ROUTED(8) System Manager's Manual ROUTED(8)
routed - network routing daemon
routed [ -d ] [ -g ] [ -s ] [ -q ] [ -t ] [ logfile ]
Routed is invoked at boot time to manage the network routing tables.
The routing daemon uses a variant of the Xerox NS Routing Information
Protocol in maintaining up to date kernel routing table entries. It
used a generalized protocol capable of use with multiple address types,
but is currently used only for Internet routing within a cluster of
In normal operation routed listens on the udp(4) socket for the route
service (see services(5)) for routing information packets. If the host
is an internetwork router, it periodically supplies copies of its rout‐
ing tables to any directly connected hosts and networks.
When routed is started, it uses the SIOCGIFCONF ioctl to find those
directly connected interfaces configured into the system and marked
``up'' (the software loopback interface is ignored). If multiple
interfaces are present, it is assumed that the host will forward pack‐
ets between networks. Routed then transmits a request packet on each
interface (using a broadcast packet if the interface supports it) and
enters a loop, listening for request and response packets from other
When a request packet is received, routed formulates a reply based on
the information maintained in its internal tables. The response packet
generated contains a list of known routes, each marked with a ``hop
count'' metric (a count of 16, or greater, is considered ``infinite'').
The metric associated with each route returned provides a metric rela‐
tive to the sender.
Response packets received by routed are used to update the routing
tables if one of the following conditions is satisfied:
(1) No routing table entry exists for the destination network or
host, and the metric indicates the destination is ``reachable''
(i.e. the hop count is not infinite).
(2) The source host of the packet is the same as the router in the
existing routing table entry. That is, updated information is
being received from the very internetwork router through which
packets for the destination are being routed.
(3) The existing entry in the routing table has not been updated for
some time (defined to be 90 seconds) and the route is at least
as cost effective as the current route.
(4) The new route describes a shorter route to the destination than
the one currently stored in the routing tables; the metric of
the new route is compared against the one stored in the table to
When an update is applied, routed records the change in its internal
tables and updates the kernel routing table. The change is reflected
in the next response packet sent.
In addition to processing incoming packets, routed also periodically
checks the routing table entries. If an entry has not been updated for
3 minutes, the entry's metric is set to infinity and marked for dele‐
tion. Deletions are delayed an additional 60 seconds to insure the
invalidation is propagated throughout the local internet.
Hosts acting as internetwork routers gratuitously supply their routing
tables every 30 seconds to all directly connected hosts and networks.
The response is sent to the broadcast address on nets capable of that
function, to the destination address on point-to-point links, and to
the router's own address on other networks. The normal routing tables
are bypassed when sending gratuitous responses. The reception of
responses on each network is used to determine that the network and
interface are functioning correctly. If no response is received on an
interface, another route may be chosen to route around the interface,
or the route may be dropped if no alternative is available.
Routed supports several options:
-d Enable additional debugging information to be logged, such as
bad packets received.
-g This flag is used on internetwork routers to offer a route to
the ``default'' destination. This is typically used on a gate‐
way to the Internet, or on a gateway that uses another routing
protocol whose routes are not reported to other local routers.
-s Supplying this option forces routed to supply routing informa‐
tion whether it is acting as an internetwork router or not.
This is the default if multiple network interfaces are present,
or if a point-to-point link is in use.
-q This is the opposite of the -s option.
-t If the -t option is specified, all packets sent or received are
printed on the standard output. In addition, routed will not
divorce itself from the controlling terminal so that interrupts
from the keyboard will kill the process.
Any other argument supplied is interpreted as the name of file in which
routed's actions should be logged. This log contains information about
any changes to the routing tables and, if not tracing all packets, a
history of recent messages sent and received which are related to the
In addition to the facilities described above, routed supports the
notion of ``distant'' passive and active gateways. When routed is
started up, it reads the file /etc/gateways to find gateways which may
not be located using only information from the SIOGIFCONF ioctl. Gate‐
ways specified in this manner should be marked passive if they are not
expected to exchange routing information, while gateways marked active
should be willing to exchange routing information (i.e. they should
have a routed process running on the machine). Passive gateways are
maintained in the routing tables forever and information regarding
their existence is included in any routing information transmitted.
Active gateways are treated equally to network interfaces. Routing
information is distributed to the gateway and if no routing information
is received for a period of the time, the associated route is deleted.
External gateways are also passive, but are not placed in the kernel
routing table nor are they included in routing updates. The function
of external entries is to inform routed that another routing process
will install such a route, and that alternate routes to that destina‐
tion should not be installed. Such entries are only required when both
routers may learn of routes to the same destination.
The /etc/gateways is comprised of a series of lines, each in the fol‐
< net | host > name1 gateway name2 metric value < passive | active | external >
The net or host keyword indicates if the route is to a network or spe‐
Name1 is the name of the destination network or host. This may be a
symbolic name located in /etc/networks or /etc/hosts (or, if started
after named(8), known to the name server), or an Internet address spec‐
ified in ``dot'' notation; see inet(3).
Name2 is the name or address of the gateway to which messages should be
Value is a metric indicating the hop count to the destination host or
One of the keywords passive, active or external indicates if the gate‐
way should be treated as passive or active (as described above), or
whether the gateway is external to the scope of the routed protocol.
Internetwork routers that are directly attached to the Arpanet or Mil‐
net should use the Exterior Gateway Protocol (EGP) to gather routing
information rather then using a static routing table of passive gate‐
ways. EGP is required in order to provide routes for local networks to
the rest of the Internet system. Sites needing assistance with such
configurations should contact the Computer Systems Research Group at
/etc/gateways for distant gateways
``Internet Transport Protocols'', XSIS 028112, Xerox System Integration
udp(4), XNSrouted(8), htable(8)
The kernel's routing tables may not correspond to those of routed when
redirects change or add routes. The only remedy for this is to place
the routing process in the kernel.
Routed should incorporate other routing protocols, such as Xerox NS
(XNSrouted(8)) and EGP. Using separate processes for each requires
configuration options to avoid redundant or competing routes.
Routed should listen to intelligent interfaces, such as an IMP, and to
error protocols, such as ICMP, to gather more information. It does not
always detect unidirectional failures in network interfaces (e.g., when
the output side fails).
4.2 Berkeley Distribution November 17, 1996 ROUTED(8)