A Docker-based playground is available to experiment with the installation and configuration steps reported in this section.

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


Some components used by ARouteServer need Python dev header files and static libraries: some distributions have them already included, others may need to manually install them:

# Debian Jessie, Ubuntu Trusty
apt-get install python-dev  # for Python 2
apt-get install python3-dev # for Python 3

# CentOS
yum -y install gcc python-devel

Please note that ARouteServer also needs bgpq4 (preferred) or bgpq3 to build IRR-based filters: details on their installation can be found within the External programs section.

Install using pip (suggested)

If you plan to just use the program to build configurations or to run your own live tests scenarios, you can install it using pip.

Strongly suggested: setup a Virtualenv.

# on Debian/Ubuntu:
sudo apt-get install python-pip python-virtualenv

# on CentOS:
sudo yum install epel-release
sudo yum install python-pip python-virtualenv

# on OpenBSD
pkg_add python3
pkg_add py3-packaging py3-wheel py3-pip py3-virtualenv

# setup a virtualenv
mkdir -p ~/.virtualenvs/arouteserver
virtualenv ~/.virtualenvs/arouteserver
source ~/.virtualenvs/arouteserver/bin/activate

# install the program
pip install arouteserver

More: virtualenv installation and usage.


If you receive the following error while installing the program (or its requirements): error in setup command: ‘install_requires’ must be a string or list of strings containing valid project/version requirement specifiers then please upgrade the setuptools package that is used in your virtualenv: pip install --upgrade setuptools.


In the case the pip installation process breaks with the Failed building wheel for py-radix / fatal error: Python.h: No such file or directory error, please verify that the dependencies are satisfied.

Install from GitHub

If you plan to run built-in Live tests on your own or to contribute to the project, clone the GitHub repository locally and install dependencies:

mkdir -p ~/src/arouteserver
cd ~/src/arouteserver

# use the URL of your fork here:
git clone ./

export PYTHONPATH="`pwd`"
pip install -r requirements.txt

Setup and initialization

  • Setup your system layout (confirmation will be asked before each action):

    # if you used pip
    arouteserver setup
    # if you installed from GitHub
    export PYTHONPATH="`pwd`"
    ./scripts/arouteserver setup

    The program will ask you to create some directories (under ~/arouteserver by default) and to copy some files there. These paths can be changed by editing the arouteserver.yml program configuration file or by using command line arguments. More information in the configuration section.

  • Define the route server configuration policies, using the configure command or manually by editing the general.yml file:

    # if you used pip
    arouteserver configure
    # if you installed from GitHub
    ./scripts/arouteserver configure

    The configure command asks some questions about the route server environment (ASN, router ID, local subnets) and then it builds a policy definition file based on best practices and suggestions which also includes a rich BGP communities list.

  • If you plan to use features that are based on PeeringDB data (some of them are enabled by default or proposed as part of the policies generated by the configure command above) it is strongly suggested that you create a PeeringDB API key and configure it in the system where ARouteServer runs.

    Using an API key allows to mitigate the effect of the anonymous API throttling mechanism. The key can be exposed via the environment variable SECRET_PEERINGDB_API_KEY, or stored inside 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.

External programs

ARouteServer uses the following external programs:

  • (mandatory) bgpq4 or bgpq3 are used to gather information from IRRDBs: at least one of them must be installed on the system where ARouteServer is executed.

    Please note: the libtool package may need to be added to the system in order to compile bgpq4: apt-get install libtool / yum install -y libtool.

    To install bgpq4:

    mkdir /path/to/bgpq4/directory
    cd /path/to/bgpq4/directory
    git clone ./
    # automake, autoconf, make and gcc packages required
    sudo make install

    To install bgpq3:

    mkdir /path/to/bgpq3/directory
    cd /path/to/bgpq3/directory
    git clone ./
    # make and gcc packages required
    sudo make install

    On OpenBSD you can also install the package directly:

    pkg_add bgpq3
  • (optional) Docker is used to perform live validation of configurations.

    To install it, please refer to its official guide.

  • (optional) KVM is also used to perform live tests of OpenBGPD configurations on an OpenBSD virtual machine.

    To install it:

    apt-get install qemu-kvm virtinst

    More details:

  • (optional) rtrlib and bird-rtrlib-cli; ARouteServer can use these tools to load RPKI data into BIRD 1.6.x. More details in ROAs sources.

    To install them:

    curl -o -L
    cd rtrlib-0.3.6 && \
        cmake -D CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release . && \
        make && \
        make install
    curl -o -L
    cd bird-rtrlib-cli-0.1.1 && \
        cmake . && \

    More details:

    To configure bird-rtrlib-cli please refer to the README.


Often upgrades bring new features and new options, sometimes they also introduce changes that might break backward compatibility with previous versions. It is advisable to always check the CHANGELOG to verify what’s new: the arouteserver show_config command can also be used to verify if new configuration options are available and how they are set by default.

To upgrade the program, download the new version…

# if you cloned the repository from GitHub,
# from within the local repository's directory:
git pull origin master

# if you installed it with pip:
pip install --upgrade arouteserver

… then sync the local templates with those distributed in the new version:

arouteserver setup-templates

If local templates have been edited, make a backup of your files in order to merge your changes in the new ones later. To customize the configuration of the route server with your own options, please consider using Site-specific custom configuration files instead of editing the template files.

Development and pre-release versions


Consider your needs carefully before using a version other than the current production versions. These are preview releases, and their use is not recommended in production settings.

The dev branch is used for the development of the project, while the master branch always contains the latest, (hopefully) stable production-ready code.

To install or to upgrade to the latest pre-release version use the TestPyPI instance of the Python Package Index (PyPI):

pip install --index-url --extra-index-url --pre arouteserver

Ansible role

An Ansible role to install and configure ARouteServer can be found on Galaxy or on GitHub.

It is tested on Debian (Jessie, Stretch), Ubuntu (Trusty, Xenial) and CentOS 7.