avoiding distance-vector routing protocol that is robust and efficient both in ordinary wired networks and in wireless mesh networks. Babel is conceptually very simple in its operation and "just works" in its default configuration, though some configuration is possible and in some cases desirable.

The Babel protocol is dual stack; i.e., it can carry both IPv4 and IPv6 routes over the same IPv6 transport. For sending and receiving Babel packets, only a link-local IPv6 address is needed.

BIRD implements an extension for IPv6 source-specific routing (SSR or SADR), but must be configured accordingly to use it. SADR-enabled Babel router can interoperate with non-SADR Babel router, but the later would ignore routes with specific (non-zero) source prefix.

Configuration

The Babel protocol support both IPv4 and IPv6 channels; both can be configured simultaneously. It can also be configured with IPv6 SADR channel instead of regular IPv6 channel, in such case SADR support is enabled. Babel supports no global configuration options apart from those common to all other protocols, but supports the following per-interface configuration options:


protocol babel [<name>] {
        ipv4 { <channel config> };
        ipv6 [sadr] { <channel config> };
        interface <interface pattern> {
                type <wired|wireless>;
                rxcost <number>;
                limit <number>;
                hello interval <time>;
                update interval <time>;
                port <number>;
                tx class|dscp <number>;
                tx priority <number>;
                rx buffer <number>;
                tx length <number>;
                check link <switch>;
                next hop ipv4 <address>;
                next hop ipv6 <address>;
        };
}

ipv4 | ipv6 [sadr] channel config

The supported channels are IPv4, IPv6, and IPv6 SADR.

type wired|wireless

This option specifies the interface type: Wired or wireless. On wired interfaces a neighbor is considered unreachable after a small number of Hello packets are lost, as described by limit option. On wireless interfaces the ETX link quality estimation technique is used to compute the metrics of routes discovered over this interface. This technique will gradually degrade the metric of routes when packets are lost rather than the more binary up/down mechanism of wired type links. Default: wired.

rxcost num

This option specifies the nominal RX cost of the interface. The effective neighbor costs for route metrics will be computed from this value with a mechanism determined by the interface type. Note that in contrast to other routing protocols like RIP or OSPF, the rxcost specifies the cost of RX instead of TX, so it affects primarily neighbors' route selection and not local route selection. Default: 96 for wired interfaces, 256 for wireless.

limit num

BIRD keeps track of received Hello messages from each neighbor to establish neighbor reachability. For wired type interfaces, this option specifies how many of last 16 hellos have to be correctly received in order to neighbor is assumed to be up. The option is ignored on wireless type interfaces, where gradual cost degradation is used instead of sharp limit. Default: 12.

hello interval time s|ms

Interval at which periodic Hello messages are sent on this interface, with time units. Default: 4 seconds.

update interval time s|ms

Interval at which periodic (full) updates are sent, with time units. Default: 4 times the hello interval.

port number

This option selects an UDP port to operate on. The default is to operate on port 6696 as specified in the Babel RFC.

tx class|dscp|priority number

These options specify the ToS/DiffServ/Traffic class/Priority of the outgoing Babel packets. See tx class common option for detailed description.

rx buffer number

This option specifies the size of buffers used for packet processing. The buffer size should be bigger than maximal size of received packets. The default value is the interface MTU, and the value will be clamped to a minimum of 512 bytes + IP packet overhead.

tx length number

This option specifies the maximum length of generated Babel packets. To avoid IP fragmentation, it should not exceed the interface MTU value. The default value is the interface MTU value, and the value will be clamped to a minimum of 512 bytes + IP packet overhead.

check link switch

If set, the hardware link state (as reported by OS) is taken into consideration. When the link disappears (e.g. an ethernet cable is unplugged), neighbors are immediately considered unreachable and all routes received from them are withdrawn. It is possible that some hardware drivers or platforms do not implement this feature. Default: yes.

next hop ipv4 address

Set the next hop address advertised for IPv4 routes advertised on this interface. Default: the preferred IPv4 address of the interface.

next hop ipv6 address

Set the next hop address advertised for IPv6 routes advertised on this interface. If not set, the same link-local address that is used as the source for Babel packets will be used. In normal operation, it should not be necessary to set this option.

Attributes

Babel defines just one attribute: the internal babel metric of the route. It is exposed as the babel_metric attribute and has range from 1 to infinity (65535).

Example


protocol babel {
        interface "eth*" {
                type wired;
        };
        interface "wlan0", "wlan1" {
                type wireless;
                hello interval 1;
                rxcost 512;
        };
        interface "tap0";

        # This matches the default of babeld: redistribute all addresses
        # configured on local interfaces, plus re-distribute all routes received
        # from other babel peers.

        ipv4 {
                export where (source = RTS_DEVICE) || (source = RTS_BABEL);
        };
        ipv6 {
                export where (source = RTS_DEVICE) || (source = RTS_BABEL);
        };
}

Known issues

When retracting a route, Babel generates an unreachable route for a little while (according to RFC). The interaction of this behavior with other protocols is not well tested and strange things may happen.

6.2 BFD

Introduction

Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD) is not a routing protocol itself, it is an independent tool providing liveness and failure detection. Routing protocols like OSPF and BGP use integrated periodic "hello" messages to monitor liveness of neighbors, but detection times of these mechanisms are high (e.g. 40 seconds by default in OSPF, could be set down to several seconds). BFD offers universal, fast and low-overhead mechanism for failure detection, which could be attached to any routing protocol in an advisory role.

BFD consists of mostly independent BFD sessions. Each session monitors an unicast bidirectional path between two BFD-enabled routers. This is done by periodically sending control packets in both directions. BFD does not handle neighbor discovery, BFD sessions are created on demand by request of other protocols (like OSPF or BGP), which supply appropriate information like IP addresses and associated interfaces. When a session changes its state, these protocols are notified and act accordingly (e.g. break an OSPF adjacency when the BFD session went down).

BIRD implements basic BFD behavior as defined in RFC 5880 (some advanced features like the echo mode or authentication are not implemented), IP transport for BFD as defined in RFC 5881 and RFC 5883 and interaction with client protocols as defined in RFC 5882. We currently support at most one protocol instance.

BFD packets are sent with a dynamic source port number. Linux systems use by default a bit different dynamic port range than the IANA approved one (49152-65535). If you experience problems with compatibility, please adjust /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_local_port_range

Configuration

BFD configuration consists mainly of multiple definitions of interfaces. Most BFD config options are session specific. When a new session is requested and dynamically created, it is configured from one of these definitions. For sessions to directly connected neighbors, interface definitions are chosen based on the interface associated with the session, while multihop definition is used for multihop sessions. If no definition is relevant, the session is just created with the default configuration. Therefore, an empty BFD configuration is often sufficient.

Note that to use BFD for other protocols like OSPF or BGP, these protocols also have to be configured to request BFD sessions, usually by bfd option.

Some of BFD session options require time value, which has to be specified with the appropriate unit: num s|ms|us. Although microseconds are allowed as units, practical minimum values are usually in order of tens of milliseconds.


protocol bfd [<name>] {
        interface <interface pattern> {
                interval <time>;
                min rx interval <time>;
                min tx interval <time>;
                idle tx interval <time>;
                multiplier <num>;
                passive <switch>;
                authentication none;
                authentication simple;
                authentication [meticulous] keyed md5|sha1;
                password "<text>";
                password "<text>" {
                        id <num>;
                        generate from "<date>";
                        generate to "<date>";
                        accept from "<date>";
                        accept to "<date>";
                        from "<date>";
                        to "<date>";
                };
        };
        multihop {
                interval <time>;
                min rx interval <time>;
                min tx interval <time>;
                idle tx interval <time>;
                multiplier <num>;
                passive <switch>;
        };
        neighbor <ip> [dev "<interface>"] [local <ip>] [multihop <switch>];
}

interface pattern [, ...] { options }

Interface definitions allow to specify options for sessions associated with such interfaces and also may contain interface specific options. See interface common option for a detailed description of interface patterns. Note that contrary to the behavior of interface definitions of other protocols, BFD protocol would accept sessions (in default configuration) even on interfaces not covered by such definitions.

multihop { options }

Multihop definitions allow to specify options for multihop BFD sessions, in the same manner as interface definitions are used for directly connected sessions. Currently only one such definition (for all multihop sessions) could be used.

neighbor ip [dev "interface"] [local ip] [multihop switch]

BFD sessions are usually created on demand as requested by other protocols (like OSPF or BGP). This option allows to explicitly add a BFD session to the specified neighbor regardless of such requests.

The session is identified by the IP address of the neighbor, with optional specification of used interface and local IP. By default the neighbor must be directly connected, unless the session is configured as multihop. Note that local IP must be specified for multihop sessions.

Session specific options (part of interface and multihop definitions):

interval time

BFD ensures availability of the forwarding path associated with the session by periodically sending BFD control packets in both directions. The rate of such packets is controlled by two options, min rx interval and min tx interval (see below). This option is just a shorthand to set both of these options together.

min rx interval time

This option specifies the minimum RX interval, which is announced to the neighbor and used there to limit the neighbor's rate of generated BFD control packets. Default: 10 ms.

min tx interval time

This option specifies the desired TX interval, which controls the rate of generated BFD control packets (together with min rx interval announced by the neighbor). Note that this value is used only if the BFD session is up, otherwise the value of idle tx interval is used instead. Default: 100 ms.

idle tx interval time

In order to limit unnecessary traffic in cases where a neighbor is not available or not running BFD, the rate of generated BFD control packets is lower when the BFD session is not up. This option specifies the desired TX interval in such cases instead of min tx interval. Default: 1 s.

multiplier num

Failure detection time for BFD sessions is based on established rate of BFD control packets (min rx/tx interval) multiplied by this multiplier, which is essentially (ignoring jitter) a number of missed packets after which the session is declared down. Note that rates and multipliers could be different in each direction of a BFD session. Default: 5.

passive switch

Generally, both BFD session endpoints try to establish the session by sending control packets to the other side. This option allows to enable passive mode, which means that the router does not send BFD packets until it has received one from the other side. Default: disabled.

authentication none

No passwords are sent in BFD packets. This is the default value.

authentication simple

Every packet carries 16 bytes of password. Received packets lacking this password are ignored. This authentication mechanism is very weak.

authentication [meticulous] keyed md5|sha1

An authentication code is appended to each packet. The cryptographic algorithm is keyed MD5 or keyed SHA-1. Note that the algorithm is common for all keys (on one interface), in contrast to OSPF or RIP, where it is a per-key option. Passwords (keys) are not sent open via network.

The meticulous variant means that cryptographic sequence numbers are increased for each sent packet, while in the basic variant they are increased about once per second. Generally, the meticulous variant offers better resistance to replay attacks but may require more computation.

password "text"

Specifies a password used for authentication. See password common option for detailed description. Note that password option algorithm is not available in BFD protocol. The algorithm is selected by authentication option for all passwords.

Example


protocol bfd {
        interface "eth*" {
                min rx interval 20 ms;
                min tx interval 50 ms;
                idle tx interval 300 ms;
        };
        interface "gre*" {
                interval 200 ms;
                multiplier 10;
                passive;
        };
        multihop {
                interval 200 ms;
                multiplier 10;
        };

        neighbor 192.168.1.10;
        neighbor 192.168.2.2 dev "eth2";
        neighbor 192.168.10.1 local 192.168.1.1 multihop;
}

6.3 BGP

The Border Gateway Protocol is the routing protocol used for backbone level routing in the today's Internet. Contrary to other protocols, its convergence does not rely on all routers following the same rules for route selection, making it possible to implement any routing policy at any router in the network, the only restriction being that if a router advertises a route, it must accept and forward packets according to it.

BGP works in terms of autonomous systems (often abbreviated as AS). Each AS is a part of the network with common management and common routing policy. It is identified by a unique 16-bit number (ASN). Routers within each AS usually exchange AS-internal routing information with each other using an interior gateway protocol (IGP, such as OSPF or RIP). Boundary routers at the border of the AS communicate global (inter-AS) network reachability information with their neighbors in the neighboring AS'es via exterior BGP (eBGP) and redistribute received information to other routers in the AS via interior BGP (iBGP).

Each BGP router sends to its neighbors updates of the parts of its routing table it wishes to export along with complete path information (a list of AS'es the packet will travel through if it uses the particular route) in order to avoid routing loops.

Supported standards

Route selection rules

BGP doesn't have any simple metric, so the rules for selection of an optimal route among multiple BGP routes with the same preference are a bit more complex and they are implemented according to the following algorithm. It starts the first rule, if there are more "best" routes, then it uses the second rule to choose among them and so on.

IGP routing table

BGP is mainly concerned with global network reachability and with routes to other autonomous systems. When such routes are redistributed to routers in the AS via BGP, they contain IP addresses of a boundary routers (in route attribute NEXT_HOP). BGP depends on existing IGP routing table with AS-internal routes to determine immediate next hops for routes and to know their internal distances to boundary routers for the purpose of BGP route selection. In BIRD, there is usually one routing table used for both IGP routes and BGP routes.

Protocol configuration

Each instance of the BGP corresponds to one neighboring router. This allows to set routing policy and all the other parameters differently for each neighbor using the following configuration parameters:

local [ip] [port number] [as number]

Define which AS we are part of. (Note that contrary to other IP routers, BIRD is able to act as a router located in multiple AS'es simultaneously, but in such cases you need to tweak the BGP paths manually in the filters to get consistent behavior.) Optional ip argument specifies a source address, equivalent to the source address option (see below). Optional port argument specifies the local BGP port instead of standard port 179. The parameter may be used multiple times with different sub-options (e.g., both local 10.0.0.1 as 65000; and local 10.0.0.1; local as 65000; are valid). This parameter is mandatory.

neighbor [ip] [port number] [as number]

Define neighboring router this instance will be talking to and what AS it is located in. In case the neighbor is in the same AS as we are, we automatically switch to iBGP. Optionally, the remote port may also be specified. Like local parameter, this parameter may also be used multiple times with different sub-options. This parameter is mandatory.

interface string

Define interface we should use for link-local BGP IPv6 sessions. Interface can also be specified as a part of neighbor address (e.g., neighbor fe80::1234%eth0 as 65000;). The option may also be used for non link-local sessions when it is necessary to explicitly specify an interface, but only for direct (not multihop) sessions.

direct

Specify that the neighbor is directly connected. The IP address of the neighbor must be from a directly reachable IP range (i.e. associated with one of your router's interfaces), otherwise the BGP session wouldn't start but it would wait for such interface to appear. The alternative is the multihop option. Default: enabled for eBGP.

multihop [number]

Configure multihop BGP session to a neighbor that isn't directly connected. Accurately, this option should be used if the configured neighbor IP address does not match with any local network subnets. Such IP address have to be reachable through system routing table. The alternative is the direct option. For multihop BGP it is recommended to explicitly configure the source address to have it stable. Optional number argument can be used to specify the number of hops (used for TTL). Note that the number of networks (edges) in a path is counted; i.e., if two BGP speakers are separated by one router, the number of hops is 2. Default: enabled for iBGP.

source address ip

Define local address we should use for next hop calculation and as a source address for the BGP session. Default: the address of the local end of the interface our neighbor is connected to.

strict bind switch

Specify whether BGP listening socket should be bound to a specific local address (the same as the source address) and associated interface, or to all addresses. Binding to a specific address could be useful in cases like running multiple BIRD instances on a machine, each using its IP address. Note that listening sockets bound to a specific address and to all addresses collide, therefore either all BGP protocols (of the same address family and using the same local port) should have set strict bind, or none of them. Default: disabled.

check link switch

BGP could use hardware link state into consideration. If enabled, BIRD tracks the link state of the associated interface and when link disappears (e.g. an ethernet cable is unplugged), the BGP session is immediately shut down. Note that this option cannot be used with multihop BGP. Default: enabled for direct BGP, disabled otherwise.

bfd switch

BGP could use BFD protocol as an advisory mechanism for neighbor liveness and failure detection. If enabled, BIRD setups a BFD session for the BGP neighbor and tracks its liveness by it. This has an advantage of an order of magnitude lower detection times in case of failure. Note that BFD protocol also has to be configured, see BFD section for details. Default: disabled.

ttl security switch

Use GTSM (RFC 5082 - the generalized TTL security mechanism). GTSM protects against spoofed packets by ignoring received packets with a smaller than expected TTL. To work properly, GTSM have to be enabled on both sides of a BGP session. If both ttl security and multihop options are enabled, multihop option should specify proper hop value to compute expected TTL. Kernel support required: Linux: 2.6.34+ (IPv4), 2.6.35+ (IPv6), BSD: since long ago, IPv4 only. Note that full (ICMP protection, for example) RFC 5082 support is provided by Linux only. Default: disabled.

password string

Use this password for MD5 authentication of BGP sessions (RFC 2385). When used on BSD systems, see also setkey option below. Default: no authentication.

setkey switch

On BSD systems, keys for TCP MD5 authentication are stored in the global SA/SP database, which can be accessed by external utilities (e.g. setkey(8)). BIRD configures security associations in the SA/SP database automatically based on password options (see above), this option allows to disable automatic updates by BIRD when manual configuration by external utilities is preferred. Note that automatic SA/SP database updates are currently implemented only for FreeBSD. Passwords have to be set manually by an external utility on NetBSD and OpenBSD. Default: enabled (ignored on non-FreeBSD).

passive switch

Standard BGP behavior is both initiating outgoing connections and accepting incoming connections. In passive mode, outgoing connections are not initiated. Default: off.

confederation number

BGP confederations (RFC 5065) are collections of autonomous systems that act as one entity to external systems, represented by one confederation identifier (instead of AS numbers). This option allows to enable BGP confederation behavior and to specify the local confederation identifier. When BGP confederations are used, all BGP speakers that are members of the BGP confederation should have the same confederation identifier configured. Default: 0 (no confederation).

confederation member switch

When BGP confederations are used, this option allows to specify whether the BGP neighbor is a member of the same confederation as the local BGP speaker. The option is unnecessary (and ignored) for IBGP sessions, as the same AS number implies the same confederation. Default: no.

rr client

Be a route reflector and treat the neighbor as a route reflection client. Default: disabled.

rr cluster id IPv4 address

Route reflectors use cluster id to avoid route reflection loops. When there is one route reflector in a cluster it usually uses its router id as a cluster id, but when there are more route reflectors in a cluster, these need to be configured (using this option) to use a common cluster id. Clients in a cluster need not know their cluster id and this option is not allowed for them. Default: the same as router id.

rs client

Be a route server and treat the neighbor as a route server client. A route server is used as a replacement for full mesh EBGP routing in Internet exchange points in a similar way to route reflectors used in IBGP routing. BIRD does not implement obsoleted RFC 1863, but uses ad-hoc implementation, which behaves like plain EBGP but reduces modifications to advertised route attributes to be transparent (for example does not prepend its AS number to AS PATH attribute and keeps MED attribute). Default: disabled.

allow bgp_local_pref switch

A standard BGP implementation do not send the Local Preference attribute to eBGP neighbors and ignore this attribute if received from eBGP neighbors, as per RFC 4271. When this option is enabled on an eBGP session, this attribute will be sent to and accepted from the peer, which is useful for example if you have a setup like in RFC 7938. The option does not affect iBGP sessions. Default: off.

allow local as [number]

BGP prevents routing loops by rejecting received routes with the local AS number in the AS path. This option allows to loose or disable the check. Optional number argument can be used to specify the maximum number of local ASNs in the AS path that is allowed for received routes. When the option is used without the argument, the check is completely disabled and you should ensure loop-free behavior by some other means. Default: 0 (no local AS number allowed).

enable route refresh switch

After the initial route exchange, BGP protocol uses incremental updates to keep BGP speakers synchronized. Sometimes (e.g., if BGP speaker changes its import filter, or if there is suspicion of inconsistency) it is necessary to do a new complete route exchange. BGP protocol extension Route Refresh (RFC 2918) allows BGP speaker to request re-advertisement of all routes from its neighbor. BGP protocol extension Enhanced Route Refresh (RFC 7313) specifies explicit begin and end for such exchanges, therefore the receiver can remove stale routes that were not advertised during the exchange. This option specifies whether BIRD advertises these capabilities and supports related procedures. Note that even when disabled, BIRD can send route refresh requests. Default: on.

graceful restart switch|aware

When a BGP speaker restarts or crashes, neighbors will discard all received paths from the speaker, which disrupts packet forwarding even when the forwarding plane of the speaker remains intact. RFC 4724 specifies an optional graceful restart mechanism to alleviate this issue. This option controls the mechanism. It has three states: Disabled, when no support is provided. Aware, when the graceful restart support is announced and the support for restarting neighbors is provided, but no local graceful restart is allowed (i.e. receiving-only role). Enabled, when the full graceful restart support is provided (i.e. both restarting and receiving role). Restarting role could be also configured per-channel. Note that proper support for local graceful restart requires also configuration of other protocols. Default: aware.

graceful restart time number

The restart time is announced in the BGP graceful restart capability and specifies how long the neighbor would wait for the BGP session to re-establish after a restart before deleting stale routes. Default: 120 seconds.

interpret communities switch

RFC 1997 demands that BGP speaker should process well-known communities like no-export (65535, 65281) or no-advertise (65535, 65282). For example, received route carrying a no-adverise community should not be advertised to any of its neighbors. If this option is enabled (which is by default), BIRD has such behavior automatically (it is evaluated when a route is exported to the BGP protocol just before the export filter). Otherwise, this integrated processing of well-known communities is disabled. In that case, similar behavior can be implemented in the export filter. Default: on.

enable as4 switch

BGP protocol was designed to use 2B AS numbers and was extended later to allow 4B AS number. BIRD supports 4B AS extension, but by disabling this option it can be persuaded not to advertise it and to maintain old-style sessions with its neighbors. This might be useful for circumventing bugs in neighbor's implementation of 4B AS extension. Even when disabled (off), BIRD behaves internally as AS4-aware BGP router. Default: on.

enable extended messages switch

The BGP protocol uses maximum message length of 4096 bytes. This option provides an extension to allow extended messages with length up to 65535 bytes. Default: off.

capabilities switch

Use capability advertisement to advertise optional capabilities. This is standard behavior for newer BGP implementations, but there might be some older BGP implementations that reject such connection attempts. When disabled (off), features that request it (4B AS support) are also disabled. Default: on, with automatic fallback to off when received capability-related error.

advertise ipv4 switch

Advertise IPv4 multiprotocol capability. This is not a correct behavior according to the strict interpretation of RFC 4760, but it is widespread and required by some BGP implementations (Cisco and Quagga). This option is relevant to IPv4 mode with enabled capability advertisement only. Default: on.

disable after error switch

When an error is encountered (either locally or by the other side), disable the instance automatically and wait for an administrator to fix the problem manually. Default: off.

hold time number

Time in seconds to wait for a Keepalive message from the other side before considering the connection stale. Default: depends on agreement with the neighboring router, we prefer 240 seconds if the other side is willing to accept it.

startup hold time number

Value of the hold timer used before the routers have a chance to exchange open messages and agree on the real value. Default: 240 seconds.

keepalive time number

Delay in seconds between sending of two consecutive Keepalive messages. Default: One third of the hold time.

connect delay time number

Delay in seconds between protocol startup and the first attempt to connect. Default: 5 seconds.

connect retry time number

Time in seconds to wait before retrying a failed attempt to connect. Default: 120 seconds.

error wait time number,number

Minimum and maximum delay in seconds between a protocol failure (either local or reported by the peer) and automatic restart. Doesn't apply when disable after error is configured. If consecutive errors happen, the delay is increased exponentially until it reaches the maximum. Default: 60, 300.

error forget time number

Maximum time in seconds between two protocol failures to treat them as a error sequence which makes error wait time increase exponentially. Default: 300 seconds.

path metric switch

Enable comparison of path lengths when deciding which BGP route is the best one. Default: on.

med metric switch

Enable comparison of MED attributes (during best route selection) even between routes received from different ASes. This may be useful if all MED attributes contain some consistent metric, perhaps enforced in import filters of AS boundary routers. If this option is disabled, MED attributes are compared only if routes are received from the same AS (which is the standard behavior). Default: off.

deterministic med switch

BGP route selection algorithm is often viewed as a comparison between individual routes (e.g. if a new route appears and is better than the current best one, it is chosen as the new best one). But the proper route selection, as specified by RFC 4271, cannot be fully implemented in that way. The problem is mainly in handling the MED attribute. BIRD, by default, uses an simplification based on individual route comparison, which in some cases may lead to temporally dependent behavior (i.e. the selection is dependent on the order in which routes appeared). This option enables a different (and slower) algorithm implementing proper RFC 4271 route selection, which is deterministic. Alternative way how to get deterministic behavior is to use med metric option. This option is incompatible with sorted tables. Default: off.

igp metric switch

Enable comparison of internal distances to boundary routers during best route selection. Default: on.

prefer older switch

Standard route selection algorithm breaks ties by comparing router IDs. This changes the behavior to prefer older routes (when both are external and from different peer). For details, see RFC 5004. Default: off.

default bgp_med number

Value of the Multiple Exit Discriminator to be used during route selection when the MED attribute is missing. Default: 0.

default bgp_local_pref number

A default value for the Local Preference attribute. It is used when a new Local Preference attribute is attached to a route by the BGP protocol itself (for example, if a route is received through eBGP and therefore does not have such attribute). Default: 100 (0 in pre-1.2.0 versions of BIRD).

Channel configuration

BGP supports several AFIs and SAFIs over one connection. Every AFI/SAFI announced to the peer corresponds to one channel. The table of supported AFI/SAFIs together with their appropriate channels follows.


Channel name
Table nettype IGP table allowed AFI SAFI
ipv4 ipv4 ipv4 and ipv6 1 1
ipv6 ipv6 ipv4 and ipv6 2 1
ipv4 multicast ipv4 ipv4 and ipv6 1 2
ipv6 multicast ipv6 ipv4 and ipv6 2 2
ipv4 mpls ipv4 ipv4 and ipv6 1 4
ipv6 mpls ipv6 ipv4 and ipv6 2 4
vpn4 mpls vpn4 ipv4 and ipv6 1 128
vpn6 mpls vpn6 ipv4 and ipv6 2 128
vpn4 multicast vpn4 ipv4 and ipv6 1 129
vpn6 multicast vpn6 ipv4 and ipv6 2 129
flow4 flow4 --- 1 133
flow6 flow6 --- 2 133

Due to RFC 8212, external BGP protocol requires explicit configuration of import and export policies (in contrast to other protocols, where default policies of import all and export none are used in absence of explicit configuration). Note that blanket policies like all or none can still be used in explicit configuration.

BGP channels have additional config options (together with the common ones):

next hop keep

Forward the received Next Hop attribute even in situations where the local address should be used instead, like when the route is sent to an interface with a different subnet. Default: disabled.

next hop self

Avoid calculation of the Next Hop attribute and always advertise our own source address as a next hop. This needs to be used only occasionally to circumvent misconfigurations of other routers. Default: disabled.

next hop address ip

Avoid calculation of the Next Hop attribute and always advertise this address as a next hop.

missing lladdr self|drop|ignore

Next Hop attribute in BGP-IPv6 sometimes contains just the global IPv6 address, but sometimes it has to contain both global and link-local IPv6 addresses. This option specifies what to do if BIRD have to send both addresses but does not know link-local address. This situation might happen when routes from other protocols are exported to BGP, or when improper updates are received from BGP peers. self means that BIRD advertises its own local address instead. drop means that BIRD skips that prefixes and logs error. ignore means that BIRD ignores the problem and sends just the global address (and therefore forms improper BGP update). Default: self, unless BIRD is configured as a route server (option rs client), in that case default is ignore, because route servers usually do not forward packets themselves.

gateway direct|recursive

For received routes, their gw (immediate next hop) attribute is computed from received bgp_next_hop attribute. This option specifies how it is computed. Direct mode means that the IP address from bgp_next_hop is used if it is directly reachable, otherwise the neighbor IP address is used. Recursive mode means that the gateway is computed by an IGP routing table lookup for the IP address from bgp_next_hop. Note that there is just one level of indirection in recursive mode - the route obtained by the lookup must not be recursive itself, to prevent mutually recursive routes.

Recursive mode is the behavior specified by the BGP standard. Direct mode is simpler, does not require any routes in a routing table, and was used in older versions of BIRD, but does not handle well nontrivial iBGP setups and multihop. Recursive mode is incompatible with sorted tables. Default: direct for direct sessions, recursive for multihop sessions.

igp table name

Specifies a table that is used as an IGP routing table. The type of this table must be as allowed in the table above. This option is allowed once for every allowed table type. Default: the same as the main table the channel is connected to (if eligible).

secondary switch

Usually, if an export filter rejects a selected route, no other route is propagated for that network. This option allows to try the next route in order until one that is accepted is found or all routes for that network are rejected. This can be used for route servers that need to propagate different tables to each client but do not want to have these tables explicitly (to conserve memory). This option requires that the connected routing table is sorted. Default: off.

add paths switch|rx|tx

Standard BGP can propagate only one path (route) per destination network (usually the selected one). This option controls the add-path protocol extension, which allows to advertise any number of paths to a destination. Note that to be active, add-path has to be enabled on both sides of the BGP session, but it could be enabled separately for RX and TX direction. When active, all available routes accepted by the export filter are advertised to the neighbor. Default: off.

graceful restart switch

Although BGP graceful restart is configured mainly by protocol-wide options, it is possible to configure restarting role per AFI/SAFI pair by this channel option. The option is ignored if graceful restart is disabled by protocol-wide option. Default: off in aware mode, on in full mode.

Attributes

BGP defines several route attributes. Some of them (those marked with `I' in the table below) are available on internal BGP connections only, some of them (marked with `O') are optional.

bgppath bgp_path

Sequence of AS numbers describing the AS path the packet will travel through when forwarded according to the particular route. In case of internal BGP it doesn't contain the number of the local AS.

int bgp_local_pref [I]

Local preference value used for selection among multiple BGP routes (see the selection rules above). It's used as an additional metric which is propagated through the whole local AS.

int bgp_med [O]

The Multiple Exit Discriminator of the route is an optional attribute which is used on external (inter-AS) links to convey to an adjacent AS the optimal entry point into the local AS. The received attribute is also propagated over internal BGP links. The attribute value is zeroed when a route is exported to an external BGP instance to ensure that the attribute received from a neighboring AS is not propagated to other neighboring ASes. A new value might be set in the export filter of an external BGP instance. See RFC 4451 for further discussion of BGP MED attribute.

enum bgp_origin

Origin of the route: either ORIGIN_IGP if the route has originated in an interior routing protocol or ORIGIN_EGP if it's been imported from the EGP protocol (nowadays it seems to be obsolete) or ORIGIN_INCOMPLETE if the origin is unknown.

ip bgp_next_hop

Next hop to be used for forwarding of packets to this destination. On internal BGP connections, it's an address of the originating router if it's inside the local AS or a boundary router the packet will leave the AS through if it's an exterior route, so each BGP speaker within the AS has a chance to use the shortest interior path possible to this point.

void bgp_atomic_aggr [O]

This is an optional attribute which carries no value, but the sole presence of which indicates that the route has been aggregated from multiple routes by some router on the path from the originator.

clist bgp_community [O]

List of community values associated with the route. Each such value is a pair (represented as a pair data type inside the filters) of 16-bit integers, the first of them containing the number of the AS which defines the community and the second one being a per-AS identifier. There are lots of uses of the community mechanism, but generally they are used to carry policy information like "don't export to USA peers". As each AS can define its own routing policy, it also has a complete freedom about which community attributes it defines and what will their semantics be.

eclist bgp_ext_community [O]

List of extended community values associated with the route. Extended communities have similar usage as plain communities, but they have an extended range (to allow 4B ASNs) and a nontrivial structure with a type field. Individual community values are represented using an ec data type inside the filters.

lclist bgp_large_community [O]

List of large community values associated with the route. Large BGP communities is another variant of communities, but contrary to extended communities they behave very much the same way as regular communities, just larger -- they are uniform untyped triplets of 32bit numbers. Individual community values are represented using an lc data type inside the filters.

quad bgp_originator_id [I, O]

This attribute is created by the route reflector when reflecting the route and contains the router ID of the originator of the route in the local AS.

clist bgp_cluster_list [I, O]

This attribute contains a list of cluster IDs of route reflectors. Each route reflector prepends its cluster ID when reflecting the route.

Example


protocol bgp {
        local 198.51.100.14 as 65000;        # Use a private AS number
        neighbor 198.51.100.130 as 64496;    # Our neighbor ...
        multihop;                            # ... which is connected indirectly
        ipv4 {
                export filter {                      # We use non-trivial export rules
                        if source = RTS_STATIC then { # Export only static routes
                                # Assign our community
                                bgp_community.add((65000,64501));
                                # Artificially increase path length
                                # by advertising local AS number twice
                                if bgp_path ~ [= 65000 =] then
                                        bgp_path.prepend(65000);
                                accept;
                        }
                        reject;
                };
                import all;
                next hop self; # advertise this router as next hop
                igp table myigptable4; # IGP table for routes with IPv4 nexthops
                igp table myigptable6; # IGP table for routes with IPv6 nexthops
        };
        ipv6 {
                export filter mylargefilter; # We use a named filter
                import all;
                missing lladdr self;
                igp table myigptable4; # IGP table for routes with IPv4 nexthops
                igp table myigptable6; # IGP table for routes with IPv6 nexthops
        };
        ipv4 multicast {
                import all;
                export filter someotherfilter;
                table mymulticasttable4; # Another IPv4 table, dedicated for multicast
                igp table myigptable4;
        };
}

6.4 Device

The Device protocol is not a real routing protocol. It doesn't generate any routes and it only serves as a module for getting information about network interfaces from the kernel. This protocol supports no channel.

Except for very unusual circumstances, you probably should include this protocol in the configuration since almost all other protocols require network interfaces to be defined for them to work with.

Configuration

scan time number

Time in seconds between two scans of the network interface list. On systems where we are notified about interface status changes asynchronously (such as newer versions of Linux), we need to scan the list only in order to avoid confusion by lost notification messages, so the default time is set to a large value.

interface pattern [, ...]

By default, the Device protocol handles all interfaces without any configuration. Interface definitions allow to specify optional parameters for specific interfaces. See interface common option for detailed description. Currently only one interface option is available:

preferred ip

If a network interface has more than one IP address, BIRD chooses one of them as a preferred one. Preferred IP address is used as source address for packets or announced next hop by routing protocols. Precisely, BIRD chooses one preferred IPv4 address, one preferred IPv6 address and one preferred link-local IPv6 address. By default, BIRD chooses the first found IP address as the preferred one.

This option allows to specify which IP address should be preferred. May be used multiple times for different address classes (IPv4, IPv6, IPv6 link-local). In all cases, an address marked by operating system as secondary cannot be chosen as the primary one.

As the Device protocol doesn't generate any routes, it cannot have any attributes. Example configuration looks like this:


protocol device {
        scan time 10;           # Scan the interfaces often
        interface "eth0" {
                preferred 192.168.1.1;
                preferred 2001:db8:1:10::1;
        };
}

6.5 Direct

The Direct protocol is a simple generator of device routes for all the directly connected networks according to the list of interfaces provided by the kernel via the Device protocol. The Direct protocol supports both IPv4 and IPv6 channels; both can be configured simultaneously. It can also be configured with IPv6 SADR channel instead of regular IPv6 channel in order to be used together with SADR-enabled Babel protocol.

The question is whether it is a good idea to have such device routes in BIRD routing table. OS kernel usually handles device routes for directly connected networks by itself so we don't need (and don't want) to export these routes to the kernel protocol. OSPF protocol creates device routes for its interfaces itself and BGP protocol is usually used for exporting aggregate routes. But the Direct protocol is necessary for distance-vector protocols like RIP or Babel to announce local networks.

There is one notable case when you definitely want to use the direct protocol -- running BIRD on BSD systems. Having high priority device routes for directly connected networks from the direct protocol protects kernel device routes from being overwritten or removed by IGP routes during some transient network conditions, because a lower priority IGP route for the same network is not exported to the kernel routing table. This is an issue on BSD systems only, as on Linux systems BIRD cannot change non-BIRD route in the kernel routing table.

There are just few configuration options for the Direct protocol:

interface pattern [, ...]

By default, the Direct protocol will generate device routes for all the interfaces available. If you want to restrict it to some subset of interfaces or addresses (e.g. if you're using multiple routing tables for policy routing and some of the policy domains don't contain all interfaces), just use this clause. See interface common option for detailed description. The Direct protocol uses extended interface clauses.

check link switch

If enabled, a hardware link state (reported by OS) is taken into consideration. Routes for directly connected networks are generated only if link up is reported and they are withdrawn when link disappears (e.g., an ethernet cable is unplugged). Default value is no.

Direct device routes don't contain any specific attributes.

Example config might look like this:


protocol direct {
        ipv4;
        ipv6;
        interface "-arc*", "*";         # Exclude the ARCnets
}

6.6 Kernel

The Kernel protocol is not a real routing protocol. Instead of communicating with other routers in the network, it performs synchronization of BIRD's routing tables with the OS kernel. Basically, it sends all routing table updates to the kernel and from time to time it scans the kernel tables to see whether some routes have disappeared (for example due to unnoticed up/down transition of an interface) or whether an `alien' route has been added by someone else (depending on the learn switch, such routes are either ignored or accepted to our table).

Unfortunately, there is one thing that makes the routing table synchronization a bit more complicated. In the kernel routing table there are also device routes for directly connected networks. These routes are usually managed by OS itself (as a part of IP address configuration) and we don't want to touch that. They are completely ignored during the scan of the kernel tables and also the export of device routes from BIRD tables to kernel routing tables is restricted to prevent accidental interference. This restriction can be disabled using device routes switch.

If your OS supports only a single routing table, you can configure only one instance of the Kernel protocol. If it supports multiple tables (in order to allow policy routing; such an OS is for example Linux), you can run as many instances as you want, but each of them must be connected to a different BIRD routing table and to a different kernel table.

Because the kernel protocol is partially integrated with the connected routing table, there are two limitations - it is not possible to connect more kernel protocols to the same routing table and changing route destination (gateway) in an export filter of a kernel protocol does not work. Both limitations can be overcome using another routing table and the pipe protocol.

The Kernel protocol supports both IPv4 and IPv6 channels; only one channel can be configured in each protocol instance. On Linux, it also supports IPv6 SADR and MPLS channels.

Configuration

persist switch

Tell BIRD to leave all its routes in the routing tables when it exits (instead of cleaning them up).

scan time number

Time in seconds between two consecutive scans of the kernel routing table.

learn switch

Enable learning of routes added to the kernel routing tables by other routing daemons or by the system administrator. This is possible only on systems which support identification of route authorship.

kernel table number

Select which kernel table should this particular instance of the Kernel protocol work with. Available only on systems supporting multiple routing tables.

metric number

(Linux) Use specified value as a kernel metric (priority) for all routes sent to the kernel. When multiple routes for the same network are in the kernel routing table, the Linux kernel chooses one with lower metric. Also, routes with different metrics do not clash with each other, therefore using dedicated metric value is a reliable way to avoid overwriting routes from other sources (e.g. kernel device routes). Metric 0 has a special meaning of undefined metric, in which either OS default is used, or per-route metric can be set using krt_metric attribute. Default: 32.

graceful restart switch

Participate in graceful restart recovery. If this option is enabled and a graceful restart recovery is active, the Kernel protocol will defer synchronization of routing tables until the end of the recovery. Note that import of kernel routes to BIRD is not affected.

merge paths switch [limit number]

Usually, only best routes are exported to the kernel protocol. With path merging enabled, both best routes and equivalent non-best routes are merged during export to generate one ECMP (equal-cost multipath) route for each network. This is useful e.g. for BGP multipath. Note that best routes are still pivotal for route export (responsible for most properties of resulting ECMP routes), while exported non-best routes are responsible just for additional multipath next hops. This option also allows to specify a limit on maximal number of nexthops in one route. By default, multipath merging is disabled. If enabled, default value of the limit is 16.

Attributes

The Kernel protocol defines several attributes. These attributes are translated to appropriate system (and OS-specific) route attributes. We support these attributes:

int krt_source

The original source of the imported kernel route. The value is system-dependent. On Linux, it is a value of the protocol field of the route. See /etc/iproute2/rt_protos for common values. On BSD, it is based on STATIC and PROTOx flags. The attribute is read-only.

int krt_metric

(Linux) The kernel metric of the route. When multiple same routes are in a kernel routing table, the Linux kernel chooses one with lower metric. Note that preferred way to set kernel metric is to use protocol option metric, unless per-route metric values are needed.

ip krt_prefsrc

(Linux) The preferred source address. Used in source address selection for outgoing packets. Has to be one of the IP addresses of the router.

int krt_realm

(Linux) The realm of the route. Can be used for traffic classification.

int krt_scope

(Linux IPv4) The scope of the route. Valid values are 0-254, although Linux kernel may reject some values depending on route type and nexthop. It is supposed to represent `indirectness' of the route, where nexthops of routes are resolved through routes with a higher scope, but in current kernels anything below link (253) is treated as global (0). When not present, global scope is implied for all routes except device routes, where link scope is used by default.

In Linux, there is also a plenty of obscure route attributes mostly focused on tuning TCP performance of local connections. BIRD supports most of these attributes, see Linux or iproute2 documentation for their meaning. Attributes krt_lock_* and krt_feature_* have type bool, others have type int. Supported attributes are:

krt_mtu, krt_lock_mtu, krt_window, krt_lock_window, krt_rtt, krt_lock_rtt, krt_rttvar, krt_lock_rttvar, krt_sstresh, krt_lock_sstresh, krt_cwnd, krt_lock_cwnd, krt_advmss, krt_lock_advmss, krt_reordering, krt_lock_reordering, krt_hoplimit, krt_lock_hoplimit, krt_rto_min, krt_lock_rto_min, krt_initcwnd, krt_initrwnd, krt_quickack, krt_feature_ecn, krt_feature_allfrag

Example

A simple configuration can look this way:


protocol kernel {
        export all;
}

Or for a system with two routing tables:


protocol kernel {               # Primary routing table
        learn;                  # Learn alien routes from the kernel
        persist;                # Don't remove routes on bird shutdown
        scan time 10;           # Scan kernel routing table every 10 seconds
        ipv4 {
                import all;
                export all;
        };
}

protocol kernel {               # Secondary routing table
        kernel table 100;
        ipv4 {
                table auxtable;
                export all;
        };
}

6.7 OSPF

Introduction

Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) is a quite complex interior gateway protocol. The current IPv4 version (OSPFv2) is defined in RFC 2328 and the current IPv6 version (OSPFv3) is defined in RFC 5340 It's a link state (a.k.a. shortest path first) protocol -- each router maintains a database describing the autonomous system's topology. Each participating router has an identical copy of the database and all routers run the same algorithm calculating a shortest path tree with themselves as a root. OSPF chooses the least cost path as the best path.

In OSPF, the autonomous system can be split to several areas in order to reduce the amount of resources consumed for exchanging the routing information and to protect the other areas from incorrect routing data. Topology of the area is hidden to the rest of the autonomous system.

Another very important feature of OSPF is that it can keep routing information from other protocols (like Static or BGP) in its link state database as external routes. Each external route can be tagged by the advertising router, making it possible to pass additional information between routers on the boundary of the autonomous system.

OSPF quickly detects topological changes in the autonomous system (such as router interface failures) and calculates new loop-free routes after a short period of convergence. Only a minimal amount of routing traffic is involved.

Each router participating in OSPF routing periodically sends Hello messages to all its interfaces. This allows neighbors to be discovered dynamically. Then the neighbors exchange theirs parts of the link state database and keep it identical by flooding updates. The flooding process is reliable and ensures that each router detects all changes.

Configuration

First, the desired OSPF version can be specified by using ospf v2 or ospf v3 as a protocol type. By default, OSPFv2 is used. In the main part of configuration, there can be multiple definitions of OSPF areas, each with a different id. These definitions includes many other switches and multiple definitions of interfaces. Definition of interface may contain many switches and constant definitions and list of neighbors on nonbroadcast networks.

OSPFv2 needs one IPv4 channel. OSPFv3 needs either one IPv6 channel, or one IPv4 channel (RFC 5838). Therefore, it is possible to use OSPFv3 for both IPv4 and Pv6 routing, but it is necessary to have two protocol instances anyway. If no channel is configured, appropriate channel is defined with default parameters.


protocol ospf [v2|v3] <name> {
        rfc1583compat <switch>;
        rfc5838 <switch>;
        instance id <num>;
        stub router <switch>;
        tick <num>;
        ecmp <switch> [limit <num>];
        merge external <switch>;
        area <id> {
                stub;
                nssa;
                summary <switch>;
                default nssa <switch>;
                default cost <num>;
                default cost2 <num>;
                translator <switch>;
                translator stability <num>;

                networks {
                        <prefix>;
                        <prefix> hidden;
                }
                external {
                        <prefix>;
                        <prefix> hidden;
                        <prefix> tag <num>;
                }
                stubnet <prefix>;
                stubnet <prefix> {
                        hidden <switch>;
                        summary <switch>;
                        cost <num>;
                }
                interface <interface pattern> [instance <num>] {
                        cost <num>;
                        stub <switch>;
                        hello <num>;
                        poll <num>;
                        retransmit <num>;
                        priority <num>;
                        wait <num>;
                        dead count <num>;
                        dead <num>;
                        secondary <switch>;
                        rx buffer [normal|large|<num>];
                        tx length <num>;
                        type [broadcast|bcast|pointopoint|ptp|
                                nonbroadcast|nbma|pointomultipoint|ptmp];
                        link lsa suppression <switch>;
                        strict nonbroadcast <switch>;
                        real broadcast <switch>;
                        ptp netmask <switch>;
                        check link <switch>;
                        bfd <switch>;
                        ecmp weight <num>;
                        ttl security [<switch>; | tx only]
                        tx class|dscp <num>;
                        tx priority <num>;
                        authentication none|simple|cryptographic;
                        password "<text>";
                        password "<text>" {
                                id <num>;
                                generate from "<date>";
                                generate to "<date>";
                                accept from "<date>";
                                accept to "<date>";
                                from "<date>";
                                to "<date>";
                                algorithm ( keyed md5 | keyed sha1 | hmac sha1 | hmac sha256 | hmac sha384 | hmac sha512 );
                        };
                        neighbors {
                                <ip>;
                                <ip> eligible;
                        };
                };
                virtual link <id> [instance <num>] {
                        hello <num>;
                        retransmit <num>;
                        wait <num>;
                        dead count <num>;
                        dead <num>;
                        authentication none|simple|cryptographic;
                        password "<text>";
                        password "<text>" {
                                id <num>;
                                generate from "<date>";
                                generate to "<date>";
                                accept from "<date>";
                                accept to "<date>";
                                from "<date>";
                                to "<date>";
                                algorithm ( keyed md5 | keyed sha1 | hmac sha1 | hmac sha256 | hmac sha384 | hmac sha512 );
                        };
                };
        };
}

rfc1583compat switch

This option controls compatibility of routing table calculation with RFC 1583. Default value is no.

rfc5838 switch

Basic OSPFv3 is limited to IPv6 unicast routing. The RFC 5838 extension defines support for more address families (IPv4, IPv6, both unicast and multicast). The extension is enabled by default, but can be disabled if necessary, as it restricts the range of available instance IDs. Default value is yes.

instance id num

When multiple OSPF protocol instances are active on the same links, they should use different instance IDs to distinguish their packets. Although it could be done on per-interface basis, it is often preferred to set one instance ID to whole OSPF domain/topology (e.g., when multiple instances are used to represent separate logical topologies on the same physical network). This option specifies the instance ID for all interfaces of the OSPF instance, but can be overridden by interface option. Default value is 0 unless OSPFv3-AF extended address families are used, see RFC 5838 for that case.

stub router switch

This option configures the router to be a stub router, i.e., a router that participates in the OSPF topology but does not allow transit traffic. In OSPFv2, this is implemented by advertising maximum metric for outgoing links. In OSPFv3, the stub router behavior is announced by clearing the R-bit in the router LSA. See RFC 6987 for details. Default value is no.

tick num

The routing table calculation and clean-up of areas' databases is not performed when a single link state change arrives. To lower the CPU utilization, it's processed later at periodical intervals of num seconds. The default value is 1.

ecmp switch [limit number]

This option specifies whether OSPF is allowed to generate ECMP (equal-cost multipath) routes. Such routes are used when there are several directions to the destination, each with the same (computed) cost. This option also allows to specify a limit on maximum number of nexthops in one route. By default, ECMP is enabled if supported by Kernel. Default value of the limit is 16.

merge external switch

This option specifies whether OSPF should merge external routes from different routers/LSAs for the same destination. When enabled together with ecmp, equal-cost external routes will be combined to multipath routes in the same way as regular routes. When disabled, external routes from different LSAs are treated as separate even if they represents the same destination. Default value is no.

area id

This defines an OSPF area with given area ID (an integer or an IPv4 address, similarly to a router ID). The most important area is the backbone (ID 0) to which every other area must be connected.

stub

This option configures the area to be a stub area. External routes are not flooded into stub areas. Also summary LSAs can be limited in stub areas (see option summary). By default, the area is not a stub area.

nssa

This option configures the area to be a NSSA (Not-So-Stubby Area). NSSA is a variant of a stub area which allows a limited way of external route propagation. Global external routes are not propagated into a NSSA, but an external route can be imported into NSSA as a (area-wide) NSSA-LSA (and possibly translated and/or aggregated on area boundary). By default, the area is not NSSA.

summary switch

This option controls propagation of summary LSAs into stub or NSSA areas. If enabled, summary LSAs are propagated as usual, otherwise just the default summary route (0.0.0.0/0) is propagated (this is sometimes called totally stubby area). If a stub area has more area boundary routers, propagating summary LSAs could lead to more efficient routing at the cost of larger link state database. Default value is no.

default nssa switch

When summary option is enabled, default summary route is no longer propagated to the NSSA. In that case, this option allows to originate default route as NSSA-LSA to the NSSA. Default value is no.

default cost num

This option controls the cost of a default route propagated to stub and NSSA areas. Default value is 1000.

default cost2 num

When a default route is originated as NSSA-LSA, its cost can use either type 1 or type 2 metric. This option allows to specify the cost of a default route in type 2 metric. By default, type 1 metric (option default cost) is used.

translator switch

This option controls translation of NSSA-LSAs into external LSAs. By default, one translator per NSSA is automatically elected from area boundary routers. If enabled, this area boundary router would unconditionally translate all NSSA-LSAs regardless of translator election. Default value is no.

translator stability num

This option controls the translator stability interval (in seconds). When the new translator is elected, the old one keeps translating until the interval is over. Default value is 40.

networks { set }

Definition of area IP ranges. This is used in summary LSA origination. Hidden networks are not propagated into other areas.

external { set }

Definition of external area IP ranges for NSSAs. This is used for NSSA-LSA translation. Hidden networks are not translated into external LSAs. Networks can have configured route tag.

stubnet prefix { options }

Stub networks are networks that are not transit networks between OSPF routers. They are also propagated through an OSPF area as a part of a link state database. By default, BIRD generates a stub network record for each primary network address on each OSPF interface that does not have any OSPF neighbors, and also for each non-primary network address on each OSPF interface. This option allows to alter a set of stub networks propagated by this router.

Each instance of this option adds a stub network with given network prefix to the set of propagated stub network, unless option hidden is used. It also suppresses default stub networks for given network prefix. When option summary is used, also default stub networks that are subnetworks of given stub network are suppressed. This might be used, for example, to aggregate generated stub networks.

interface pattern [instance num]

Defines that the specified interfaces belong to the area being defined. See interface common option for detailed description. In OSPFv2, extended interface clauses are used, because each network prefix is handled as a separate virtual interface.

You can specify alternative instance ID for the interface definition, therefore it is possible to have several instances of that interface with different options or even in different areas. For OSPFv2, instance ID support is an extension (RFC 6549) and is supposed to be set per-protocol. For OSPFv3, it is an integral feature.

virtual link id [instance num]

Virtual link to router with the router id. Virtual link acts as a point-to-point interface belonging to backbone. The actual area is used as a transport area. This item cannot be in the backbone. Like with interface option, you could also use several virtual links to one destination with different instance IDs.

cost num

Specifies output cost (metric) of an interface. Default value is 10.

stub switch

If set to interface it does not listen to any packet and does not send any hello. Default value is no.

hello num

Specifies interval in seconds between sending of Hello messages. Beware, all routers on the same network need to have the same hello interval. Default value is 10.

poll num

Specifies interval in seconds between sending of Hello messages for some neighbors on NBMA network. Default value is 20.

retransmit num

Specifies interval in seconds between retransmissions of unacknowledged updates. Default value is 5.

priority num

On every multiple access network (e.g., the Ethernet) Designated Router and Backup Designated router are elected. These routers have some special functions in the flooding process. Higher priority increases preferences in this election. Routers with priority 0 are not eligible. Default value is 1.

wait num

After start, router waits for the specified number of seconds between starting election and building adjacency. Default value is 4*hello.

dead count num

When the router does not receive any messages from a neighbor in dead count*hello seconds, it will consider the neighbor down.

dead num

When the router does not receive any messages from a neighbor in dead seconds, it will consider the neighbor down. If both directives dead count and dead are used, dead has precedence.

secondary switch

On BSD systems, older versions of BIRD supported OSPFv2 only for the primary IP address of an interface, other IP ranges on the interface were handled as stub networks. Since v1.4.1, regular operation on secondary IP addresses is supported, but disabled by default for compatibility. This option allows to enable it. The option is a transitional measure, will be removed in the next major release as the behavior will be changed. On Linux systems, the option is irrelevant, as operation on non-primary addresses is already the regular behavior.

rx buffer num

This option allows to specify the size of buffers used for packet processing. The buffer size should be bigger than maximal size of any packets. By default, buffers are dynamically resized as needed, but a fixed value could be specified. Value large means maximal allowed packet size - 65535.

tx length num

Transmitted OSPF messages that contain large amount of information are segmented to separate OSPF packets to avoid IP fragmentation. This option specifies the soft ceiling for the length of generated OSPF packets. Default value is the MTU of the network interface. Note that larger OSPF packets may still be generated if underlying OSPF messages cannot be splitted (e.g. when one large LSA is propagated).

type broadcast|bcast

BIRD detects a type of a connected network automatically, but sometimes it's convenient to force use of a different type manually. On broadcast networks (like ethernet), flooding and Hello messages are sent using multicasts (a single packet for all the neighbors). A designated router is elected and it is responsible for synchronizing the link-state databases and originating network LSAs. This network type cannot be used on physically NBMA networks and on unnumbered networks (networks without proper IP prefix).

type pointopoint|ptp

Point-to-point networks connect just 2 routers together. No election is performed and no network LSA is originated, which makes it simpler and faster to establish. This network type is useful not only for physically PtP ifaces (like PPP or tunnels), but also for broadcast networks used as PtP links. This network type cannot be used on physically NBMA networks.

type nonbroadcast|nbma

On NBMA networks, the packets are sent to each neighbor separately because of lack of multicast capabilities. Like on broadcast networks, a designated router is elected, which plays a central role in propagation of LSAs. This network type cannot be used on unnumbered networks.

type pointomultipoint|ptmp

This is another network type designed to handle NBMA networks. In this case the NBMA network is treated as a collection of PtP links. This is useful if not every pair of routers on the NBMA network has direct communication, or if the NBMA network is used as an (possibly unnumbered) PtP link.

link lsa suppression switch

In OSPFv3, link LSAs are generated for each link, announcing link-local IPv6 address of the router to its local neighbors. These are useless on PtP or PtMP networks and this option allows to suppress the link LSA origination for such interfaces. The option is ignored on other than PtP or PtMP interfaces. Default value is no.

strict nonbroadcast switch

If set, don't send hello to any undefined neighbor. This switch is ignored on other than NBMA or PtMP interfaces. Default value is no.

real broadcast switch

In type broadcast or type ptp network configuration, OSPF packets are sent as IP multicast packets. This option changes the behavior to using old-fashioned IP broadcast packets. This may be useful as a workaround if IP multicast for some reason does not work or does not work reliably. This is a non-standard option and probably is not interoperable with other OSPF implementations. Default value is no.

ptp netmask switch

In type ptp network configurations, OSPFv2 implementations should ignore received netmask field in hello packets and should send hello packets with zero netmask field on unnumbered PtP links. But some OSPFv2 implementations perform netmask checking even for PtP links. This option specifies whether real netmask will be used in hello packets on type ptp interfaces. You should ignore this option unless you meet some compatibility problems related to this issue. Default value is no for unnumbered PtP links, yes otherwise.

check link switch

If set, a hardware link state (reported by OS) is taken into consideration. When a link disappears (e.g. an ethernet cable is unplugged), neighbors are immediately considered unreachable and only the address of the iface (instead of whole network prefix) is propagated. It is possible that some hardware drivers or platforms do not implement this feature. Default value is yes.

bfd switch

OSPF could use BFD protocol as an advisory mechanism for neighbor liveness and failure detection. If enabled, BIRD setups a BFD session for each OSPF neighbor and tracks its liveness by it. This has an advantage of an order of magnitude lower detection times in case of failure. Note that BFD protocol also has to be configured, see BFD section for details. Default value is no.

ttl security [switch | tx only]

TTL security is a feature that protects routing protocols from remote spoofed packets by using TTL 255 instead of TTL 1 for protocol packets destined to neighbors. Because TTL is decremented when packets are forwarded, it is non-trivial to spoof packets with TTL 255 from remote locations. Note that this option would interfere with OSPF virtual links.

If this option is enabled, the router will send OSPF packets with TTL 255 and drop received packets with TTL less than 255. If this option si set to tx only, TTL 255 is used for sent packets, but is not checked for received packets. Default value is no.

tx class|dscp|priority num

These options specify the ToS/DiffServ/Traffic class/Priority of the outgoing OSPF packets. See tx class common option for detailed description.

ecmp weight num

When ECMP (multipath) routes are allowed, this value specifies a relative weight used for nexthops going through the iface. Allowed values are 1-256. Default value is 1.

authentication none

No passwords are sent in OSPF packets. This is the default value.

authentication simple

Every packet carries 8 bytes of password. Received packets lacking this password are ignored. This authentication mechanism is very weak. This option is not available in OSPFv3.

authentication cryptographic

An authentication code is appended to every packet. The specific cryptographic algorithm is selected by option algorithm for each key. The default cryptographic algorithm for OSPFv2 keys is Keyed-MD5 and for OSPFv3 keys is HMAC-SHA-256. Passwords are not sent open via network, so this mechanism is quite secure. Packets can still be read by an attacker.

password "text"

Specifies a password used for authentication. See password common option for detailed description.

neighbors { set }

A set of neighbors to which Hello messages on NBMA or PtMP networks are to be sent. For NBMA networks, some of them could be marked as eligible. In OSPFv3, link-local addresses should be used, using global ones is possible, but it is nonstandard and might be problematic. And definitely, link-local and global addresses should not be mixed.

Attributes

OSPF defines four route attributes. Each internal route has a metric.

Metric is ranging from 1 to infinity (65535). External routes use metric type 1 or metric type 2. A metric of type 1 is comparable with internal metric, a metric of type 2 is always longer than any metric of type 1 or any internal metric. Internal metric or metric of type 1 is stored in attribute ospf_metric1, metric type 2 is stored in attribute ospf_metric2. If you specify both metrics only metric1 is used.

Each external route can also carry attribute ospf_tag which is a 32-bit integer which is used when exporting routes to other protocols; otherwise, it doesn't affect routing inside the OSPF domain at all. The fourth attribute ospf_router_id is a router ID of the router advertising that route / network. This attribute is read-only. Default is ospf_metric2 = 10000 and ospf_tag = 0.

Example


protocol ospf MyOSPF {
        ipv4 {
                export filter {
                        if source = RTS_BGP then {
                                ospf_metric1 = 100;
                                accept;
                        }
                        reject;
                };
        };
        area 0.0.0.0 {
                interface "eth*" {
                        cost 11;
                        hello 15;
                        priority 100;
                        retransmit 7;
                        authentication simple;
                        password "aaa";
                };
                interface "ppp*" {
                        cost 100;
                        authentication cryptographic;
                        password "abc" {
                                id 1;
                                generate to "22-04-2003 11:00:06";
                                accept from "17-01-2001 12:01:05";
                                algorithm hmac sha384;
                        };
                        password "def" {
                                id 2;
                                generate to "22-07-2005 17:03:21";
                                accept from "22-02-2001 11:34:06";
                                algorithm hmac sha512;
                        };
                };
                interface "arc0" {
                        cost 10;
                        stub yes;
                };
                interface "arc1";
        };
        area 120 {
                stub yes;
                networks {
                        172.16.1.0/24;
                        172.16.2.0/24 hidden;
                }
                interface "-arc0" , "arc*" {
                        type nonbroadcast;
                        authentication none;
                        strict nonbroadcast yes;
                        wait 120;
                        poll 40;
                        dead count 8;
                        neighbors {
                                192.168.120.1 eligible;
                                192.168.120.2;
                                192.168.120.10;
                        };
                };
        };
}

6.8 Pipe

Introduction

The Pipe protocol serves as a link between two routing tables, allowing routes to be passed from a table declared as primary (i.e., the one the pipe is connected to using the table configuration keyword) to the secondary one (declared using peer table) and vice versa, depending on what's allowed by the filters. Export filters control export of routes from the primary table to the secondary one, import filters control the opposite direction. Both tables must be of the same nettype.

The Pipe protocol may work in the transparent mode mode or in the opaque mode. In the transparent mode, the Pipe protocol retransmits all routes from one table to the other table, retaining their original source and attributes. If import and export filters are set to accept, then both tables would have the same content. The transparent mode is the default mode.

In the opaque mode, the Pipe protocol retransmits optimal route from one table to the other table in a similar way like other protocols send and receive routes. Retransmitted route will have the source set to the Pipe protocol, which may limit access to protocol specific route attributes. This mode is mainly for compatibility, it is not suggested for new configs. The mode can be changed by mode option.

The primary use of multiple routing tables and the Pipe protocol is for policy routing, where handling of a single packet doesn't depend only on its destination address, but also on its source address, source interface, protocol type and other similar parameters. In many systems (Linux being a good example), the kernel allows to enforce routing policies by defining routing rules which choose one of several routing tables to be used for a packet according to its parameters. Setting of these rules is outside the scope of BIRD's work (on Linux, you can use the ip command), but you can create several routing tables in BIRD, connect them to the kernel ones, use filters to control which routes appear in which tables and also you can employ the Pipe protocol for exporting a selected subset of one table to another one.

Configuration

Essentially, the Pipe protocol is just a channel connected to a table on both sides. Therefore, the configuration block for protocol pipe shall directly include standard channel config options; see the example below.

peer table table

Defines secondary routing table to connect to. The primary one is selected by the table keyword.

Attributes

The Pipe protocol doesn't define any route attributes.

Example

Let's consider a router which serves as a boundary router of two different autonomous systems, each of them connected to a subset of interfaces of the router, having its own exterior connectivity and wishing to use the other AS as a backup connectivity in case of outage of its own exterior line.

Probably the simplest solution to this situation is to use two routing tables (we'll call them as1 and as2) and set up kernel routing rules, so that packets having arrived from interfaces belonging to the first AS will be routed according to as1 and similarly for the second AS. Thus we have split our router to two logical routers, each one acting on its own routing table, having its own routing protocols on its own interfaces. In order to use the other AS's routes for backup purposes, we can pass the routes between the tables through a Pipe protocol while decreasing their preferences and correcting their BGP paths to reflect the AS boundary crossing.


ipv4 table as1;                         # Define the tables
ipv4 table as2;

protocol kernel kern1 {                 # Synchronize them with the kernel
        ipv4 { table as1; export all; };
        kernel table 1;
}

protocol kernel kern2 {
        ipv4 { table as2; export all; };
        kernel table 2;
}

protocol bgp bgp1 {                     # The outside connections
        ipv4 { table as1; import all; export all; };
        local as 1;
        neighbor 192.168.0.1 as 1001;
}

protocol bgp bgp2 {
        ipv4 { table as2; import all; export all; };
        local as 2;
        neighbor 10.0.0.1 as 1002;
}

protocol pipe {                         # The Pipe
        table as1;
        peer table as2;
        export filter {
                if net ~ [ 1.0.0.0/8+] then {   # Only AS1 networks
                        if preference>10 then preference = preference-10;
                        if source=RTS_BGP then bgp_path.prepend(1);
                        accept;
                }
                reject;
        };
        import filter {
                if net ~ [ 2.0.0.0/8+] then {   # Only AS2 networks
                        if preference>10 then preference = preference-10;
                        if source=RTS_BGP then bgp_path.prepend(2);
                        accept;
                }
                reject;
        };
}

6.9 RAdv

Introduction

The RAdv protocol is an implementation of Router Advertisements, which are used in the IPv6 stateless autoconfiguration. IPv6 routers send (in irregular time intervals or as an answer to a request) advertisement packets to connected networks. These packets contain basic information about a local network (e.g. a list of network prefixes), which allows network hosts to autoconfigure network addresses and choose a default route. BIRD implements router behavior as defined in RFC 4861, router preferences and specific routes (RFC 4191), and DNS extensions (RFC 6106).

The RAdv protocols supports just IPv6 channel.

Configuration

There are several classes of definitions in RAdv configuration -- interface definitions, prefix definitions and DNS definitions:

interface pattern [, ...] { options }

Interface definitions specify a set of interfaces on which the protocol is activated and contain interface specific options. See interface common options for detailed description.

prefix prefix { options }

Prefix definitions allow to modify a list of advertised prefixes. By default, the advertised prefixes are the same as the network prefixes assigned to the interface. For each network prefix, the matching prefix definition is found and its options are used. If no matching prefix definition is found, the prefix is used with default options.

Prefix definitions can be either global or interface-specific. The second ones are part of interface options. The prefix definition matching is done in the first-match style, when interface-specific definitions are processed before global definitions. As expected, the prefix definition is matching if the network prefix is a subnet of the prefix in prefix definition.

rdnss { options }

RDNSS definitions allow to specify a list of advertised recursive DNS servers together with their options. As options are seldom necessary, there is also a short variant rdnss address that just specifies one DNS server. Multiple definitions are cumulative. RDNSS definitions may also be interface-specific when used inside interface options. By default, interface uses both global and interface-specific options, but that can be changed by rdnss local option.

dnssl { options }

DNSSL definitions allow to specify a list of advertised DNS search domains together with their options. Like rdnss above, multiple definitions are cumulative, they can be used also as interface-specific options and there is a short variant dnssl domain that just specifies one DNS search domain.

trigger prefix

RAdv protocol could be configured to change its behavior based on availability of routes. When this option is used, the protocol waits in suppressed state until a trigger route (for the specified network) is exported to the protocol, the protocol also returnsd to suppressed state if the trigger route disappears. Note that route export depends on specified export filter, as usual. This option could be used, e.g., for handling failover in multihoming scenarios.

During suppressed state, router advertisements are generated, but with some fields zeroed. Exact behavior depends on which fields are zeroed, this can be configured by sensitive option for appropriate fields. By default, just default lifetime (also called router lifetime) is zeroed, which means hosts cannot use the router as a default router. preferred lifetime and valid lifetime could also be configured as sensitive for a prefix, which would cause autoconfigured IPs to be deprecated or even removed.

propagate routes switch

This option controls propagation of more specific routes, as defined in RFC 4191. If enabled, all routes exported to the RAdv protocol, with the exception of the trigger prefix, are added to advertisments as additional options. The lifetime and preference of advertised routes can be set individually by ra_lifetime and ra_preference route attributes, or per interface by route lifetime and route preference options. Default: disabled.

Note that the RFC discourages from sending more than 17 routes and recommends the routes to be configured manually.

Interface specific options:

max ra interval expr

Unsolicited router advertisements are sent in irregular time intervals. This option specifies the maximum length of these intervals, in seconds. Valid values are 4-1800. Default: 600

min ra interval expr

This option specifies the minimum length of that intervals, in seconds. Must be at least 3 and at most 3/4 * max ra interval. Default: about 1/3 * max ra interval.

min delay expr

The minimum delay between two consecutive router advertisements, in seconds. Default: 3

managed switch

This option specifies whether hosts should use DHCPv6 for IP address configuration. Default: no

other config switch

This option specifies whether hosts should use DHCPv6 to receive other configuration information. Default: no

link mtu expr

This option specifies which value of MTU should be used by hosts. 0 means unspecified. Default: 0

reachable time expr

This option specifies the time (in milliseconds) how long hosts should assume a neighbor is reachable (from the last confirmation). Maximum is 3600000, 0 means unspecified. Default 0.

retrans timer expr

This option specifies the time (in milliseconds) how long hosts should wait before retransmitting Neighbor Solicitation messages. 0 means unspecified. Default 0.

current hop limit expr

This option specifies which value of Hop Limit should be used by hosts. Valid values are 0-255, 0 means unspecified. Default: 64

default lifetime expr [sensitive switch]

This option specifies the time (in seconds) how long (since the receipt of RA) hosts may use the router as a default router. 0 means do not use as a default router. For sensitive option, see trigger. Default: 3 * max ra interval, sensitive yes.

default preference low|medium|high

This option specifies the Default Router Preference value to advertise to hosts. Default: medium.

route lifetime expr [sensitive switch]

This option specifies the default value of advertised lifetime for specific routes; i.e., the time (in seconds) for how long (since the receipt of RA) hosts should consider these routes valid. A special value 0xffffffff represents infinity. The lifetime can be overriden on a per route basis by the ra_lifetime route attribute. Default: 3 * max ra interval, sensitive no.

For the sensitive option, see trigger. If sensitive is enabled, even the routes with the ra_lifetime attribute become sensitive to the trigger.

route preference low|medium|high

This option specifies the default value of advertised route preference for specific routes. The value can be overriden on a per route basis by the ra_preference route attribute. Default: medium.

prefix linger time expr

When a prefix or a route disappears, it is advertised for some time with zero lifetime, to inform clients it is no longer valid. This option specifies the time (in seconds) for how long prefixes are advertised that way. Default: 3 * max ra interval.

route linger time expr

When a prefix or a route disappears, it is advertised for some time with zero lifetime, to inform clients it is no longer valid. This option specifies the time (in seconds) for how long routes are advertised that way. Default: 3 * max ra interval.

rdnss local switch

Use only local (interface-specific) RDNSS definitions for this interface. Otherwise, both global and local definitions are used. Could also be used to disable RDNSS for given interface if no local definitons are specified. Default: no.

dnssl local switch

Use only local DNSSL definitions for this interface. See rdnss local option above. Default: no.

Prefix specific options

skip switch

This option allows to specify that given prefix should not be advertised. This is useful for making exceptions from a default policy of advertising all prefixes. Note that for withdrawing an already advertised prefix it is more useful to advertise it with zero valid lifetime. Default: no

onlink switch

This option specifies whether hosts may use the advertised prefix for onlink determination. Default: yes

autonomous switch

This option specifies whether hosts may use the advertised prefix for stateless autoconfiguration. Default: yes

valid lifetime expr [sensitive switch]

This option specifies the time (in seconds) how long (after the receipt of RA) the prefix information is valid, i.e., autoconfigured IP addresses can be assigned and hosts with that IP addresses are considered directly reachable. 0 means the prefix is no longer valid. For sensitive option, see trigger. Default: 86400 (1 day), sensitive no.

preferred lifetime expr [sensitive switch]

This option specifies the time (in seconds) how long (after the receipt of RA) IP addresses generated from the prefix using stateless autoconfiguration remain preferred. For sensitive option, see trigger. Default: 14400 (4 hours), sensitive no.

RDNSS specific options:

ns address

This option specifies one recursive DNS server. Can be used multiple times for multiple servers. It is mandatory to have at least one ns option in rdnss definition.

lifetime [mult] expr

This option specifies the time how long the RDNSS information may be used by clients after the receipt of RA. It is expressed either in seconds or (when mult is used) in multiples of max ra interval. Note that RDNSS information is also invalidated when default lifetime expires. 0 means these addresses are no longer valid DNS servers. Default: 3 * max ra interval.

DNSSL specific options:

domain address

This option specifies one DNS search domain. Can be used multiple times for multiple domains. It is mandatory to have at least one domain option in dnssl definition.

lifetime [mult] expr

This option specifies the time how long the DNSSL information may be used by clients after the receipt of RA. Details are the same as for RDNSS lifetime option above. Default: 3 * max ra interval.

Attributes

RAdv defines two route attributes:

enum ra_preference

The preference of the route. The value can be RA_PREF_LOW, RA_PREF_MEDIUM or RA_PREF_HIGH. If the attribute is not set, the route preference option is used.

int ra_lifetime

The advertised lifetime of the route, in seconds. The special value of 0xffffffff represents infinity. If the attribute is not set, the route lifetime option is used.

Example


ipv6 table radv_routes;                 # Manually configured routes go here

protocol static {
        ipv6 { table radv_routes; };

        route 2001:0DB8:4000::/48 unreachable;
        route 2001:0DB8:4010::/48 unreachable;

        route 2001:0DB8:4020::/48 unreachable {
                ra_preference = RA_PREF_HIGH;
                ra_lifetime = 3600;
        };
}

protocol radv {
        propagate routes yes;           # Propagate the routes from the radv_routes table
        ipv6 { table radv_routes; export all; };

        interface "eth2" {
                max ra interval 5;      # Fast failover with more routers
                managed yes;            # Using DHCPv6 on eth2
                prefix ::/0 {
                        autonomous off; # So do not autoconfigure any IP
                };
        };

        interface "eth*";               # No need for any other options

        prefix 2001:0DB8:1234::/48 {
                preferred lifetime 0;   # Deprecated address range
        };

        prefix 2001:0DB8:2000::/48 {
                autonomous off;         # Do not autoconfigure
        };

        rdnss 2001:0DB8:1234::10;       # Short form of RDNSS

        rdnss {
                lifetime mult 10;
                ns 2001:0DB8:1234::11;
                ns 2001:0DB8:1234::12;
        };

        dnssl {
                lifetime 3600;
                domain "abc.com";
                domain "xyz.com";
        };
}

6.10 RIP

Introduction

The RIP protocol (also sometimes called Rest In Pieces) is a simple protocol, where each router broadcasts (to all its neighbors) distances to all networks it can reach. When a router hears distance to another network, it increments it and broadcasts it back. Broadcasts are done in regular intervals. Therefore, if some network goes unreachable, routers keep telling each other that its distance is the original distance plus 1 (actually, plus interface metric, which is usually one). After some time, the distance reaches infinity (that's 15 in RIP) and all routers know that network is unreachable. RIP tries to minimize situations where counting to infinity is necessary, because it is slow. Due to infinity being 16, you can't use RIP on networks where maximal distance is higher than 15 hosts.

BIRD supports RIPv1 (RFC 1058), RIPv2 (RFC 2453), RIPng (RFC 2080), and RIP cryptographic authentication (RFC 4822).

RIP is a very simple protocol, and it has a lot of shortcomings. Slow convergence, big network load and inability to handle larger networks makes it pretty much obsolete. It is still usable on very small networks.

Configuration

RIP configuration consists mainly of common protocol options and interface definitions, most RIP options are interface specific. RIPng (RIP for IPv6) protocol instance can be configured by using rip ng instead of just rip as a protocol type.

RIP needs one IPv4 channel. RIPng needs one IPv6 channel. If no channel is configured, appropriate channel is defined with default parameters.


protocol rip [ng] [<name>] {
        infinity <number>;
        ecmp <switch> [limit <number>];
        interface <interface pattern> {
                metric <number>;
                mode multicast|broadcast;
                passive <switch>;
                address <ip>;
                port <number>;
                version 1|2;
                split horizon <switch>;
                poison reverse <switch>;
                check zero <switch>;
                update time <number>;
                timeout time <number>;
                garbage time <number>;
                ecmp weight <number>;
                ttl security <switch>; | tx only;
                tx class|dscp <number>;
                tx priority <number>;
                rx buffer <number>;
                tx length <number>;
                check link <switch>;
                authentication none|plaintext|cryptographic;
                password "<text>";
                password "<text>" {
                        id <num>;
                        generate from "<date>";
                        generate to "<date>";
                        accept from "<date>";
                        accept to "<date>";
                        from "<date>";
                        to "<date>";
                        algorithm ( keyed md5 | keyed sha1 | hmac sha1 | hmac sha256 | hmac sha384 | hmac sha512 );
                };
        };
}

infinity number

Selects the distance of infinity. Bigger values will make protocol convergence even slower. The default value is 16.

ecmp switch [limit number]

This option specifies whether RIP is allowed to generate ECMP (equal-cost multipath) routes. Such routes are used when there are several directions to the destination, each with the same (computed) cost. This option also allows to specify a limit on maximum number of nexthops in one route. By default, ECMP is enabled if supported by Kernel. Default value of the limit is 16.

interface pattern [, ...] { options }

Interface definitions specify a set of interfaces on which the protocol is activated and contain interface specific options. See interface common options for detailed description.

Interface specific options:

metric num

This option specifies the metric of the interface. When a route is received from the interface, its metric is increased by this value before further processing. Valid values are 1-255, but values higher than infinity has no further meaning. Default: 1.

mode multicast|broadcast

This option selects the mode for RIP to use on the interface. The default is multicast mode for RIPv2 and broadcast mode for RIPv1. RIPng always uses the multicast mode.

passive switch

Passive interfaces receive routing updates but do not transmit any messages. Default: no.

address ip

This option specifies a destination address used for multicast or broadcast messages, the default is the official RIP (224.0.0.9) or RIPng (ff02::9) multicast address, or an appropriate broadcast address in the broadcast mode.

port number

This option selects an UDP port to operate on, the default is the official RIP (520) or RIPng (521) port.

version 1|2

This option selects the version of RIP used on the interface. For RIPv1, automatic subnet aggregation is not implemented, only classful network routes and host routes are propagated. Note that BIRD allows RIPv1 to be configured with features that are defined for RIPv2 only, like authentication or using multicast sockets. The default is RIPv2 for IPv4 RIP, the option is not supported for RIPng, as no further versions are defined.

version only switch

Regardless of RIP version configured for the interface, BIRD accepts incoming packets of any RIP version. This option restrict accepted packets to the configured version. Default: no.

split horizon switch

Split horizon is a scheme for preventing routing loops. When split horizon is active, routes are not regularly propagated back to the interface from which they were received. They are either not propagated back at all (plain split horizon) or propagated back with an infinity metric (split horizon with poisoned reverse). Therefore, other routers on the interface will not consider the router as a part of an independent path to the destination of the route. Default: yes.

poison reverse switch

When split horizon is active, this option specifies whether the poisoned reverse variant (propagating routes back with an infinity metric) is used. The poisoned reverse has some advantages in faster convergence, but uses more network traffic. Default: yes.

check zero switch

Received RIPv1 packets with non-zero values in reserved fields should be discarded. This option specifies whether the check is performed or such packets are just processed as usual. Default: yes.

update time number

Specifies the number of seconds between periodic updates. A lower number will mean faster convergence but bigger network load. Default: 30.

timeout time number

Specifies the time interval (in seconds) between the last received route announcement and the route expiration. After that, the network is considered unreachable, but still is propagated with infinity distance. Default: 180.

garbage time number

Specifies the time interval (in seconds) between the route expiration and the removal of the unreachable network entry. The garbage interval, when a route with infinity metric is propagated, is used for both internal (after expiration) and external (after withdrawal) routes. Default: 120.

ecmp weight number

When ECMP (multipath) routes are allowed, this value specifies a relative weight used for nexthops going through the iface. Valid values are 1-256. Default value is 1.

authentication none|plaintext|cryptographic

Selects authentication method to be used. none means that packets are not authenticated at all, plaintext means that a plaintext password is embedded into each packet, and cryptographic means that packets are authenticated using some cryptographic hash function selected by option algorithm for each key. The default cryptographic algorithm for RIP keys is Keyed-MD5. If you set authentication to not-none, it is a good idea to add password section. Default: none.

password "text"

Specifies a password used for authentication. See password common option for detailed description.

ttl security [switch | tx only]

TTL security is a feature that protects routing protocols from remote spoofed packets by using TTL 255 instead of TTL 1 for protocol packets destined to neighbors. Because TTL is decremented when packets are forwarded, it is non-trivial to spoof packets with TTL 255 from remote locations.

If this option is enabled, the router will send RIP packets with TTL 255 and drop received packets with TTL less than 255. If this option si set to tx only, TTL 255 is used for sent packets, but is not checked for received packets. Such setting does not offer protection, but offers compatibility with neighbors regardless of whether they use ttl security.

For RIPng, TTL security is a standard behavior (required by RFC 2080) and therefore default value is yes. For IPv4 RIP, default value is no.

tx class|dscp|priority number

These options specify the ToS/DiffServ/Traffic class/Priority of the outgoing RIP packets. See tx class common option for detailed description.

rx buffer number

This option specifies the size of buffers used for packet processing. The buffer size should be bigger than maximal size of received packets. The default value is 532 for IPv4 RIP and interface MTU value for RIPng.

tx length number

This option specifies the maximum length of generated RIP packets. To avoid IP fragmentation, it should not exceed the interface MTU value. The default value is 532 for IPv4 RIP and interface MTU value for RIPng.

check link switch

If set, the hardware link state (as reported by OS) is taken into consideration. When the link disappears (e.g. an ethernet cable is unplugged), neighbors are immediately considered unreachable and all routes received from them are withdrawn. It is possible that some hardware drivers or platforms do not implement this feature. Default: yes.

Attributes

RIP defines two route attributes:

int rip_metric

RIP metric of the route (ranging from 0 to infinity). When routes from different RIP instances are available and all of them have the same preference, BIRD prefers the route with lowest rip_metric. When a non-RIP route is exported to RIP, the default metric is 1.

int rip_tag

RIP route tag: a 16-bit number which can be used to carry additional information with the route (for example, an originating AS number in case of external routes). When a non-RIP route is exported to RIP, the default tag is 0.

Example


protocol rip {
        ipv4 {
                import all;
                export all;
        };
        interface "eth*" {
                metric 2;
                port 1520;
                mode multicast;
                update time 12;
                timeout time 60;
                authentication cryptographic;
                password "secret" { algorithm hmac sha256; };
        };
}

6.11 RPKI

Introduction

The Resource Public Key Infrastructure (RPKI) is mechanism for origin validation of BGP routes (RFC 6480). BIRD supports only so-called RPKI-based origin validation. There is implemented RPKI to Router (RPKI-RTR) protocol (RFC 6810). It uses some of the RPKI data to allow a router to verify that the autonomous system announcing an IP address prefix is in fact authorized to do so. This is not crypto checked so can be violated. But it should prevent the vast majority of accidental hijackings on the Internet today, e.g. the famous Pakastani accidental announcement of YouTube's address space.

The RPKI-RTR protocol receives and maintains a set of ROAs from a cache server (also called validator). You can validate routes (RFC 6483) using function roa_check() in filter and set it as import filter at the BGP protocol. BIRD should re-validate all of affected routes after RPKI update by RFC 6811, but we don't support it yet! You can use a BIRD's client command reload in bgp_protocol_name for manual call of revalidation of all routes.

Supported transports

Configuration

We currently support just one cache server per protocol. However you can define more RPKI protocols generally.


protocol rpki [<name>] {
        roa4 { table <tab>; };
        roa6 { table <tab>; };
        remote <ip> | "<domain>" [port <num>];
        port <num>;
        refresh [keep] <num>;
        retry [keep] <num>;
        expire [keep] <num>;
        transport tcp;
        transport ssh {
                bird private key "</path/to/id_rsa>";
                remote public key "</path/to/known_host>";
                user "<name>";
        };
}

Alse note that you have to specify the ROA channel. If you want to import only IPv4 prefixes you have to specify only roa4 channel. Similarly with IPv6 prefixes only. If you want to fetch both IPv4 and even IPv6 ROAs you have to specify both channels.

RPKI protocol options

remote ip | "hostname" [port num]

Specifies a destination address of the cache server. Can be specified by an IP address or by full domain name string. Only one cache can be specified per protocol. This option is required.

port num

Specifies the port number. The default port number is 323 for transport without any encryption and 22 for transport with SSH encryption.

refresh [keep] num

Time period in seconds. Tells how long to wait before next attempting to poll the cache using a Serial Query or a Reset Query packet. Must be lower than 86400 seconds (one day). Too low value can caused a false positive detection of network connection problems. A keyword keep suppresses updating this value by a cache server. Default: 3600 seconds

retry [keep] num

Time period in seconds between a failed Serial/Reset Query and a next attempt. Maximum allowed value is 7200 seconds (two hours). Too low value can caused a false positive detection of network connection problems. A keyword keep suppresses updating this value by a cache server. Default: 600 seconds

expire [keep] num

Time period in seconds. Received records are deleted if the client was unable to successfully refresh data for this time period. Must be in range from 600 seconds (ten minutes) to 172800 seconds (two days). A keyword keep suppresses updating this value by a cache server. Default: 7200 seconds

transport tcp

Unprotected transport over TCP. It's a default transport. Should be used only on secure private networks. Default: tcp

transport ssh { SSH transport options... }

It enables a SSHv2 transport encryption. Cannot be combined with a TCP transport. Default: off

SSH transport options

bird private key "/path/to/id_rsa"

A path to the BIRD's private SSH key for authentication. It can be a id_rsa file.

remote public key "/path/to/known_host"

A path to the cache's public SSH key for verification identity of the cache server. It could be a path to known_host file.

user "name"

A SSH user name for authentication. This option is a required.

Examples

BGP origin validation

Policy: Don't import ROA_INVALID routes.


roa4 table r4;
roa6 table r6;

protocol rpki {
        debug all;

        roa4 { table r4; };
        roa6 { table r6; };

        # Please, do not use rpki-validator.realmv6.org in production
        remote "rpki-validator.realmv6.org" port 8282;

        retry keep 5;
        refresh keep 30;
        expire 600;
}

filter peer_in_v4 {
        if (roa_check(r4, net, bgp_path.last) = ROA_INVALID) then
        {
                print "Ignore invalid ROA ", net, " for ASN ", bgp_path.last;
                reject;
        }
        accept;
}

protocol bgp {
        debug all;
        local as 65000;
        neighbor 192.168.2.1 as 65001;
        ipv4 {
                import filter peer_in_v4;
                export none;
        };
}

SSHv2 transport encryption


roa4 table r4;
roa6 table r6;

protocol rpki {
        debug all;

        roa4 { table r4; };
        roa6 { table r6; };

        remote 127.0.0.1 port 2345;
        transport ssh {
                bird private key "/home/birdgeek/.ssh/id_rsa";
                remote public key "/home/birdgeek/.ssh/known_hosts";
                user "birdgeek";
        };

        # Default interval values
}

6.12 Static

The Static protocol doesn't communicate with other routers in the network, but instead it allows you to define routes manually. This is often used for specifying how to forward packets to parts of the network which don't use dynamic routing at all and also for defining sink routes (i.e., those telling to return packets as undeliverable if they are in your IP block, you don't have any specific destination for them and you don't want to send them out through the default route to prevent routing loops).

There are three classes of definitions in Static protocol configuration -- global options, static route definitions, and per-route options. Usually, the definition of the protocol contains mainly a list of static routes. Static routes have no specific attributes.

Global options:

check link switch

If set, hardware link states of network interfaces are taken into consideration. When link disappears (e.g. ethernet cable is unplugged), static routes directing to that interface are removed. It is possible that some hardware drivers or platforms do not implement this feature. Default: off.

igp table name

Specifies a table that is used for route table lookups of recursive routes. Default: the same table as the protocol is connected to.

Route definitions (each may also contain a block of per-route options):

Regular routes; MPLS switching rules

There exist several types of routes; keep in mind that prefix syntax is dependent on network type.

route prefix via ip|"interface" [mpls num[/num[/num[...]]]]

Next hop routes may bear one or more next hops. Every next hop is preceded by via and configured as shown.

route prefix recursive ip [mpls num[/num[/num[...]]]]

Recursive nexthop resolves the given IP in the configured IGP table and uses that route's next hop. The MPLS stacks are concatenated; on top is the IGP's nexthop stack and on bottom is this route's stack.

route prefix blackhole|unreachable|prohibit

Special routes specifying to silently drop the packet, return it as unreachable or return it as administratively prohibited. First two targets are also known as drop and reject.

When the particular destination is not available (the interface is down or the next hop of the route is not a neighbor at the moment), Static just uninstalls the route from the table it is connected to and adds it again as soon as the destination becomes adjacent again.

Route Origin Authorization

The ROA config is just route prefix max int as int with no nexthop.

Flowspec

The flow specification are rules for routers and firewalls for filtering purpose. It is described by RFC 5575. There are 3 types of arguments: inet4 or inet6 prefixes, bitmasks matching expressions and numbers matching expressions.

Bitmasks matching is written using value/mask or !value/mask pairs. It means that (data & mask) is or is not equal to value.

Numbers matching is a matching sequence of numbers and ranges separeted by a commas (,) (e.g. 10,20,30). Ranges can be written using double dots .. notation (e.g. 80..90,120..124). An alternative notation are sequence of one or more pairs of relational operators and values separated by logical operators && or ||. Allowed relational operators are =, !=, <, <=, >, >=, true and false.

IPv4 Flowspec

dst inet4

Set a matching destination prefix (e.g. dst 192.168.0.0/16). Only this option is mandatory in IPv4 Flowspec.

src inet4

Set a matching source prefix (e.g. src 10.0.0.0/8).

proto numbers-match

Set a matching IP protocol numbers (e.g. proto 6).

port numbers-match

Set a matching source or destination TCP/UDP port numbers (e.g. port 1..1023,1194,3306).

dport numbers-match

Set a mating destination port numbers (e.g. dport 49151).

sport numbers-match

Set a matching source port numbers (e.g. sport = 0).

icmp type numbers-match

Set a matching type field number of an ICMP packet (e.g. icmp type 3)

icmp code numbers-match

Set a matching code field number of an ICMP packet (e.g. icmp code 1)

tcp flags bitmask-match

Set a matching bitmask for TCP header flags (aka control bits) (e.g. tcp flags 0x03/0x0f;). The maximum length of mask is 12 bits (0xfff).

length numbers-match

Set a matching packet length (e.g. length > 1500;)

dscp numbers-match

Set a matching DiffServ Code Point number (e.g. length > 1500;).

fragment fragmentation-type

Set a matching type of packet fragmentation. Allowed fragmentation types are dont_fragment, is_fragment, first_fragment, last_fragment (e.g. fragment is_fragment && !dont_fragment).


protocol static {
        flow4;

        route flow4 {
                dst 10.0.0.0/8;
                port > 24 && < 30 || 40..50,60..70,80 && >= 90;
                tcp flags 0x03/0x0f;
                length > 1024;
                dscp = 63;
                fragment dont_fragment, is_fragment || !first_fragment;
        };
}

Differences for IPv6 Flowspec

Flowspec IPv6 are same as Flowspec IPv4 with a few exceptions.

dst inet6 [offset num]

Set a matching destination IPv6 prefix (e.g. dst ::1c77:3769:27ad:a11a/128 offset 64).

src inet6 [offset num]

Set a matching source IPv6 prefix (e.g. src fe80::/64).

next header numbers-match

Set a matching IP protocol numbers (e.g. next header != 6).

label bitmask-match

Set a 20-bit bitmask for matching Flow Label field in IPv6 packets (e.g. label 0x8e5/0x8e5).


protocol static {
        flow6 { table myflow6; };

        route flow6 {
                dst fec0:1122:3344:5566:7788:99aa:bbcc:ddee/128;
                src 0000:0000:0000:0001:1234:5678:9800:0000/101 offset 63;
                next header = 23;
                sport > 24 && < 30 || = 40 || 50,60,70..80;
                dport = 50;
                tcp flags 0x03/0x0f, !0/0xff || 0x33/0x33;
                fragment !is_fragment || !first_fragment;
                label 0xaaaa/0xaaaa && 0x33/0x33;
        };
}

Per-route options

bfd switch

The Static protocol could use BFD protocol for next hop liveness detection. If enabled, a BFD session to the route next hop is created and the static route is BFD-controlled -- the static route is announced only if the next hop liveness is confirmed by BFD. If the BFD session fails, the static route is removed. Note that this is a bit different compared to other protocols, which may use BFD as an advisory mechanism for fast failure detection but ignores it if a BFD session is not even established.

This option can be used for static routes with a direct next hop, or also for for individual next hops in a static multipath route (see above). Note that BFD protocol also has to be configured, see BFD section for details. Default value is no.

filter expression

This is a special option that allows filter expressions to be configured on per-route basis. Can be used multiple times. These expressions are evaluated when the route is originated, similarly to the import filter of the static protocol. This is especially useful for configuring route attributes, e.g., ospf_metric1 = 100; for a route that will be exported to the OSPF protocol.

Example static config


protocol static {
        ipv4 { table testable; };       # Connect to a non-default routing table
        check link;                     # Advertise routes only if link is up
        route 0.0.0.0/0 via 198.51.100.130; # Default route
        route 10.0.0.0/8                # Multipath route
                via 198.51.100.10 weight 2
                via 198.51.100.20 bfd   # BFD-controlled next hop
                via 192.0.2.1;
        route 203.0.113.0/24 unreachable; # Sink route
        route 10.2.0.0/24 via "arc0";   # Secondary network
        route 192.168.10.0/24 via 198.51.100.100 {
                ospf_metric1 = 20;      # Set extended attribute
        }
        route 192.168.10.0/24 via 198.51.100.100 {
                ospf_metric2 = 100;     # Set extended attribute
                ospf_tag = 2;           # Set extended attribute
                bfd;                    # BFD-controlled route
        }
}


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