Linux and Unix route command

Quick links

About route
Related commands
Linux and Unix main page

About route

Show or manipulate the IP routing table.


route [-CFvnee]
route [-v] [-A family] add [-net|-host] target [netmask Nm] [gw Gw] 
      [metric N] i [mss M] [window W] [irtt I] [reject] [mod] [dyn] 
      [reinstate] [[dev] If]
route [-v] [-A family] del [-net|-host] target [gw Gw] [netmask Nm] 
      [metric N] [[dev] If]
route [-V] [--version] [-h] [--help]


route manipulates the kernel's IP routing tables. Its primary use is to set up static routes to specific hosts or networks via an interface after it has been configured with the ifconfig program.

When the add or del options are used, route modifies the routing tables. Without these options, route displays the current contents of the routing tables.


-A family use the specified address family (eg 'inet'; use 'route --help' for a full list).
-F operate on the kernel's FIB (Forwarding Information Base) routing table. This is the default.
-C operate on the kernel's routing cache.
-v select verbose operation.
-n show numerical addresses instead of trying to determine symbolic host names. This is useful if you are trying to determine why the route to your nameserver has vanished.
-e use netstat-format for displaying the routing table. -ee will generate a very long line with all parameters from the routing table.
del delete a route.
add add a new route.
target the destination network or host. You can provide IP addresses in dotted decimal or host/network names.
-net the target is a network.
-host the target is a host.
netmask NM when adding a network route, the netmask to be used.
gw GW route packets via a gateway. NOTE: The specified gateway must be reachable first. This usually means that you have to set up a static route to the gateway beforehand. If you specify the address of one of your local interfaces, it will be used to decide about the interface to which the packets should be routed to. This is a BSD-style compatibility hack.
metric M set the metric field in the routing table (used by routing daemons) to M.
mss M set the TCP Maximum Segment Size (MSS) for connections over this route to M bytes. The default is the device MTU minus headers, or a lower MTU when path mtu discovery occurred. This setting can be used to force smaller TCP packets on the other end when path mtu discovery does not work (usually because of misconfigured firewalls that block ICMP Fragmentation Needed)
window W set the TCP window size for connections over this route to W bytes. This is typically only used on AX.25 networks and with drivers unable to handle back to back frames.
irtt I set the initial round trip time (irtt) for TCP connections over this route to I milliseconds (1-12000). This is typically only used on AX.25 networks. If omitted the RFC 1122 default of 300ms is used.
reject install a blocking route, which will force a route lookup to fail. This is for example used to mask out networks before using the default route. This is NOT for firewalling.
mod, dyn, reinstate install a dynamic or modified route. These flags are for diagnostic purposes, and are generally only set by routing daemons.
dev If force the route to be associated with the specified device, as the kernel will otherwise try to determine the device on its own (by checking already existing routes and device specifications, and where the route is added to). In most normal networks you won't need this.

If dev If is the last option on the command line, the word dev may be omitted, as it's the default. Otherwise the order of the route modifiers (metric - netmask - gw - dev) doesn't matter.


route -n

Shows routing table for all IPs bound to the server.

route add -net netmask dev eth0

adds a route to the network 192.56.76.x via "eth0" The Class C netmask modifier is not really necessary here because >192.* is a Class C IP address. The word "dev" can be omitted here.

route add -net netmask dev eth0

This command sets all of the class D (multicast) IP routes to go via "eth0". This is the correct normal configuration for a multicasting kernel.

Related commands