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0.10.1 Sep 20, 2021
0.10.0 Aug 23, 2021
0.10.0-rc2 Jul 27, 2021
0.8.3 Feb 2, 2021
0.1.2 Nov 8, 2018

#96 in Command line utilities

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Documentation Status

Introducing ‘Routinator 3000,’ lightweight RPKI relying party software written in Rust. Routinator is a full-featured software package that can perform RPKI validation as a one-time operation and produce the result in formats such as CSV and JSON, or run as a service that periodically downloads and verifies RPKI data. The built-in HTTP server offers a user interface and API endpoints for the various output formats, as well as logging, status and Prometheus monitoring.

Routinator has a built-in an RTR server allowing routers supporting route origin validation (ROV) to connect to it to fetch verified RPKI data. Note that if you would like to run the RTR server as a separate daemon, for example because you want to centralise validation and distribute processed data to various locations where routers can connect, then NLnet Labs provides RTRTR.

If you have feedback, we would love to hear from you. Don’t hesitate to create an issue on Github or post a message on our RPKI mailing list or Discord server. You can learn more by reading the Routinator documentation and the RPKI technology documentation on Read the Docs.

Quick Start with Binary Packages

On the NLnet Labs software package repository we provide Routinator packages for amd64/x86_64 architectures running Debian and Ubuntu, as well as Red Hat Enterprise Linux and CentOS.

Installing on Debian/Ubuntu

Add the line below that corresponds to your operating system to your /etc/apt/sources.list or /etc/apt/sources.list.d/

deb [arch=amd64] https://packages.nlnetlabs.nl/linux/debian/ stretch main
deb [arch=amd64] https://packages.nlnetlabs.nl/linux/debian/ buster main
deb [arch=amd64] https://packages.nlnetlabs.nl/linux/debian/ bullseye main
deb [arch=amd64] https://packages.nlnetlabs.nl/linux/ubuntu/ xenial main
deb [arch=amd64] https://packages.nlnetlabs.nl/linux/ubuntu/ bionic main
deb [arch=amd64] https://packages.nlnetlabs.nl/linux/ubuntu/ focal main

Then run the following commands to add the public key and update the repository list

wget -qO- https://packages.nlnetlabs.nl/aptkey.asc | sudo apt-key add -
sudo apt update

You can then install Routinator by running this command

sudo apt install routinator

Installing on RHEL/CentOS

Create a file named /etc/yum.repos.d/nlnetlabs.repo, enter this configuration and save it:

name=NLnet Labs

Then run the following command to add the public key

sudo rpm --import https://packages.nlnetlabs.nl/aptkey.asc

You can then install Routinator by running this command

sudo yum install -y routinator

Setting up Routinator

Initialise, enable and start Routinator by running these commands. Note that routinator-init is slightly different than the command used with Cargo.

sudo routinator-init
# Follow instructions provided
sudo systemctl enable --now routinator

By default, Routinator will start the RTR server on port 3323 and the HTTP server on port 8323. These, and other values can be changed in the configuration file located in /etc/routinator/routinator.conf. You can check the status of Routinator with sudo systemctl status routinator and view the logs with sudo journalctl --unit=routinator.

Quick Start with Docker

Due to the impracticality of complying with the ARIN TAL distribution terms in an unsupervised Docker environment, prior to launching the container it is necessary to first review and agree to the ARIN Relying Party Agreement. If you agree to the terms, you can let the Routinator Docker image install the TALs into a mounted volume that is later reused for the server.

# Create a Docker volume to persist TALs in
sudo docker volume create routinator-tals
# Review the ARIN terms
# Run a disposable container to install TALs
sudo docker run --rm -v routinator-tals:/home/routinator/.rpki-cache/tals \
    nlnetlabs/routinator init -f --accept-arin-rpa
# Launch the final detached container named 'routinator' exposing RTR on
# port 3323 and HTTP on port 9556
sudo docker run -d --restart=unless-stopped --name routinator -p 3323:3323 \
     -p 9556:9556 -v routinator-tals:/home/routinator/.rpki-cache/tals \

For additional isolation, Routinator container is known to successfully run under gVisor.

Quick Start with Cargo

Assuming you have a newly installed Debian or Ubuntu machine, you will need to install rsync, the C toolchain and Rust. You can then install Routinator and start it up as an RTR server listening on port 3323 and HTTP on port 8323.

apt install curl rsync build-essential
curl --proto '=https' --tlsv1.2 -sSf https://sh.rustup.rs | sh
source ~/.cargo/env
cargo install --locked routinator
routinator init
# Follow instructions provided
routinator server --rtr --http

If you have an older version of Rust and Routinator, you can update using

rustup update
cargo install --locked --force routinator

Routinator 0.7.1 and newer are shipped with updated Trust Anchor Locators (TALs). Once you have upgraded from an older version of Routinator, make sure to install the new TALs using

routinator init --force


The Resource Public Key Infrastructure provides cryptographically signed statements about the association of Internet routing resources. In particular, it allows the legitimate holder of an IP prefix to state which Autonomous Systems are authorised to originate it in BGP.

All of these statements are published in a distributed repository. Routinator will collect these statements into a local copy, verify their signatures, and construct a list of associations between IP address prefixes and AS numbers. It provides this information to routers supporting route origin validation (ROV) or can output it in a number of useful formats.

System Requirements

Routinator is designed to be lean and is capable of running on minimalist hardware, such as a Raspberry Pi. Running it on a system with 1GB of available RAM and 1GB of available disk space will give the global RPKI data set enough room to grow for the foreseeable future.

As new RPKI repositories can emerge in any IP address range and on any domain name, outbound traffic must not be blocked based on IP or DNS in any way. Routinator only needs to establish outbound connections via HTTPS and rsync, on ports 443 and 873, respectively.

Getting Started

There’s two things you need for Routinator: rsync and Rust and a C toolc… There are three things you need for Routinator: rsync, a C toolchain and Rust. You need rsync because some RPKI repositories currently still use this as its means of distribution. Some of the cryptographic primitives used by the Routinator require a C toolchain, so you need that, too. You need Rust because that’s what Routinator has been written in.


Currently, Routinator requires the rsync executable to be in your path. We are not quite sure which particular version you need at the very least, but whatever is being shipped with current Linux and *BSD distributions and macOS should be fine.

On Windows, Routinator requires the rsync version that comes with Cygwin – make sure to select rsync during the installation phase. And yes, Routinator totally works on Windows, too.

If you don’t have rsync, please head to http://rsync.samba.org/

C Toolchain

Some of the libraries Routinator depends on require a C toolchain to be present. Your system probably has some easy way to install the minimum set of packages to build from C sources. For example, apt install build-essential will install everything you need on Debian and Ubuntu.

If you are unsure, try to run cc on a command line and if there’s a complaint about missing input files, you are probably good to go.

On some older systems, the toolchain may not be up-to-date. We are collecting information as it comes up in a separate document. One such instance is CentOS 6.


The Rust compiler runs on, and compiles to, a great number of platforms. The official Rust Platform Support page provides an overview of the various platforms and support levels.

While some system distributions include Rust as system packages, Routinator relies on a relatively new version of Rust, currently 1.47 or newer. We therefore suggest to use the canonical Rust installation via a tool called rustup.

To install rustup and Rust, simply do

curl --proto '=https' --tlsv1.2 -sSf https://sh.rustup.rs | sh

or, alternatively, get the file, have a look and then run it manually. Follow the instructions to get rustup and cargo, the Rust build tool, into your path.

You can update your Rust installation later by simply running

rustup update

To get started you need Cargo's bin directory ($HOME/.cargo/bin) in your PATH environment variable. To configure your current shell, run

source $HOME/.cargo/env


The easiest way to get Routinator is to leave it to cargo by saying

cargo install --locked routinator

If you want to try the main branch from the repository instead of a release version, you can run

cargo install --locked --git https://github.com/NLnetLabs/routinator.git --branch main

If you want to update an installed version, you run the same command but add the -f flag (a.k.a. --force) to approve overwriting the installed version.

The command will build Routinator and install it in the same directory that cargo itself lives in (likely $HOME/.cargo/bin). Which means Routinator will be in your path, too.

Using native TLS instead of Rustls

Routinator by default uses Rustls which in most cases is fine. However, if needed you can instead use your system native TLS implementation with Routinator like so:


Build Routinator with the native-tls feature enabled

git clone --branch vX.Y.Z --depth 1 https://github.com/NLnetLabs/routinator.git
cd routinator
cargo build --release --features socks,native-tls


Specify a native-tls image tag when running the container

sudo docker run -d --restart=unless-stopped --name routinator -p 3323:3323 \
     -p 9556:9556 -v routinator-tals:/home/routinator/.rpki-cache/tals \


All functions of Routinator are accessible on the command line via subcommands.

The first thing you need to do before running Routinator is prepare its working environment via the command

routinator init

This will prepare both the directory for the local RPKI cache as well as the TAL directory. By default both directories will be located under $HOME/.rpki-cache, but you can change their locations via command line options.

TALs provide hints for the trust anchor certificates to be used both to discover and validate all RPKI content. The five TALs that are necessary for RPKI are bundled with Routinator and installed by the routinator init command.

However, the one from the North American RIR ARIN requires you to agree to their Relying Party Agreement before you can use it. Running the routinator init command will provide you with instructions where to find the agreement and how to express your acceptance of its terms.

Some RIRs and third parties also provide separate TALs for testing purposes, allowing operators to gain experience with using RPKI in a safe environment. Both the production and testbed TALs are bundled with Routinator and can be installed with the init command. To get an overview of all available TALs use the --list-tals option

Once you have successfully prepared the working environment, your can run Routinator in one of two possible modes: printing the list of valid route origins, also known as validated ROA payloads or VRPs, or providing the service for routers and other clients to access this list via HTTP or a dedicated protocol known as RPKI-to-Router protocol, or RTR.

To have Routinator print the list, you say

routinator vrps

When you first run this command, Routinator will download the entire RPKI repository to your machine, which will take a while. Later, Routinator only needs to check for changes so subsequent runs will be quicker. Once it has gathered all data, it will verify it and produce a long list of AS Numbers, IP prefixes and their maximum length.

Information about additional command line arguments is available via the -h option or you can look at the more detailed man page via the man sub-command

routinator man

The man page is also available online in the documentation.

Feeding a Router with RPKI-RTR

Routinator supports RPKI-RTR as specified in RFC 8210 as well as the older version from RFC 6810. It will act as an RTR server if you start it with the routinator server command.

You can specify the address(es) to listen on via the --rtr option. If you don't, it will still start but not listen on anything. This may seem a bit odd, but this way, you can keep your local repository copy up-to-date for faster use of the routinator vrps command.

So, in order to run Routinator as an RTR server listening on port 3323 on both and 2001:0DB8::13, run

routinator server --rtr --rtr [2001:0DB8::13]:3323

By default, the repository will be updated and re-verified every ten minutes. You can change this via the --refresh option and specify the interval between runs in seconds. That is, if you rather have Routinator verify every fifteen minutes, the above command becomes

routinator server --rtr --rtr [2001:0DB8::13]:3323 --refresh=900

Secure Transports for RPKI-RTR

RFC6810 defines a number of secure transports for RPKI-RTR that can be used for communication between a router and RPKI relying party software.

Documentation on configuring secure transports with Routinator can be found here.

Configuration Files

Routinator can take its configuration from a file, too. You can specify such a configuration file via the -c option. If you don’t, Routinator will check if there is a file $HOME/.routinator.conf and if it exists, use it. If it doesn’t exist and there is no -c option, default values are used.

The configuration file is a TOML file. Its entries are named similarly to the command line options. Details about the available entries and there meaning can be found in the manual page. In addition, a complete sample configuration file showing all the default values can be found in the repository at etc/routinator.conf.

Local Exceptions

If you would like to add exceptions to the validated RPKI data in the form of local filters and additions, you can specify this in a file using JSON notation according to the SLURM standard. You can find two example files in the repository at /test/slurm. Use the -x option to refer to your file with local exceptions.

Routinator will re-read that file on every validation run, so you can simply update the file whenever your exceptions change.


Monitoring a Routinator instance is possible by enabling the integrated Prometheus exporter using the --http configuration option or command line parameter.

Port 9556 is allocated for this use. A Routinator instance with monitoring on this port can be launched using

routinator server --rtr --rtr [2001:0DB8::13]:3323 --http

A sample Grafana dashboard is available to get started.

User Interface

The user interface displays statistics from the last validation run Routinator has performed. It can also be used to verify the RPKI origin validation status of an AS Number and IP Prefix combination.

Routinator validity checker


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