This page describes the fuzzing targets and supported fuzzers available in FRR and how to use them. Familiarity with fuzzing techniques and tools is assumed.


It is well known that networked applications tend to be difficult to fuzz on their network-facing attack surfaces. Approaches involving actual network transmission tend to be slow and are subject to intermediate devices and networking stacks which tend to drop fuzzed packets, especially if the fuzzing surface covers IP itself. Some time was spent on fuzzing FRR this way with some mediocre results but attention quickly turned towards skipping the actual networking and instead adding fuzzing targets directly in the packet processing code for use by more traditional in- and out-of-process fuzzers. Results from this approach have been very fruitful.

The patches to add fuzzing targets are kept in a separate git branch. Typically it is better to keep them in the main branch so they are kept up to date and do not need to be constantly synchronized with the main codebase. Unfortunately, changes to FRR to support fuzzing necessarily extend far beyond the entrypoints. Checksums must be disarmed, interactions with the kernel must be skipped, sockets and files must be avoided, desired under/overflows must be marked, etc. There are the usual LD_PRELOAD libraries to emulate these things (preeny et al) but FRR is a very kernel-reliant program and these libraries tend to create annoying problems when used with FRR for whatever reason. Keeping this code in the main codebase is cluttering, difficult to work with / around, and runs the risk of accidentally introducing bugs even if #ifdef’d out. Consequently it’s in a separate branch that is rebased on master from time to time.


The git branch with fuzzing targets is located here:


To build libFuzzer targets, pass --enable-libfuzzer to configure. To build AFL targets, compile with afl-clang as usual.

Fuzzing with sanitizers is strongly recommended, especially ASAN, which you can enable by passing --enable-address-sanitizer to configure.

Suggested UBSAN flags: -fsanitize-recover=unsigned-integer-overflow,implicit-conversion -fsanitize=unsigned-integer-overflow,implicit-conversion,nullability-arg,nullability-assign,nullability-return Recommended cflags: -Wno-all -g3 -O3 -funroll-loops


All fuzzing targets have support for libFuzzer and AFL. This is done by writing the target as a libFuzzer entrypoint (LLVMFuzzerTestOneInput()) and calling it from the AFL entrypoint in main(). New targets should use this rule.

When adding AFL entrypoints, it’s a good idea to use AFL persistent mode for better performance. Grep bgpd/bgp_main.c for __AFL_INIT() for an example of how to do this in FRR. Typically it involves moving all internal daemon setup into a setup function. Then this setup function is called exactly once for the lifetime of the process. In LLVMFuzzerTestOneInput() this means you need to call it at the start of the function protected by a static boolean that is set to true, since that function is your entrypoint. You also need to call it prior to __AFL_INIT() in main() because main() is your entrypoint in the AFL case.

Adding support to daemons

This section describes how to add entrypoints to daemons that do not have any yet.

Because libFuzzer has its own main() function, when adding fuzzing support to a daemon that doesn’t have any targets already, main() needs to be #ifdef’d out like so:


int main(int argc, char **argv)


The FUZZING_LIBFUZZER macro is set by --enable-libfuzzer.

Because libFuzzer can only be linked into daemons that have LLVMFuzzerTestOneInput() implemented, we can’t pass -fsanitize=fuzzer to all daemons in AM_CFLAGS. It needs to go into a variable specific to each daemon. Since it can be thought of as a kind of sanitizer, for daemons that have libFuzzer support there are now individual flags variables for those daemons named DAEMON_SAN_FLAGS (e.g. BGPD_SAN_FLAGS, ZEBRA_SAN_FLAGS). This variable has the contents of the generic SAN_FLAGS plus any fuzzing-related flags. It is used in daemons’ subdir.am in place of SAN_FLAGS. Daemons that don’t support libFuzzer still use SAN_FLAGS. If you want to add fuzzing support to a daemon you need to do this flag variable conversion; look at configure.ac for examples, it is fairly straightforward. Remember to update subdir.am to use the new variable.

Do note that when fuzzing is enabled, SAN_FLAGS gains -fsanitize=fuzzer-no-link; the result is that all daemons are instrumented for fuzzing but only the ones with LLVMFuzzerTestOneInput() actually get linked with libFuzzer.


A given daemon can have lots of different paths that are interesting to fuzz. There’s not really a great way to handle this, most fuzzers assume the program has one entrypoint. The approach taken in FRR for multiple entrypoints is to control which path is taken within LLVMFuzzerTestOneInput() using #ifdef and passing whatever controlling macro definition you want. Take a look at that function for the daemon you’re interested in fuzzing, pick the target, add #define MY_TARGET 1 somewhere before the #ifdef switch, recompile.

Fuzzing Targets
Daemon Target Fuzzers
bgpd packet parser libfuzzer, afl
ospfd packet parser libfuzzer, afl
pimd packet parser libfuzzer, afl
vrrpd packet parser libfuzzer, afl
vrrpd zapi parser libfuzzer, afl
zebra netlink libfuzzer, afl
zebra zserv / zapi libfuzzer, afl

Fuzzer Notes

Some interesting seed corpuses for various daemons are available here.

For libFuzzer, you need to pass -rss_limit_mb=0 if you are fuzzing with ASAN enabled, as you should.

For AFL, afl++ is strongly recommended; afl proper isn’t really maintained anymore.