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Build A Network Router On Linux

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the sans-cisco dept.

The Internet 17

Idean writes "Zebra is open source TCP/IP routing software that is similar to Cisco's Internetworking Operating System (IOS). Flexible and powerful, it can handle routing protocols such as Routing Information Protocol (RIP), Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and all of their various flavors. This article shows how our authors set up Zebra and used it to manage routes dynamically in conjunction with real Cisco hardware."

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Phear (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7218797)

phear the fp

I don't see why you need software (2, Interesting)

gazbo (517111) | more than 10 years ago | (#7218814)

I've built a perfectly good router on my linux box at home using iptables - it even routes FTP properly.

I don't see why you need special equipment to do it for you; maybe some things are better left to the experts?

Re:I don't see why you need software (1)

Dibblah (645750) | more than 10 years ago | (#7218921)

... Simple, really. What you set up was just a router between two (probably) networks. It had static routes to the networks involved. OSPF, etc, are protocols that learn the complete network topology around them, in an automated manner. They're useful for complex network environments.

Re:I don't see why you need software (1)

bluGill (862) | more than 10 years ago | (#7219495)

Well first routers are built to handle more complex situations. A lot end router is easially beat for most tasks by a linux box. A high end router often had more bandwidth than the linux box.

However for speed custom hardware might be worth it, if you care enough to pay for it. Custom hardware designed from the ground up can do some things faster.

What's with the disbelief? (2, Insightful)

dmayle (200765) | more than 10 years ago | (#7218925)

...with real Cisco hardware.

As opposed to the fake Linux stuff everyone's got? Linux is used in millions of shipped units of networking equipment, and there's no reason to expect less of it. Heck, if nothing else, add all of the Net-Link/D-Sys/Linkgear equipment together and you've got solid numbers. And they all support complex networking.

Up until recently, the Cisco PIX series was nothing more then a modified PC running a customized version of BSD (and when they first bought the company that made them, it was barely even a modified PC, with floppy drive and all...).

Software is the hardware of our times, and Linux is damn impressive software...

Re:What's with the disbelief? (1)

Mr.Phil (128836) | more than 10 years ago | (#7221662)

I thought the same way as the post author, and was quite suprised when I cracked open the PIX 515 that we picked up to see a Pentium 200 processor and normal PCI cards for network interfaces.

Not to mention that the firewall software running the device is totally flaky crap unless updated with every patch, which then goes and breaks something else.

Perfect for Labs (2, Informative)

skreuzer (613775) | more than 10 years ago | (#7218957)

What is great about this is that is allows you to create a routing lab that seems to very closely resembles a cisco device.

I bought 3 2500 routers on eBay for 700 bucks, had I known about this software, I could have spent that money on something else.

I thought I'd already done that (2, Insightful)

mnmn (145599) | more than 10 years ago | (#7219066)

Ive two networks of Solaris and Linux connected together with cisco routers, all working with OSPF. I change the default route once in a while, hook up the second network behind yet another network and watch the route updates spread.

Now the firewall that I use used to be Linux, but has been replaced by Solaris just because I'm studying for its certs. The box runs NAT and squid, letting through certain IPs without mapping them, ip accounting, ipsec VPN and zebra for updates, rp_pppoe software for the dsl connection, and of course the apache, postfix, samba and other such things.

Now should I go about writing a slashdot article on this? I would have, but I know other guys who have other complex settings involving Linux/FreeBSD and dont think much of it.

Re:I thought I'd already done that (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 10 years ago | (#7232031)

Now should I go about writing a slashdot article on this?

Maybe. I didn't know about Zebra before the linked article, and now I do. The furthest I've gone with any high-level networking so far is just simple dedicated linux NAT firewalls, so zebra sounds pretty cool.

Slashdot has a certain range of geek-level associated with it. An article talking about how you can use this whole "ether-net" thing to connect your computers would be below the range, and a 200 page dissertation on quantum mechanics would probbaly be above the range. My point being that other people having done cooler-better things than you doesn't mean the slashdot crowd wouldn't find what you've done of interest.

Quagga (2, Insightful)

nsrbrake (233425) | more than 10 years ago | (#7219454)

As seen on OpenBSD's d=20031013113 502&mode=flat

In which it was mentioned in a comment that Zebra is dead, and has been replaced by:

Re:Quagga (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7219493)

How quaint. So do projects such as BSD, which is dying, along with Zebra get this in depth coverage on Might as well call it the blog of dead projects. Too bad they mentioned quagga ... now it's going to die.

Re:Quagga (1)

meatpopcicle (460770) | more than 10 years ago | (#7241043)

Quagga is a fork of the main Zebra code. This occured due to some problems with the company that produces the Zebra code (IPInfusion).

They also produce ZebOS which is a "more mature" version of the Zebra codebase. Zebra is opensource while the ZebOS code is not.

The main reason for the fork was that people felt that the opensource version was not being maintained and they were using peoples efforts to further the closed source project, while stifling the opensource version.

-Just my $0.02 worth and based on my observations of the mailing list banter of the past few months.

"Broadband router" (1)

intuition (74209) | more than 10 years ago | (#7241871)

I have been searching for a device/linux software package that will "route" my internet traffic through either one of my 2 broadband (cable and DSL) connections intelligently.

Does anyone know of any solutions?

Re:"Broadband router" (1)

asdfghjklqwertyuiop (649296) | more than 10 years ago | (#7242466)

I assume this thing is also doing NAT?

Intellegently as in sends the traffic over whichever connection gets it there the fastest? The usual way of doing that would be to receive BGP announcements from both ISPs and build a full internet routing table. Once you have that the kernel will send the traffic via whichever route has the lowest metric. But it will be a cold day in hell when you find an ISP that will do BGP with you over an average consumer broadband connection.

Re:"Broadband router" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7247356)

Good news! Hell froze over. []

Re:"Broadband router" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7247553)


Routing unused ARIN numbers. (1)

ahfoo (223186) | more than 10 years ago | (#7260039)

Let's say you had a friend who had some numbers assigned a long time ago in the early nineties say. They were still in the ARIN registry, but they weren't being routed. It was a situation where he registered at the time and had an ISP for awhile, but then things slowed down for a long time and he didn't use them. Newer numbers require fees and would revert back to the pool of open numbers, but these were registered before that policy came into effect, so they fall under the old policy which is that the numbers just stay there. And, in fact, you can do a whois to see them. There's this class C address space sitting there, but no way to use it with his ISP's configuration. Or is there?
How would you get started trying to make those numbers work?
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