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kevin brintnall > Net-BGP > Net::BGP



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Module Version: 0.14   Source   Latest Release: Net-BGP-0.16


Net::BGP - Border Gateway Protocol version 4 speaker/listener library


    use Net::BGP::Process;
    use Net::BGP::Peer;

    $bgp  = Net::BGP::Process->new();
    $peer = Net::BGP::Peer->new(
        Start    => 1,
        ThisID   => '',
        ThisAS   => 64512,
        PeerID   => '',
        PeerAS   => 64513

    $peer->add_timer(\&my_timer_callback, 60);


This module is an implementation of the BGP-4 inter-domain routing protocol. It encapsulates all of the functionality needed to establish and maintain a BGP peering session and exchange routing update information with the peer. It aims to provide a simple API to the BGP protocol for the purposes of automation, logging, monitoring, testing, and similar tasks using the power and flexibility of perl. The module does not implement the functionality of a RIB (Routing Information Base) nor does it modify the kernel routing table of the host system. However, such operations could be implemented using the API provided by the module.

The module takes an object-oriented approach to abstracting the operations of the BGP protocol. It supports multiple peering sessions and each peer corresponds to one instance of a Net::BGP::Peer object. The details of maintaining each peering session are handled and coordinated by an instance of a Net::BGP::Process object. BGP UPDATE messages and the routing information they represent are encapsulated by Net::BGP::Update objects. Whenever protocol errors occur and a BGP NOTIFICATION is sent or received, programs can determine the details of the error via Net::BGP::Notification objects.

The module interacts with client programs through the paradigm of callback functions. Whenever interesting protocol events occur, a callback function supplied by the user is called and information pertaining to the event is passed to the function for examination or action. For instance, whenever an UPDATE message is received from a peer, the module handles the details of decoding the message, validating it, and encapsulating it in an object and passing the object to the specific callback function supplied by the user for UPDATE message handling. The callback function is free to do whatever with the object - it might send a Net::BGP::Update object to other peers as UPDATE messages, perhaps after modifying some of the UPDATE attributes, log the routing information to a file, or do nothing at all. The possibilities for implementing routing policy via such a mechanism are limited only by the expressive capabilities of the perl language. It should be noted however that the module is intended for the uses stated above and probably would not scale well for very large BGP meshes or routing tables.

The module must maintain periodic protocol keep-alive and other processes, so once control is passed to the module's main event loop, control flow only passes back to user code whenever one of the callback functions is invoked. To provide more interaction with user programs, the module allows user timers to be established and called periodically to perform further processing. Multiple timers may be established, and each is associated with a single peer. Whenever the timers expire, a user supplied function is called and the timer is reset. The timer callback functions can perform whatever actions are necessary - sending UPDATEs, modifying the state of the peering session, house-keeping, etc.


The connection collision resolution code is broken. As currently implemented, whenever a connection is received from a peer, the Net::BGP::Peer object is cloned and each peer object proceeds through the session establishment process until the collision resolution procedure is reached. At this point, if the cloned object is chosen by the collison resolution procedure, the original peer object is destroyed, leaving the cloned object. Unfortunately, a user program will only have a reference to the original peer object it created and will have no way of accessing the cloned object. It is therefore recommended that Net::BGP::Peer objects be instantiated with the Listen parameter set to a false value. This prevents the peer object from receiving connections from its BGP peer, although it will continue actively attempting to establish sessions. This problem will be addressed in a future revision of Net::BGP.

As an initial revision, the code has not been subjected to a thorough security audit. It is possible and likely that exploitable code exists in the packet decoding routines. Therefore, it is recommended that the module only be used to establish peering sessions with trusted peers, particularly if programs using the module will be run with root priviliges (which is necessary if programs want to modify the kernel routing table or bind to the well-known BGP port 179).


RFC 1771, and the perldocs for Net::BGP::Process, Net::BGP::Peer, Net::BGP::Update, and Net::BGP::Notification


Stephen J. Scheck <>

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