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Basic BGP Configuration

August 25th, 2016 Go to comments

In this lab we will learn a simple eBGP (two BGP routers with different Autonomous System numbers) configuration between two routers with the topology below:


First we need to configure some interfaces on two routers as follows:

R1(config)#interface fastethernet0/0
R1(config-if)#ip address
R1(config-if)#no shutdown
R1(config-if)#interface loopback 0
R1(config-if)#ip address
R2(config)#interface fastethernet0/0
R2(config-if)#ip address
R2(config-if)#no shutdown
R2(config-if)#interface loopback 0
R2(config-if)#ip address

So we have just configured interface fa0/0 and loopback0 on both routers. Next we will configure the BGP configuration part on R1:

R1(config)#router bgp 1
R1(config-router)#neighbor remote-as 2

The configuration is very simple with only two lines on R1. In the first line, BGP configuration begins with a familiar type of command: the router bgp command, where AS number is the BGP AS number used by that router (same as EIGRP, OSPF configuration).

The next command defines the IP address of the neighbor. Unlike OSPF or EIGRP, BGP cannot discover its neighbors automatically so we have to explicitly declare them. We also have to know and declare the neighbor’s BGP AS number as well. In this case R1 wants to establish BGP neighbor relationship with R2 (in BGP AS 2) so it choose an interface on R2 (Fa0/0: and specify R2 is in BGP AS 2 via the command “neighbor remote-as 2“. At the other end R2 will do the same thing for R1 to set up BGP neighbor relationship.

R2(config)#router bgp 2
R2(config-router)#neighbor remote-as 1

After a moment we should see a message (on each router) similar to the following, letting us know that an adjacency has been formed:

On R1:

*Aug 17 00:09:38.453: %BGP-5-ADJCHANGE: neighbor Up

On R2:

*Aug 17 00:09:38.453: %BGP-5-ADJCHANGE: neighbor Up

So after forming BGP neighbor relationship we can verify by using the “show ip bgp summary” command on both routers:

R1#show ip bgp summary 
BGP router identifier, local AS number 1
BGP table version is 1, main routing table version 1

Neighbor        V    AS MsgRcvd MsgSent   TblVer  InQ OutQ Up/Down  State/PfxRcd        4     2      19      19        1    0    0 00:16:21        0
R2#show ip bgp summary
BGP router identifier, local AS number 2
BGP table version is 1, main routing table version 1

Neighbor        V    AS MsgRcvd MsgSent   TblVer  InQ OutQ Up/Down  State/PfxRcd        4     1      20      20        1    0    0 00:17:13        0

Please pay attention to the “State/PfxRcd” column of the output. It indicates the number of prefixes that have been received from a neighbor. If this value is a number (including “0”, which means BGP neighbor does not advertise any route) then the BGP neighbor relationship is good. If this value is a word (including “Idle”, “Connect”, “Active”, “OpenSent”, “OpenConfirm”) then the BGP neighbor relationship is not good.

In the outputs above we see the BGP neighbor relationship between R1 & R2 is good with zero Prefix Received (PfxRcd) because they have not advertised any routes yet.

How about the BGP routing table? We can check with the “show ip bgp” command but currently this table is empty! This is because although they formed BGP neighbor relationship but they have not exchanged any routes. Let’s try advertising the loopback 0 interface on R1 to R2:

R1(config-router)#network mask

As you see, unlike other routing protocols like OSPF or EIGRP, we have to use subnet mask ( in this case), not wildcard mask, to advertise the routes in the “network” command.

Note: With BGP, you must advertise the correct network and subnet mask in the “network” command ( in this case network BGP is very strict in the routing advertisements. In other words, BGP only advertises the network which exists exactly in the routing table (in this case network exists in the routing table as the loopback 0 interface). If you put the command “network mask” or “network mask” or “network mask” then BGP will not advertise anything.

Now the BGP routing tables on these two routers contain this route:

R1#sh ip bgp
BGP table version is 4, local router ID is
Status codes: s suppressed, d damped, h history, * valid, > best, i - internal,
              r RIB-failure, S Stale
Origin codes: i - IGP, e - EGP, ? - incomplete

   Network          Next Hop            Metric LocPrf  Weight   Path
*>                  0          32768   i
R2#sh ip bgp
BGP table version is 2, local router ID is
Status codes: s suppressed, d damped, h history, * valid, > best, i - internal,
              r RIB-failure, S Stale
Origin codes: i - IGP, e - EGP, ? - incomplete

   Network          Next Hop            Metric LocPrf  Weight   Path
*>                 0              0   1 i

An asterisk (*) in the first column means that the route has a valid next hop. A greater-than sign (>) indicates the route has been selected as the best path to that network.

The “Metric” column here is not the usual metric like in OSPF or EIGRP. It is the Multi Exit Discriminator (MED) attribute of BGP. “Weight” is another BGP attribute. The default values of both MED and Weight are 0 (as you see at the outputs above).

The “Path” column shows the AS paths that prefix were sent to reach us. It would better to read the “Path” from right to left to understand which path this prefix travel to reach our router. Letter “i” is considered the starting point of the prefix and the next number is the originating AS where this prefix originated. Next numbers are the recorded paths it traveled. For example if a prefix had to travel from AS 1 -> 2 -> 3 -> 4 -> 5 (our AS) then we will see the path “4 3 2 1 i” on our router.

Note: A blank AS path (only letter “i” is shown) means that the route was originated in the local AS. In the R1 output above, network is originated from R1 so we see the path only has one letter “i”.

One notice is on R1 the “Next Hop” is which means this prefix is originated from the local router. On R2 the Next Hop is pointing toward the interface Fa0/0 of R1 ( to which R2 will send traffic for the destination

Now R1 advertised prefix to R2 so we can re-check R2 with the “show ip bgp summary” command to see the “Prefix received” increased to 1:

R2#sh ip bgp summary 
BGP router identifier, local AS number 2
BGP table version is 2, main routing table version 2
1 network entries using 117 bytes of memory
1 path entries using 52 bytes of memory
2/1 BGP path/bestpath attribute entries using 248 bytes of memory
1 BGP AS-PATH entries using 24 bytes of memory
0 BGP route-map cache entries using 0 bytes of memory
0 BGP filter-list cache entries using 0 bytes of memory
BGP using 441 total bytes of memory
BGP activity 1/0 prefixes, 1/0 paths, scan interval 60 secs

Neighbor        V    AS MsgRcvd MsgSent   TblVer  InQ OutQ Up/Down  State/PfxRcd        4     1       5       4        2    0    0 00:01:36        1

Also in the routing table of R2 we will see this prefix, which is advertised with BGP from R1:

R2#show ip route
Codes: C - connected, S - static, R - RIP, M - mobile, B - BGP
       D - EIGRP, EX - EIGRP external, O - OSPF, IA - OSPF inter area 
       N1 - OSPF NSSA external type 1, N2 - OSPF NSSA external type 2
       E1 - OSPF external type 1, E2 - OSPF external type 2
       i - IS-IS, su - IS-IS summary, L1 - IS-IS level-1, L2 - IS-IS level-2
       ia - IS-IS inter area, * - candidate default, U - per-user static route
       o - ODR, P - periodic downloaded static route

Gateway of last resort is not set is subnetted, 1 subnets
B [20/0] via, 00:00:20 is subnetted, 1 subnets
C is directly connected, Loopback0 is subnetted, 1 subnets
C is directly connected, FastEthernet0/0

This lab only mentioned about the most basic configuration of BGP and introduced two most important commands of BGP, which are “show ip bgp summary” and “show ip bgp”. In practical BGP is often much more complex with many attributes, routing policies, redistribution,… used.

Comments (27) Comments
  1. zerox
    August 27th, 2016

    that is great , we need more

  2. Anonymous
    August 29th, 2016

    That’s is amazing !!

  3. krish
    August 30th, 2016

    thank you

  4. jdrizze
    August 31st, 2016

    OMG please provide more I’m studying for my CCNP and I want to master BGP

  5. Anonymous
    September 1st, 2016

    Hi, does anyone knows for the new version how much bgp knowledge will be in the real test?

  6. jojo
    September 6th, 2016

    well explained we definitely need more well done

  7. HM125
    September 16th, 2016

    Why we use loopback IP for router ? Please explain.

  8. Faheb
    September 21st, 2016

    Loopback is used to add a Logical network in the Routers. @HM125
    If you check the diagram, there is no LAN network.

  9. MeeM
    September 28th, 2016

    is this supported on packet tracer? if yes , on which version?

  10. Eddiebics
    October 6th, 2016

    @MeeM most of the Bgp comands are supported by packet tracer v6.2

  11. HND
    October 12th, 2016

    In real time scenario, do we use loopback interfaces…???
    Please anyone explain..

  12. any
    November 9th, 2016


  13. gk singh
    December 14th, 2016

    please configure BGP by taking more than 3 or 4 router.

  14. KMT
    January 5th, 2017

    great . . thanks for sharing . . and appreciate it .

  15. Vincent
    January 19th, 2017


  16. Tu
    January 28th, 2017

    Great, very helpful tutorial!

  17. stephen
    February 2nd, 2017

    tang ina kau

  18. Shankar
    February 11th, 2017

    Thanks a lot..It is very helpful.

  19. anon
    February 14th, 2017

    @HND: in this case, loopback is used to assume that there is network under each router to be routed back and forth.
    In real case, it must be many networks under each router as the writer explained above.

  20. NAdeem
    February 23rd, 2017

    Really very Informative .

  21. Anonymous
    February 26th, 2017

    thank’s you

  22. Tiffany
    March 10th, 2017

    The new version of Packet Tracer (101) has BGP commands support.
    Note: this version only support EBGP not IBGP AS, and only the basic commands from BGP.

  23. Sreekanth
    March 11th, 2017


  24. umair
    March 21st, 2017


  25. slim shady
    March 29th, 2017

    tang ina ka rin hahah

  26. Anonymous
    April 9th, 2017


  27. Kobi
    April 14th, 2017

    you are so good
    l need more