Debian 8

Debian 8 restrictions:

  • MPLS is not supported on Debian 8 with default kernel. MPLS requires Linux Kernel 4.5 or higher (LDP can be built, but may have limited use without MPLS)

Install required packages

Add packages:

sudo apt-get install git autoconf automake libtool make \
   libreadline-dev texinfo libjson-c-dev pkg-config bison flex python3-pip \
   libc-ares-dev python3-dev python3-sphinx build-essential \
   libsnmp-dev libcap-dev libelf-dev libprotobuf-c-dev protobuf-c-compiler

Install newer pytest (>3.0) from pip

sudo pip3 install pytest

FRR depends on the relatively new libyang library to provide YANG/NETCONF support. Unfortunately, most distributions do not yet offer a libyang package from their repositories. Therefore we offer two options to install this library.

Option 1: Binary Install

The FRR project builds some binary libyang packages.

RPM packages are at our RPM repository.

DEB packages are available as CI artifacts here.


libyang version 2.1.128 or newer is required to build FRR.


The libyang development packages need to be installed in addition to the libyang core package in order to build FRR successfully. Make sure to download and install those from the link above alongside the binary packages.

Depending on your platform, you may also need to install the PCRE development package. Typically this is libpcre2-dev or pcre2-devel.

Option 2: Source Install


Ensure that the libyang build requirements are met before continuing. Usually this entails installing cmake and libpcre2-dev or pcre2-devel.

git clone
cd libyang
git checkout v2.1.128
mkdir build; cd build
      -D CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE:String="Release" ..
sudo make install

Get FRR, compile it and install it (from Git)

This assumes you want to build and install FRR from source and not using any packages

Add frr groups and user

sudo addgroup --system --gid 92 frr
sudo addgroup --system --gid 85 frrvty
sudo adduser --system --ingroup frr --home /var/run/frr/ \
   --gecos "FRR suite" --shell /bin/false frr
sudo usermod -a -G frrvty frr

Download Source, configure and compile it

(You may prefer different options on configure statement. These are just an example.)

git clone frr
cd frr
./configure \
    --sysconfdir=/etc \
    --localstatedir=/var \
    --sbindir=/usr/lib/frr \
    --enable-multipath=64 \
    --enable-user=frr \
    --enable-group=frr \
    --enable-vty-group=frrvty \
    --enable-configfile-mask=0640 \
    --enable-logfile-mask=0640 \
    --enable-fpm \
    --with-pkg-git-version \
make check
sudo make install

Create empty FRR configuration files

sudo install -m 755 -o frr -g frr -d /var/log/frr
sudo install -m 775 -o frr -g frrvty -d /etc/frr
sudo install -m 640 -o frr -g frr /dev/null /etc/frr/zebra.conf
sudo install -m 640 -o frr -g frr /dev/null /etc/frr/bgpd.conf
sudo install -m 640 -o frr -g frr /dev/null /etc/frr/ospfd.conf
sudo install -m 640 -o frr -g frr /dev/null /etc/frr/ospf6d.conf
sudo install -m 640 -o frr -g frr /dev/null /etc/frr/isisd.conf
sudo install -m 640 -o frr -g frr /dev/null /etc/frr/ripd.conf
sudo install -m 640 -o frr -g frr /dev/null /etc/frr/ripngd.conf
sudo install -m 640 -o frr -g frr /dev/null /etc/frr/pimd.conf
sudo install -m 640 -o frr -g frr /dev/null /etc/frr/ldpd.conf
sudo install -m 640 -o frr -g frr /dev/null /etc/frr/nhrpd.conf
sudo install -m 640 -o frr -g frrvty /dev/null /etc/frr/vtysh.conf

Enable IP & IPv6 forwarding

Edit /etc/sysctl.conf and uncomment the following values (ignore the other settings)

# Uncomment the next line to enable packet forwarding for IPv4

# Uncomment the next line to enable packet forwarding for IPv6
#  Enabling this option disables Stateless Address Autoconfiguration
#  based on Router Advertisements for this host

Reboot or use sysctl -p to apply the same config to the running system


Local state directory

The local state directory must exist and have the correct permissions applied for the frrouting daemons to start. In the above ./configure example the local state directory is set to /var such that /var/run/frr is used. Debian considers /var/run/frr to be temporary and this is removed after a reboot.

When using a different local state directory you need to create the new directory and change the ownership to the frr user, for example:

mkdir /var/opt/frr
chown frr /var/opt/frr

Shared library error

If you try and start any of the frrouting daemons you may see the below error due to the frrouting shared library directory not being found:

./zebra: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

The fix is to add the following line to /etc/ which will continue to reference the library directory after the system reboots. To load the library directory path immediately run the ldconfig command after adding the line to the file eg:

echo include /usr/local/lib >> /etc/