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Manual page for ROUTING(4N)

routing - system supporting for local network packet routing


The network facilities provided general packet routing, leaving routing table maintenance to applications processes.

A simple set of data structures comprise a ``routing table'' used in selecting the appropriate network interface when transmitting packets. This table contains a single entry for each route to a specific network or host. A user process, the routing daemon, maintains this data base with the aid of two socket specific ioctl.2 commands, SIOCADDRT and SIOCDELRT. The commands allow the addition and deletion of a single routing table entry, respectively. Routing table manipulations may only be carried out by super-user.

A routing table entry has the following form, as defined in <net/route.h>:

struct rtentry {
	u_long	rt_hash;
	struct	sockaddr rt_dst;
	struct	sockaddr rt_gateway;
	short	rt_flags;
	short	rt_refcnt;
	u_long	rt_use;
	struct	ifnet *rt_ifp;
with rt_flags defined from:

#define	RTF_UP		0x1		/* route usable */
#define	RTF_GATEWAY	0x2		/* destination is a gateway */
#define	RTF_HOST	0x4		/* host entry (net otherwise) */

Routing table entries come in three flavors: for a specific host, for all hosts on a specific network, for any destination not matched by entries of the first two types (a wildcard route). When the system is booted, each network interface autoconfigured installs a routing table entry when it wishes to have packets sent through it. Normally the interface specifies the route through it is a ``direct'' connection to the destination host or network. If the route is direct, the transport layer of a protocol family usually requests the packet be sent to the same host specified in the packet. Otherwise, the interface may be requested to address the packet to an entity different from the eventual recipient (that is, the packet is forwarded).

Routing table entries installed by a user process may not specify the hash, reference count, use, or interface fields; these are filled in by the routing routines. If a route is in use when it is deleted (rt_refcnt is non-zero), the resources associated with it will not be reclaimed until all references to it are removed.

The routing code returns EEXIST if requested to duplicate an existing entry, ESRCH if requested to delete a non-existent entry, or ENOBUFS if insufficient resources were available to install a new route.

User processes read the routing tables through the /dev/kmem device.

The rt_use field contains the number of packets sent along the route. This value is used to select among multiple routes to the same destination. When multiple routes to the same destination exist, the least used route is selected.

A wildcard routing entry is specified with a zero destination address value. Wildcard routes are used only when the system fails to find a route to the destination host and network. The combination of wildcard routes and routing redirects can provide an economical mechanism for routing traffic.




ioctl.2 route.8c routed.8c

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Created by unroff & hp-tools. © by Hans-Peter Bischof. All Rights Reserved (1997).

Last modified 21/April/97