The script can be executed via command-line:

# if cloned from GitHub, from the repository's root directory:
export PYTHONPATH="`pwd`"
./scripts/arouteserver bird --ip-ver 4 -o /etc/bird/bird4.conf

# if installed using pip:
arouteserver bird --ip-ver 4 -o /etc/bird/bird4.conf

It produces the route server configuration for BIRD and saves it on /etc/bird/bird4.conf. To build the configuration for OpenBGPD, the bird sub-command must be replaced with openbgpd.

The --target-version argument can be used to set the version of the target BGP daemon for which the configuration is generated: this allows to enable features that are supported only by more recent versions of BGP speakers and that, otherwise, would produce an error.

To build configuration for BIRD v2, --target-version must be used and set to 2.0.7 or higher; in that case, since BIRD v2 is able to process dual-stack configurations using a single process, the --ip-ver argument can be omitted, so that a single file that contains both IPv4 and IPv6 and configurations will be generated:

arouteserver bird --target-version 2.0.9 -o /etc/bird/bird.conf

The script exits with 0 if everything is fine or with an exit code different than zero if something wrong occurs.

It can be scheduled at regular intervals to re-build the configuration (for example to add new clients or to update IRRDB information), test it and finally to deploy it in production:

# The following assumes that ARouteServer runs on the
# route server itself, that is a thing that you may want
# to avoid.
arouteserver bird --ip-ver 4 -o /etc/bird/ && \
    bird -p -c /etc/bird/ && \
    cp /etc/bird/ /etc/bird/bird4.conf && \
    birdcl configure


A Docker-based playground is available to experiment with the tool.

For a quick start, please also see the official Docker image.

Environment variables

The following environment variables can be set to customise the way ARouteServer works:

  • SECRET_PEERINGDB_API_KEY: the API key to be used to perform PeeringDB queries.

    Using an API key allows to mitigate the effect of the anonymous API throttling mechanism. The same API key can also be stored on a local file, at one of the following well-known paths: ~/.arouteserver/peeringdb_api.key, ~/.peeringdb_api.key.

    Details on how to obtain an API key can be found on the PeeringDB web site.

Route server graceful shutdown

Prior to a maintenance that requires the route server shutdown a graceful shutdown can be triggered by using the --perform-graceful-shutdown argument. This option allows to build a temporary configuration that includes an outbound policy which is applied to BGP sessions toward the clients and which adds the GRACEFUL_SHUTDOWN BGP community (65535:0) to all the routes that the route server announces to them.

Please note that the configuration built when using this argument should be used only temporarly before starting the maintenance; it should be replaced with the production configuration before the route server is reloaded.

Resources and MemoryError error messages

When building large configurations, for example those generated when huge AS-SETs need to be expanded, the program may crash with a MemoryError message or other memory related exceptions. In this case, raising ulimits for max locked memory (-l) and stack size (-s) has proven to be effective in solving the problem:

$ ulimit -l 2097152; ulimit -s 8192; arouteserver openbgpd ...


ARouteServer can be used as a Python library too: see Using ARouteServer as a library for more details.

Textual representation

To build an HTML or Markdown textual representation of route server’s options and policies, the html or md commands can be used:

arouteserver html -o /var/www/html/rs_description.html

arouteserver md -o /var/www/html/

These commands write an HTML page or Markdown .md file that contain a brief textual representation of the route server’s policies. Some examples can be found here or on GitHub, inside the “examples” directory.

Automatic clients.yml creation

Create clients.yml file from PeeringDB records

The clients-from-peeringdb command can be used to automatically create a clients.yml file on the basis of PeeringDB records. Given an IX LAN ID, it collects all the networks which are registered as route server clients on that LAN, then it builds the clients file accordingly.

If the IX LAN ID argument is not given, the script uses the IX-F database to show a list of IXPs and their PeeringDB ID; this can be used to easily search for the IXP PeeringDB ID.

$ arouteserver clients-from-peeringdb
Loading IX-F database... OK

Select the IXP for which the clients list must be built
Enter the text to search for (IXP name, country, city): LINX
     ID  IXP description
     18  GB, London, London Internet Exchange LON1 (LINX LON1)
    777  US, Ashburn, LINX NoVA (LINX NoVA)
    321  GB, London, London Internet Exchange LON2 (LINX LON2)

Enter the ID of the IXP you want to use to build the clients list: 18

Create clients.yml file from Euro-IX member list JSON file

The Euro-IX member list JSON schema defines a portable output format to export the list of members connected to an Internet Exchange. These files can be used to fetch the list of clients and their attributes (AS-SETs, max-prefix limits) and to use them to automatically build the clients.yml file used by ARouteServer to generate route server’s configuration.

The clients-from-euroix command can be used for this purpose.

arouteserver clients-from-euroix --url <URL> <ixp_id> -o <output_file>

The JSON file may contain information about more than one IXP for every IX. For example, AMS-IX has ‘AMS-IX’, ‘AMS-IX Caribbean’, ‘AMS-IX Hong Kong’ and more. To filter only those clients which are connected to the IXP of interest an identifier (ixp_id) is needed. When executed without the ixp_id argument, the command prints the list of IXPs and VLANs reported in the JSON file; the ID can be found on this list:

$ arouteserver clients-from-euroix --url
IXP ID 1, short name 'AMS-IX'
 - VLAN ID 502, name 'GRX', IPv4 prefix, IPv6 prefix 2001:7f8:86:1::/64
 - VLAN ID 504, name 'MDX', IPv4 prefix
 - VLAN ID 600, name 'PI'
 - VLAN ID 501, name 'ISP', IPv4 prefix, IPv6 prefix 2001:13c7:6004::/64
IXP ID 3, short name 'AMS-IX Caribbean'
 - VLAN ID 600, name 'PI'
 - VLAN ID 501, name 'ISP', IPv4 prefix, IPv6 prefix 2001:13c7:6004::/64
IXP ID 2, short name 'AMS-IX Hong Kong'
 - VLAN ID 501, name 'ISP', IPv4 prefix, IPv6 prefix 2001:13c7:6004::/64

Finally, the list of clients and their attributes can be fetched:

$ arouteserver clients-from-euroix --url 1 --vlan 502
- asn: 58453
  description: China Mobile International Limited
- asn: 33849
  description: Comfone AG
- asn: 8959
  description: Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) (GRX)
- asn: 8959
  description: Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) (GRX)
- asn: 12322
  description: Free SAS

An example from the LONAP:

$ arouteserver clients-from-euroix --url 1
- asn: 42
        - AS-PCH
        limit_ipv4: 100
  description: Packet Clearing House AS42
- asn: 42
        - AS-PCH
        limit_ipv6: 100
  description: Packet Clearing House AS42
  ip: 2001:7f8:17::2a:1
- asn: 714
        - AS-APPLE
        limit_ipv4: 1000
  description: Apple Europe Ltd

Local customisations are possible using the --merge-from-custom-file command line argument, that allows to merge custom settings from a local YAML file into the one generated by this command: more details on how to use this option can be found running arouteserver clients-from-euroix --help-merge-from-custom-file.

To get a list of all the available options, run the arouteserver clients-from-euroix --help command.

Integration with IXP-Manager

Since the popular IXP-Manager allows to export the list of members in Euro-IX JSON format, the arouteserver clients-from-euroix command can also be used to integrate the two tools and to build ARouteServer’s list of clients automatically:


set -e

# Setup an API key on IXP-Manager and write it below.

# Adjust the URL below and point it to your IXP-Manager application.

# This is the IXP ID you want to export members from.
# It must match with the 'ixp_id' field.

# Path of the output clients file that will be built.

# Build the clients file using info from IXP-Manager.
arouteserver clients-from-euroix \
        -o $clients_file \
        --url "$url" $ixp_id

# Build the route server configuration.
arouteserver bird \
        --clients $clients_file \
        --ip-ver 4 \
        -o /etc/bird/

# Now test the new configuration and, finally,
# push it to the route server.

IX-F Member Export JSON file from clients.yml

The ixf-member-export command can be used to generate IX-F Member Export JSON files from the list of clients that are configured on the route server. Although the clients.yml file used by ARouteServer to build the route server configuration contains only those clients that are supposed to connect to the route server itself, it’s a quite common practice to preconfigure passive BGP sessions for all the IXP members there. When that’s true the clients file contains a comprehensive representation of all the IXP participants.

Please note: the output file generated with this command contains only a subset of the attributes available in the IX-F JSON schema: ASN, IP addresses, max-prefix limits and AS macros. Only information that are hard-coded in the clients.yml file are exported: AS-SETs or max prefix limits that during the configuration building process are fetched from PeeringDB or other external data sources are not included in the output file.

$ arouteserver ixf-member-export --clients examples/rich/clients.yml "Test IXP" 1
  "version": "1.0",
  "timestamp": "2021-02-27T13:38:05Z,
  "ixp_list": [
      "ixp_id": 0,
      "ixf_id": 1,
      "shortname": "Test IXP",
      "vlan": [
          "id": 0
  "member_list": [
      "asnum": 10745,
      "connection_list": [
          "ixp_id": 0,
          "vlan_list": [
              "vlan_id": 0,
              "ipv4": {
                "address": ""

To enrich the output generated by this command, an optional user-created file can be merged into it, using the --merge-file CLI option. That option takes a YML or JSON file that will be used as the baseline content, on top of which the member_list build by ARouteServer will be injected. The user can craft, for example, a JSON file that contains more information about the Internet Exchange, like the following:

  "ixp_list": [
      "shortname": "IX short name",
      "name": "IX full name",
      "country": "IT",
      "url": "",
      "peeringdb_id": 1,
      "ixf_id": 2,
      "ixp_id": 1,
      "support_email": "",
      "support_phone": "+123 456789",
      "support_contact_hours": "24/7",
      "peering_policy_list": [
      "vlan": [
          "id": 1,
          "name": "LAN1",
          "ipv4": {
            "prefix": "",
            "mask_length": 24
          "ipv6": {
            "prefix": "2001:db8::",
            "mask_length": 32

Generation of route server AS-SET RPSL object

The command arouteserver irr-as-set can be used to build the AS-SET RPSL object that describes the ASes and AS-SETs of route server clients. This object can then be used to update the relevant IRR DBs so that peering networks will also be able to build filters on their side.

At this time, ARouteServer is not able to perform any actual update on the IRR databases; it’s up to the network operator to implement a mechanism to update the information on the appropriate IRRDB. It is not excluded that an automatic update feature will be implemented in the future.

Different templates can be used to build the object, depending on the output format that it is desired for it. Those templates are:

  • plain_rpsl.j2, to produce an output in plain RPSL format (can be used, for example, to update registries that are leveraging the email system to receive updates)

  • ripe_ripeinator_yml.j2, to build a YAML file that can be consumed by ripeinator, to update AS-SET objects using the RIPE REST-API

To select the desired template, the CLI argument --template-file-name must be set. See instructions below for more details.

The template files contained in the templates/irr-as-set directory must be edited by the operator to set some mandatory attributes. Instead of editing the original files distributed with the tool, it’s strongly suggested to make a copy of them in a different directory, and then pass the path of the new dir to the command via the CLI option --templates-dir. This will help to keep a consistent version of the local custom files and to avoid the ARouteServer upgrade process to raise warnings about the local file not being in sync with the upstream one.


  1. create a directory where custom templates will be stored (example: ~/arouteserver/custom_templates)

  1. inside the new directory, create a new directory for the templates used by the irr-as-set command; the name of this sub-directory must be irr-as-set, as the command itself

  2. copy the original files into the newly-created irr-as-set directory

  3. edit the new files and customise them as needed (vim ~/arouteserver/custom_templates/irr-as-set/<file_to_edit>)

  4. run the arouteserver irr-as-set command and pass the path of the main directory created in step 1 as the --template-dir argument, and pass the name of the template file to be used via the --template-file-name argument.


$ mkdir -p ~/arouteserver/custom_templates
$ mkdir ~/arouteserver/custom_templates/irr-as-set
$ # assuming that ARouteServer config files were
$ # installed in /etc/arouteserver
$ cp \
    /etc/arouteserver/templates/irr-as-set/plain_rpsl.j2 \
$ vim ~/arouteserver/custom_templates/irr-as-set/plain_rpsl.j2
$ arouteserver \
     irr-as-set \
     --output ~/arouteserver/my_as_set.txt \
     --templates-dir ~/arouteserver/custom_templates \
     --template-file-name plain_rpsl.j2

Output example:

as-set:   AS-AS999-RS
descr:    AS999 route server IPv4 and IPv6 routes
remarks:  List of ASes and AS-SETs announced by IPv4 and IPv6
remarks:  clients to the AS999 route servers.
tech-c:   <to be set by the user>
admin-c:  <to be set by the user>
mnt-by:   <to be set by the user>
members:  AS-RIPENCC
members:  AS10745
members:  AS197000
members:  AS3333
source:   <to be set by the user>

To avoid ambiguity with the output list of members, the tool does not include any as-set whose source is specified and different from the registry set in the source: of the template. For example, if source:  ARIN is set in the template, an as-set in the format RADB::AS-ACME would not be included, and a warning log message would be generated.

In order to customise that list and forcedly include or exclude members, the --include-members and --exclude-members options can be used.

Live tests, development and customization

Template context data

To dump the list of variables and data that can be used inside a template, the template-context command can be used:

arouteserver template-context

It produces a YAML document that contains the context variables and their values as they are passed to the template engine used to build configurations.

Initialize a custom live test scenario

To setup a new live test scenario:

arouteserver init-scenario ~/ars_scenarios/myscenario

More details on How to build custom scenarios.