In relation with the Réseau Libre project, I wanted to test a router installation using Quagga instead of simply running the standalone babeld daemon. Some of the advantages are a common location and syntax for routing configuration, support for multiple routing routing protocols (so we can easily mix Babel with OLSR with BGP, for example) and get the vtysh command-line tool to access information.

The current stable version of Quagga integrates the babeld code, but Babel is not a high priority so it does not tend to follow the new versions. The Quagga developers balance this limitation with a separate release line of the Quagga code, named Quagga RE. By using this code, we can get recent versions of babeld integrated into Quagga.

This page describes how Quagga RE has been installed on the mesh router. The Debian quagga package was previously installed on this server so the configuration data, init scripts and user IDs are expected to be reused with minor modifications. I guess it could be possible to simply install and immediately remove (without purging) the quagga package to get a functional installation.

Get the code

git clone
git checkout RE-

We can use the information from the Debian Quagga package to fetch most of the dependencies.

sudo apt-get build-dep quagga
sudo apt-get install libgcrypt11-dev

Patch on recent versions of GNU Readline

Apply the patch to fix compilation issues in vtysh.


Here we replicate the configurations options as they are set in the debian/rules script of the Debian package.

cd quagga-RE
./configure --prefix=/usr \
  --enable-exampledir=/usr/share/doc/quagga/examples/ \
  --localstatedir=/var/run/quagga \
  --sbindir=/usr/lib/quagga \
  --sysconfdir=/etc/quagga \
  --enable-snmp \
  --enable-vtysh \
  --enable-isisd \
  --enable-watchquagga \
  --enable-ospf-te \
  --enable-opaque-lsa \
  --enable-ipv6 \
  --enable-ospfclient=yes \
  --enable-ospfapi=yes \
  --enable-multipath=64 \
  --enable-user=quagga \
  --enable-group=quagga \
  --enable-vty-group=quaggavty \
  --enable-configfile-mask=0640 \
  --enable-logfile-mask=0640 \
  --enable-rtadv \
  --enable-gcc-rdynamic \
sudo make install
sudo /etc/init.d/quagga start

Differences between Quagga and Quagga RE

One of the major benefits of using Quagga RE for Babel is the support for specifying IPv4 and IPv6 distribution lists independently. In the stable version of Quagga, I only managed to distribute IPv6 routes. Here is the current version of /etc/quagga/babeld.conf, which is very basic:

password ********
access-list vty permit
access-list vty deny any
line vty
 access-class vty
log file /var/log/quagga/babeld.log
router babel
 network eth1
 network mesh
 redistribute connected
 redistribute kernel
 redistribute static
 distribute-list global-v4 in eth1
 distribute-list global-v4 in mesh
 distribute-list local-v4 out eth1
 distribute-list local-v4 out mesh
 ipv6 distribute-list global in eth1
 ipv6 distribute-list global in mesh
 ipv6 distribute-list local out eth1
 ipv6 distribute-list local out mesh
interface eth1
 babel wired
 babel split-horizon
interface mesh
 babel wired
access-list local-v4 permit
access-list local-v4 deny any
access-list global-v4 deny
access-list global-v4 deny
access-list global-v4 deny
access-list global-v4 permit any
ipv6 access-list local permit 2001:470:b2a7::/48
ipv6 access-list local permit fd64:2c08:9fa7::/48
ipv6 access-list local permit 2001:1928:1:9::/48
ipv6 access-list local permit 2607:f2c0:f00e:4d00:227:22ff:fe73:cf9f/128
ipv6 access-list local deny any
ipv6 access-list global deny ::/4
ipv6 access-list global deny 2001:470:b2a7::/48
ipv6 access-list global permit any