FRR is a routing software package that provides TCP/IP based routing services with routing protocols support such as RIPv1, RIPv2, RIPng, OSPFv2, OSPFv3, IS-IS, BGP-4, and BGP-4+ (Supported RFCs). 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 SNMP daemon which supports SMUX and AgentX protocol, FRR provides routing protocol MIBs (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.

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 productive, quality, free TCP/IP routing software package.

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. It is made from a collection of several daemons that work together to build the routing table. There may be several protocol-specific routing daemons and zebra the kernel routing manager.

The ripd daemon handles the RIP protocol, while ospfd is a daemon which supports OSPF version 2. bgpd supports the BGP-4 protocol. For changing the kernel routing table and for redistribution of routes between different routing protocols, there is a kernel routing table manager zebra daemon. It is easy to add a new routing protocol daemons to the entire routing system without affecting any other software. You need to run only the protocol daemon associated with routing protocols in use. Thus, user may run a specific daemon and send routing reports to a central routing console.

There is no need for these daemons to be running on the same machine. You can even run several same protocol daemons on the same machine. This architecture creates new possibilities for the routing system.

+----+  +----+  +-----+  +-----+
|bgpd|  |ripd|  |ospfd|  |zebra|
+----+  +----+  +-----+  +-----+
|                           v  |
|  UNIX Kernel  routing table  |
|                              |

    FRR System Architecture

Multi-process architecture brings extensibility, modularity and maintainability. At the same time it also brings many configuration files and terminal interfaces. Each daemon has it’s own configuration file and terminal interface. When you configure a static route, it must be done in zebra configuration file. When you configure BGP network it must be done in bgpd configuration file. This can be a very annoying thing. To resolve the problem, FRR provides integrated user interface shell called vtysh. vtysh connects to each daemon with UNIX domain socket and then works as a proxy for user input.

FRR was planned to use multi-threaded mechanism when it runs with a kernel that supports multi-threads. But at the moment, the thread library which comes with GNU/Linux or FreeBSD has some problems with running reliable services such as routing software, so we don’t use threads at all. Instead we use the select(2) system call for multiplexing the events.

Supported Platforms

Currently FRR supports GNU/Linux and BSD. Porting FRR to other platforms is not too difficult as platform dependent code should most be limited to the zebra daemon. Protocol daemons are mostly platform independent. Please let us know when you find out FRR runs on a platform which is not listed below.

The list of officially supported platforms are listed below. Note that FRR may run correctly on other platforms, and may run with partial functionality on further platforms.

  • 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

Also note that, in particular regarding proprietary platforms, compiler and C library choice will affect FRR. Only recent versions of the following C compilers are well-tested:

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

Supported RFCs

FRR implements the following RFCs:

  • 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

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.

FRR is a fork of Quagga.

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

If you think you have found a bug, please file a bug report on our GitHub issues page.

When you send a bug report, please be careful about the points below.

  • Please note what kind of OS you are using. If you use the IPv6 stack please note that as well.
  • Please show us the results of netstat -rn and ifconfig -a. Information from zebra’s VTY command show ip route will also be helpful.
  • Please send your configuration file with the report. If you specify arguments to the configure script please note that too.

Bug reports help us improve FRR and are very much appreciated.