FRR is a routing software package that provides TCP/IP based routing services with routing protocols support such as BGP, RIP, OSPF, IS-IS and more (see Supported Protocols vs. Platform). FRR also supports special BGP Route Reflector and Route Server behavior. In addition to traditional IPv4 routing protocols, FRR also supports IPv6 routing protocols. With an SNMP daemon that supports the AgentX protocol, FRR provides routing protocol MIB read-only access (SNMP Support).

FRR uses an advanced software architecture to provide you with a high quality, multi server routing engine. FRR has an interactive user interface for each routing protocol and supports common client commands. Due to this design, you can add new protocol daemons to FRR easily. You can use FRR library as your program’s client user interface.

FRR is distributed under the GNU General Public License.

FRR is a fork of Quagga.

About FRR

Today, TCP/IP networks are covering all of the world. The Internet has been deployed in many countries, companies, and to the home. When you connect to the Internet your packet will pass many routers which have TCP/IP routing functionality.

A system with FRR installed acts as a dedicated router. With FRR, your machine exchanges routing information with other routers using routing protocols. FRR uses this information to update the kernel routing table so that the right data goes to the right place. You can dynamically change the configuration and you may view routing table information from the FRR terminal interface.

Adding to routing protocol support, FRR can setup interface’s flags, interface’s address, static routes and so on. If you have a small network, or a stub network, or xDSL connection, configuring the FRR routing software is very easy. The only thing you have to do is to set up the interfaces and put a few commands about static routes and/or default routes. If the network is rather large, or if the network structure changes frequently, you will want to take advantage of FRR’s dynamic routing protocol support for protocols such as RIP, OSPF, IS-IS or BGP.

Traditionally, UNIX based router configuration is done by ifconfig and route commands. Status of routing table is displayed by netstat utility. Almost of these commands work only if the user has root privileges. FRR has a different system administration method. There are two user modes in FRR. One is normal mode, the other is enable mode. Normal mode user can only view system status, enable mode user can change system configuration. This UNIX account independent feature will be great help to the router administrator.

Currently, FRR supports common unicast routing protocols, that is BGP, OSPF, RIP and IS-IS. Upcoming for MPLS support, an implementation of LDP is currently being prepared for merging. Implementations of BFD and PIM-SSM (IPv4) also exist, but are not actively being worked on.

The ultimate goal of the FRR project is making a production-grade, high quality, featureful and free IP routing software suite.

System Architecture

Traditional routing software is made as a one process program which provides all of the routing protocol functionalities. FRR takes a different approach. FRR is a suite of daemons that work together to build the routing table. There is a daemon for each major supported protocol as well as a middleman daemon (Zebra) which serves as the broker between these daemons and the kernel.

This architecture allows for high resiliency, since an error, crash or exploit in one protocol daemon will generally not affect the others. It is also flexible and extensible since the modularity makes it easy to implement new protocols and tie them into the suite.

An illustration of the large scale architecture is given below.

+----+  +----+  +-----+  +----+  +----+  +----+  +-----+
|bgpd|  |ripd|  |ospfd|  |ldpd|  |pbrd|  |pimd|  |.....|
+----+  +----+  +-----+  +----+  +----+  +----+  +-----+
     |       |        |       |       |       |        |
|                                                      |
|                         Zebra                        |
|                                                      |
       |                    |                   |
       |                    |                   |
+------v------+   +---------v--------+   +------v------+
|             |   |                  |   |             |
| *NIX Kernel |   | Remote dataplane |   | ........... |
|             |   |                  |   |             |
+-------------+   +------------------+   +-------------+

The multi-process architecture brings extensibility, modularity and maintainability. All of the FRR daemons can be managed through a single integrated user interface shell called vtysh. vtysh connects to each daemon through a UNIX domain socket and then works as a proxy for user input. In addition to a unified frontend, vtysh also provides the ability to configure all the daemons using a single configuration file through the integrated configuration mode avoiding the problem of having to maintain a separate configuration file for each daemon.

Supported Platforms

Currently FRR supports GNU/Linux and BSD. Porting FRR to other platforms is not too difficult as platform dependent code should be mostly limited to the Zebra daemon. Protocol daemons are largely platform independent. Please let us know if you can get FRR to run on a platform which is not listed below:

  • GNU/Linux
  • FreeBSD
  • NetBSD
  • OpenBSD

Versions of these platforms that are older than around 2 years from the point of their original release (in case of GNU/Linux, this is since the kernel’s release on https://kernel.org/) may need some work. Similarly, the following platforms may work with some effort:

  • Solaris
  • MacOS

Recent versions of the following compilers are well tested:

  • GNU’s GCC
  • LLVM’s Clang
  • Intel’s ICC

Supported Protocols vs. Platform

The following table lists all protocols cross-refrenced to all operating systems that have at least CI build tests. Note that for features, only features with system dependencies are included here.

Daemon / Feature Linux OpenBSD FreeBSD NetBSD Solaris
FRR Core          
zebra Y Y Y Y Y
VRF ≥4.8 N N N N
MPLS ≥4.5 Y N N N
pbrd (Policy Routing) Y N N N N
WAN / Carrier protocols          
bgpd (BGP) Y Y Y Y Y
VRF / L3VPN ≥4.8 †4.3 CP CP CP CP
EVPN ≥4.18 †4.9 CP CP CP CP
VNC (Virtual Network Control) CP CP CP CP CP
Flowspec CP CP CP CP CP
ldpd (LDP) ≥4.5 Y N N N
VPWS / PW N ≥5.8 N N N
VPLS N ≥5.8 N N N
nhrpd (NHRP) Y N N N N
Link-State Routing          
ospfd (OSPFv2) Y Y Y Y Y
Segment Routing ≥4.12 N N N N
ospf6d (OSPFv3) Y Y Y Y Y
isisd (IS-IS) Y Y Y Y Y
Distance-Vector Routing          
ripd (RIPv2) Y Y Y Y Y
ripngd (RIPng) Y Y Y Y Y
babeld (BABEL) Y Y Y Y Y
eigrpd (EIGRP) Y Y Y Y Y
Multicast Routing          
pimd (PIM) ≥4.18 N Y Y Y
SSM (Source Specific) Y N Y Y Y
ASM (Any Source) Y N N N N

The indicators have the following semantics:

  • Y - daemon/feature fully functional
  • ≥X.X - fully functional with kernel version X.X or newer
  • †X.X - restricted functionality or impaired performance with kernel version X.X or newer
  • CP - control plane only (i.e. BGP route server / route reflector)
  • N - daemon/feature not supported by operating system

Supported RFCs

FRR implements the following RFCs:


This list is incomplete.

  • RFC 1058 Routing Information Protocol. C.L. Hedrick. Jun-01-1988.
  • RFC 2082 RIP-2 MD5 Authentication. F. Baker, R. Atkinson. January 1997.
  • RFC 2453 RIP Version 2. G. Malkin. November 1998.
  • RFC 2080 RIPng for IPv6. G. Malkin, R. Minnear. January 1997.
  • RFC 2328 OSPF Version 2. J. Moy. April 1998.
  • RFC 2370 The OSPF Opaque LSA Option R. Coltun. July 1998.
  • RFC 3101 The OSPF Not-So-Stubby Area (NSSA) Option P. Murphy. January 2003.
  • RFC 2740 OSPF for IPv6. R. Coltun, D. Ferguson, J. Moy. December 1999.
  • RFC 1771 A Border Gateway Protocol 4 (BGP-4). Y. Rekhter & T. Li. March 1995.
  • RFC 1965 Autonomous System Confederations for BGP. P. Traina. June 1996.
  • RFC 1997 BGP Communities Attribute. R. Chandra, P. Traina & T. Li. August 1996.
  • RFC 2545 Use of BGP-4 Multiprotocol Extensions for IPv6 Inter-Domain Routing. P. Marques, F. Dupont. March 1999.
  • RFC 2796 BGP Route Reflection An alternative to full mesh IBGP. T. Bates & R. Chandrasekeran. June 1996.
  • RFC 2858 Multiprotocol Extensions for BGP-4. T. Bates, Y. Rekhter, R. Chandra, D. Katz. June 2000.
  • RFC 2842 Capabilities Advertisement with BGP-4. R. Chandra, J. Scudder. May 2000.
  • RFC 3137 OSPF Stub Router Advertisement, A. Retana, L. Nguyen, R. White, A. Zinin, D. McPherson. June 2001
  • RFC 4447 Pseudowire Setup and Maintenance Using the Label Distribution Protocol (LDP), L. Martini, E. Rosen, N. El-Aawar, T. Smith, and G. Heron. April 2006.
  • RFC 4762 Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS) Using Label Distribution Protocol (LDP) Signaling, M. Lasserre and V. Kompella. January 2007.
  • RFC 5036 LDP Specification, L. Andersson, I. Minei, and B. Thomas. October 2007.
  • RFC 5561 LDP Capabilities, B. Thomas, K. Raza, S. Aggarwal, R. Aggarwal, and JL. Le Roux. July 2009.
  • RFC 5918 Label Distribution Protocol (LDP) ‘Typed Wildcard’ Forward Equivalence Class (FEC), R. Asati, I. Minei, and B. Thomas. August 2010.
  • RFC 5919 Signaling LDP Label Advertisement Completion, R. Asati, P. Mohapatra, E. Chen, and B. Thomas. August 2010.
  • RFC 6667 LDP ‘Typed Wildcard’ Forwarding Equivalence Class (FEC) for PWid and Generalized PWid FEC Elements, K. Raza, S. Boutros, and C. Pignataro. July 2012.
  • RFC 6720 The Generalized TTL Security Mechanism (GTSM) for the Label Distribution Protocol (LDP), C. Pignataro and R. Asati. August 2012.
  • RFC 7552 Updates to LDP for IPv6, R. Asati, C. Pignataro, K. Raza, V. Manral, and R. Papneja. June 2015.
  • RFC 5880 Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD), D. Katz, D. Ward. June 2010
  • RFC 5881 Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD) for IPv4 and IPv6 (Single Hop), D. Katz, D. Ward. June 2010
  • RFC 5883 Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD) for Multihop Paths, D. Katz, D. Ward. June 2010

When SNMP support is enabled, the following RFCs are also supported:

  • RFC 1227 SNMP MUX protocol and MIB. M.T. Rose. May-01-1991.
  • RFC 1657 Definitions of Managed Objects for the Fourth Version of the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP-4) using SMIv2. S. Willis, J. Burruss, J. Chu, Editor. July 1994.
  • RFC 1724 RIP Version 2 MIB Extension. G. Malkin & F. Baker. November 1994.
  • RFC 1850 OSPF Version 2 Management Information Base. F. Baker, R. Coltun. November 1995.
  • RFC 2741 Agent Extensibility (AgentX) Protocol. M. Daniele, B. Wijnen. January 2000.

How to get FRR

The official FRR website is located at https://frrouting.org/ and contains further information, as well as links to additional resources.

Several distributions provide packages for FRR. Check your distribution’s repositories to find out if a suitable version is available.

Mailing Lists

Italicized lists are private.

Topic List
Development dev@lists.frrouting.org
Users & Operators frog@lists.frrouting.org
Announcements announce@lists.frrouting.org
Security security@lists.frrouting.org
Technical Steering Committee tsc@lists.frrouting.org

The Development list is used to discuss and document general issues related to project development and governance. The public Slack instance and weekly technical meetings provide a higher bandwidth channel for discussions. The results of such discussions are reflected in updates, as appropriate, to code (i.e., merges), GitHub issues tracked issues, and for governance or process changes, updates to the Development list and either this file or information posted at FRR.

Bug Reports

For information on reporting bugs, please see Reporting Bugs.