route(1M) System Administration Commands route(1M)
route - manually manipulate the routing tables
route [-fnvq] sub-command [ [modifiers] args]
route [-fnvq] [-p [-R root-dir]] add | delete [modifiers] destination gateway
route [-fnvq] change | get [modifiers] destination
route [-fn] monitor [modifiers]
route [-fnvq] flush [modifiers]
route -p [-R root-dir] show
route manually manipulates the network routing tables. These tables are normally maintained by the system routing daemon, such as
in.routed(1M) and in.ripngd(1M).
route supports a limited number of general options, but a rich command language. Users can specify an arbitrary request that can be deliv-
ered by means of the programmatic interface discussed in route(7P).
route uses a routing socket and the new message types RTM_ADD, RTM_DELETE, RTM_GET, and RTM_CHANGE. While only superusers can modify rout-
ing tables, the RTM_GET operation is allowed for non-privileged users.
-f Flush the routing tables of all gateway entries. If you use the -f option in conjunction with any of the route sub-commands,
route flushes the gateways before performing the sub-command. Specify the table to flush by placing the inet or inet6 modi-
fier immediately after the -f option. If unspecified, flushing IPv4 (inet) routes is the default.
-n Prevent attempts to print host and network names symbolically when reporting actions. This option is useful when name
servers are unavailable.
-p Make changes to the network route tables persistent across system restarts. The operation is applied to the network routing
tables first and, if successful, is then applied to the list of saved routes used at system startup. In determining whether
an operation was successful, a failure to add a route that already exists or to delete a route that is not in the routing
table is ignored. Particular care should be taken when using host or network names in persistent routes, as network-based
name resolution services are not available at the time routes are added at startup.
-q Suppress all output.
-R root-dir Specify an alternate root directory where route applies changes. This option is ignored unless used in conjunction with the
-p option. When -R is specified, route changes are applied only to the list of saved routes to be used at startup, not to
the network routing tables. In addition, certain checks, such as the existence of network interfaces used with -ifp, are
skipped. This can be useful from within JumpStart scripts, where the root directory of the system being modified is in a
location other than /.
-v Print additional details in verbose mode.
The following subcommands are supported:
add Add a route.
change Change aspects of a route (such as its gateway).
delete Delete a specific route.
flush Remove all gateway entries from the routing table.
get Look up and display the route for a destination.
monitor Continuously report any changes to the routing information base, routing lookup misses, or suspected network partitionings.
show Display the list of routes to be applied at system startup. Can be used only in conjunction with the -p option.
The add and delete sub-commands have the following syntax:
route [ -fnvq ] cmd destination gateway [metric/netmask]
where cmd is add or delete, destination is the destination host or network, and gateway is the next-hop intermediary through which packets
should be routed. Modifiers described in OPERANDS can be placed anywhere on the command line.
The get and change sub-commands have the following syntax:
route [ -fnvq ] cmd destination [gateway [metric/netmask]]
where cmd is get or change, destination is the destination host or network, and gateway is the next-hop intermediary through which packets
should be routed. Modifiers described in OPERANDS can be placed anywhere on the command line.
The monitor sub-command has the following syntax:
route monitor [ -inet | -inet6 ]
route executes its sub-commands on routes to destinations by way of gateways.
Destinations and Gateways
By default, destination and gateway addresses are interpreted as IPv4 addresses. All symbolic names are tried first as a host name, using
getipnodebyname(3SOCKET). If this lookup fails in the AF_INET case, getnetbyname(3SOCKET) interprets the name as that of a network.
Including an optional modifier on the command line before the address changes how the route sub-command interprets it.
The following modifiers are supported:
-inet Force the address to be interpreted as an IPv4 address, that is, under the AF_INET address family.
-inet6 Force the address to be interpreted as an IPv6 address, that is, under the AF_INET6 address family.
For IPv4 addresses, routes to a particular host are by default distinguished from those to a network by interpreting the Internet address
specified as the destination. If the destination has a local address part (that is, the portion not covered by the netmask) of 0, or if the
destination is resolved as the symbolic name of a network, then the route is assumed to be to a network; otherwise, it is presumed to be a
route to a host.
You can force this selection by using one of the following modifiers:
-host Force the destination to be interpreted as a host.
-net Force the destination to be interpreted as a network.
Destination Destination Equivalent
128.32 -host 188.8.131.52
128.32.130 -host 184.108.40.206
-net 128.32 220.127.116.11
-net 128.32.130 18.104.22.168
Two modifiers avoid confusion between addresses and keywords (for example., host used as a symbolic host name). You can distinguish a des-
tination by preceding it with the -dst modifier. You can distinguish a gateway address by using the -gateway modifier. If the destination
is directly reachable by way of an interface requiring no intermediary IP router to act as a gateway, this can be indicated by using the
-interface or -iface modifier.
In the following example, the route does not refer to an external gateway (router), but rather to one of the machine's interfaces. Packets
with IP destination addresses matching the destination and mask on such a route are sent out on the interface identified by the gateway
address. For interfaces using the ARP protocol, this type of route is used to specify that all matching destinations are local to the phys-
ical link. That is, a host could be configured to ARP for all addresses, without regard to the configured interface netmask, by adding a
default route using this command. For example:
example# route add default hostname -interface
where gateway address hostname is the name or IP address associated with the network interface over which all matching packets should be
sent. On a host with a single network interface, hostname is usually the same as the nodename returned by the uname -n command. See
For backward compatibility with older systems, directly reachable routes can also be specified by placing a 0 after the gateway address:
example# route add default hostname 0
This value was once a route metric, but this metric is no longer used. If the value is specified as 0, then the destination is directly
reachable (equivalent to specifying -interface). If it is non-zero but cannot be interpreted as a subnet mask, then a gateway is used
With the AF_INET address family or an IPv4 address, a separate subnet mask can be specified. This can be specified in one of the following
o IP address following the gateway address . This is typically specified in decimal dot notation as for inet_addr(3SOCKET) rather
than in symbolic form.
o IP address following the -netmask qualifier.
o Slash character and a decimal length appended to the destination address.
If a subnet mask is not specified, the mask used is the subnet mask of the output interface selected by the gateway address, if the class-
ful network of the destination is the same as the classful network of the interface. Otherwise, the classful network mask for the destina-
tion address is used.
Each of the following examples creates an IPv4 route to the destination 192.0.2.32 subnet with a subnet mask of 255.255.255.224:
example# route add 192.0.2.32/27 somegateway
example# route add 192.0.2.32 -netmask 255.255.255.224 somegateway
example# route add 192.0.2.32 somegateway 255.255.255.224
For IPv6, only the slash format is accepted. The following example creates an IPv6 route to the destination 33fe:: with a netmask of 16
one-bits followed by 112 zero-bits.
example# route add -inet6 3ffe::/16 somegateway
In cases where the gateway does not uniquely identify the output interface (for example, when several interfaces have the same address),
you can use the -ifp ifname modifier to specify the interface by name. For example, -ifp lo0 associates the route with the lo0 interface.
If the named interface is an underlying interface in an IPMP (IP multipathing) group, then requests to add a route will automatically be
translated to the corresponding IPMP IP interface, and requests to delete or change a route on an underlying interface will fail.
Routes have associated flags that influence operation of the protocols when sending to destinations matched by the routes. These flags can
be set (and in some cases cleared, indicated by ~) by including the following modifiers on the command line:
Modifier Flag Description
-interface ~RTF_GATEWAY Destination is directly reachable
-iface ~RTF_GATEWAY Alias for interface modifier
-static RTF_STATIC Manually added route
-nostatic ~RTF_STATIC Pretend route was added by kernel or
-reject RTF_REJECT Emit an ICMP unreachable when matched
-blackhole RTF_BLACKHOLE Silently discard packets duing updates
-proto1 RTF_PROTO1 Set protocol specific routing flag #1
-proto2 RTF_PROTO2 Set protocol specific routing flag #2
-private RTF_PRIVATE Do not advertise this route
-multirt RTF_MULTIRT Creates the specified redundant route
-setsrc RTF_SETSRC Assigns the default source address
The optional modifiers -rtt, -rttvar, -sendpipe, -recvpipe, -mtu, -hopcount, -expire, and -ssthresh provide initial values to quantities
maintained in the routing entry by transport level protocols, such as TCP. These can be individually locked either by preceding each modi-
fier to be locked by the -lock meta-modifier, or by specifying that all ensuing metrics can be locked by the -lockrest meta-modifier.
Some transport layer protocols can support only some of these metrics. The following optional modifiers are supported:
-expire Lifetime for the entry. This optional modifier is not currently supported.
-hopcount Maximum hop count. This optional modifier is not currently supported.
-mtu Maximum MTU in bytes.
-recvpipe Receive pipe size in bytes.
-rtt Round trip time in microseconds.
-rttvar Round trip time variance in microseconds.
-sendpipe Send pipe size in bytes.
-ssthresh Send pipe size threshold in bytes.
-secattr Security attributes of the route. This modifier is available only if the system is configured with the Solaris Trusted Exten-
The -secattr modifier has the following format:
In the first form, above, the val for min_sl and max_sl is a sensitivity label in either hex or string form. The val for doi
is a non-negative integer. The route will apply only for packets with the same domain of interpretation as defined by the doi
value and within the accreditation range defined by the min_sl and max_sl values. The cipso keyword is optional and set by
default. Valid min_sl, max_sl and doi keyword/value pairs are mandatory. Note that if val contains a space, it must be pro-
tected by double quotes.
The second form, above, is equivalent to specifying the first form with the same VAL for min_sl and max_sl. The second form
should be used for the get command, because get uses only a single sensitivity label.
The modifiers host and net are taken to be equivalent to -host and -net. To specify a symbolic address that matches one of these names, use
the dst or gateway keyword to distinguish it. For example: -dst host
The following two flags are also accepted for compatibility with older systems, but have no effect.
The -ifa hostname modifier is also accepted, but has no effect.
/etc/defaultrouter List of default routers
/etc/hosts List of host names and net addresses
/etc/networks List of network names and addresses
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:
| ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE |
|Availability |SUNWcsu |
uname(1), in.ripngd(1M), in.routed(1M), netstat(1M), routed(1M), ioctl(2), getipnodebyname(3SOCKET), getnetbyname(3SOCKET),
inet_addr(3SOCKET), defaultrouter(4), hosts(4), networks(4), attributes(5), ARP(7P), ip(7P), route(7P), routing(7P)
add [ host| network] destination:gateway flags
The specified route is being added to the tables. The values printed are from the routing table entry supplied in the ioctl(2) call. If
the gateway address used was not the primary address of the gateway (the first one returned by getipnodebyname(3SOCKET)) the gateway
address is printed numerically as well as symbolically.
delete [ host| network] destination:gateway flags
change [ host| network] destination:gateway flags
As add, but when deleting or changing an entry.
When the -f flag is specified, or the flush sub-command is used, each routing table entry deleted is indicated with a message of this
Network is unreachable
An attempt to add a route failed because the gateway listed was not on a directly-connected network. Give the next-hop gateway instead.
not in table
A delete operation was attempted for an entry that is not in the table.
An add operation was attempted for a route that already exists in the kernel.
routing table overflow
An operation was attempted, but the system was unable to allocate memory to create the new entry.
An attempt to add, delete, change, or flush a route failed because the calling process does not have appropriate privileges.
Specifying that destinations are local (with the -interfacemodifier) assumes that the routers implement proxy ARP, meaning that they
respond to ARP queries for all reachable destinations. Normally, using either router discovery or RIP is more reliable and scalable than
using proxy ARP. See in.routed(1M) for information related to RIP.
Combining the all destinations are local route with subnet or network routes can lead to unpredictable results. The search order as it
relates to the all destinations are local route are undefined and can vary from release to release.
SunOS 5.11 3 Feb 2009 route(1M)