Last updated on October 21, 2020 by Sarmed Rahman
In the previous tutorial, I described how we can easily turn a Linux box into a fully-fledged OPSF router using Quagga, an open source routing software suite. In this tutorial, I will focus on converting a Linux box into a BGP router, again using Quagga, and demonstrate how to set up BGP peering with other BGP routers.
Before we get into details, a little background on BGP may be useful. Border Gateway Protocol (or BGP) is the de-facto standard inter-domain routing protocol of the Internet. In BGP terminology, the global Internet is a collection of tens of thousands of interconnected Autonomous Systems (ASes), where each AS represents an administrative domain of networks managed by a particular provider.
To make its networks globally routable, each AS needs to know how to reach all other ASes in the Internet. That is when BGP comes into play. BGP is the language used by an AS to exchange route information with other neighboring ASes. The route information, often called BGP routes or BGP prefixes, contains AS number (ASN; a globally unique number) and its associated IP address block(s). Once all BGP routes are learned and populated in local BGP routing tables, each AS will know how to reach any public IP addresses on the Internet.
The ability to route across different domains (ASes) is the primary reason why BGP is called an Exterior Gateway Protocol (EGP) or inter-domain routing protocol. Whereas routing protocols such as OSPF, IS-IS, RIP and EIGRP are all Interior Gateway Protocols (IGPs) or intra-domain routing protocols which are responsible for routing within one domain.
For this tutorial, let us consider the following topology.
We assume that service provider
A wants to establish a BGP peering with service provider
B to exchange routes. The details of their AS and IP address spaces are like the following.
A: ASN (
100), IP address space (
100.100.0.0/22), IP address assigned to
eth1of a BGP router (
B: ASN (
200), IP address space (
184.108.40.206/22), IP address assigned to
eth1of a BGP router (
B will be using the
100.100.0.0/30 subnet for connecting to each other. In theory, any subnet reachable from both service providers can be used for interconnection. In real life, it is advisable to use a
/30 subnet from service provider
A or service provider
B's public IP address space.
If Quagga is not already installed, we install Quagga using
# yum install quagga
If you are using CentOS 7, you need to apply the following policy change for SELinux. Otherwise, SELinux will prevent Zebra daemon from writing to its configuration directory. You can skip this step if you are using CentOS 6.
# setsebool -P zebra_write_config 1
The Quagga software suite contains several daemons that work together. For BGP routing, we will focus on setting up the following two daemons.
After Quagga is installed, the next step is to configure Zebra to manage network interfaces of BGP routers. We start by creating a Zebra configuration file and enabling logging.
# cp /usr/share/doc/quagga-XXXXX/zebra.conf.sample /etc/quagga/zebra.conf
# service zebra start # chkconfig zebra on
# systemctl start zebra # systemctl enable zebra
Quagga offers a dedicated command-line shell called
vtysh, where you can type commands which are compatible with those supported by router vendors such as Cisco and Juniper. We will be using
vtysh shell to configure BGP routers in the rest of the tutorial.
vtysh command shell by typing:
The prompt will be changed to hostname, which indicates that you are inside
Now we specify the log file for Zebra by using the following commands:
Router-A# configure terminal Router-A(config)# log file /var/log/quagga/quagga.log Router-A(config)# exit
Save Zebra configuration permanently:
Repeat this process on Router
B as well.
Next, we configure peering IP addresses on available interfaces.
Router-A# show interface
Interface eth0 is up, line protocol detection is disabled . . . . . Interface eth1 is up, line protocol detection is disabled . . . . .
site-A-RTR# configure terminal site-A-RTR(config)# interface eth0 site-A-RTR(config-if)# ip address 100.100.0.1/30 site-A-RTR(config-if)# description "to Router-B" site-A-RTR(config-if)# no shutdown site-A-RTR(config-if)# exit
Go ahead and configure interface
site-A-RTR(config)# interface eth1 site-A-RTR(config-if)# ip address 100.100.1.1/24 site-A-RTR(config-if)# description "test ip from provider A network" site-A-RTR(config-if)# no shutdown site-A-RTR(config-if)# exit
Now verify configuration:
Router-A# show interface
Interface eth0 is up, line protocol detection is disabled Description: "to Router-B" inet 100.100.0.1/30 broadcast 100.100.0.3 Interface eth1 is up, line protocol detection is disabled Description: "test ip from provider A network" inet 100.100.1.1/24 broadcast 100.100.1.255
Router-A# show interface description
Interface Status Protocol Description eth0 up unknown "to Router-B" eth1 up unknown "test ip from provider A network"
If everything looks alright, don't forget to save.
Repeat to configure interfaces on Router
B as well.
Before moving forward, verify that you can ping each other's IP address.
Router-A# ping 100.100.0.2
PING 100.100.0.2 (100.100.0.2) 56(84) bytes of data. 64 bytes from 100.100.0.2: icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=0.616 ms
Next, we will move on to configure BGP peering and prefix advertisement settings.
The Quagga daemon responsible for BGP is called
bgpd. First, we will prepare its configuration file.
# cp /usr/share/doc/quagga-XXXXXXX/bgpd.conf.sample /etc/quagga/bgpd.conf
# service bgpd start # chkconfig bgpd on
# systemctl start bgpd # systemctl enable bgpd
Now, let's enter Quagga shell.
First verify that there are no configured BGP sessions. In some versions, you may find a BGP session with AS
7675. We will remove it as we don't need it.
Router-A# show running-config
... ... ... router bgp 7675 bgp router-id 220.127.116.11 ... ... ...
We will remove any pre-configured BPG session, and replace it with our own.
Router-A# configure terminal Router-A(config)# no router bgp 7675 Router-A(config)# router bgp 100 Router-A(config)# no auto-summary Router-A(config)# no synchronizaiton Router-A(config-router)# neighbor 100.100.0.2 remote-as 200 Router-A(config-router)# neighbor 100.100.0.2 description "provider B" Router-A(config-router)# exit Router-A(config)# exit Router-A# write
B should be configured in a similar way. The following configuration is provided as reference.
Router-B# configure terminal Router-B(config)# no router bgp 7675 Router-B(config)# router bgp 200 Router-B(config)# no auto-summary Router-B(config)# no synchronizaiton Router-B(config-router)# neighbor 100.100.0.1 remote-as 100 Router-B(config-router)# neighbor 100.100.0.1 description "provider A" Router-B(config-router)# exit Router-B(config)# exit Router-B# write
When both routers are configured, a BGP peering between the two should be established. Let's verify that by running:
Router-A# show ip bgp summary
In the output, we should look at the section
State/PfxRcd. If the peering is down, the output will show
Active. Remember, the word
Active inside a router is always bad. It means that the router is actively seeking for a neighbor, prefix or route. When the peering is up, the output under
State/PfxRcd should show the number of prefixes received from this particular neighbor.
In this example output, the BGP peering is just up between AS
100 and AS
200. Thus no prefixes are being exchanged, and the number in the rightmost column is
As specified at the beginning, AS
100 will advertise a prefix
100.100.0.0/22, and AS
200 will advertise a prefix
18.104.22.168/22 in our example. Those prefixes need to be added to BGP configuration as follows.
Router-A# configure terminal Router-A(config)# router bgp 100 Router-A(config)# network 100.100.0.0/22 Router-A(config)# exit Router-A# write
Router-B# configure terminal Router-B(config)# router bgp 200 Router-B(config)# network 22.214.171.124/22 Router-B(config)# exit Router-B# write
At this point, both routers should start advertising prefixes as required.
First of all, let's verify whether the number of prefixes has changed now.
Router-A# show ip bgp summary
To view more details on the prefixes being received, we can use the following command, which shows the total number of prefixes received from neighbor
Router-A# show ip bgp neighbors 100.100.0.2 advertised-routes
To check which prefixes we are receiving from that neighbor:
Router-A# show ip bgp neighbors 100.100.0.2 routes
We can also check all the BGP routes:
Router-A# show ip bgp
These commands below can be used to check which routes in the routing table are learned via BGP.
Router-A# show ip route
Codes: K - kernel route, C - connected, S - static, R - RIP, O - OSPF, I - ISIS, B - BGP, > - selected route, * - FIB route C>* 100.100.0.0/30 is directly connected, eth0 C>* 100.100.1.0/24 is directly connected, eth1 B>* 126.96.36.199/22 [20/0] via 100.100.0.2, eth0, 00:06:45
Router-A# show ip route bgp
B>* 188.8.131.52/22 [20/0] via 100.100.0.2, eth0, 00:08:13
The BGP-learned routes should also be present in the Linux routing table.
[[email protected]~]# ip route
100.100.0.0/30 dev eth0 proto kernel scope link src 100.100.0.1 100.100.1.0/24 dev eth1 proto kernel scope link src 100.100.1.1 184.108.40.206/22 via 100.100.0.2 dev eth0 proto zebra
Finally, we are going to test with
ping should be successful.
[[email protected]~]# ping 220.127.116.11 -c 2
To sum up, this tutorial focused on how we can run basic BGP on a CentOS box. While this should get you started with BGP, there are other advanced settings such as prefix filters, BGP session authentication, IPv6 peering, BGP attribute tuning such as local preference and path prepend. I will be covering these topics in future tutorials.
Hope this helps.
This website is made possible by minimal ads and your gracious donation via PayPal or credit card
Please note that this article is published by Xmodulo.com under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. If you would like to use the whole or any part of this article, you need to cite this web page at Xmodulo.com as the original source.