OSPF default route

Written on by admin on. Posted in OSPF

Using a default route will save router’s resources because there is no need to run SPF algorithm each time when external network changes occur. In this lab we will examine how to propagate a default route in an OSPF standard area. Any router in OSPF domain can be configured to generate a default route, and then the router becomes an ASBR.

To configure a router to generate a default route use the following command:

default-information originate [always] [metric metric-value] [metric-type type-value] [route-map map-name]

Keywords in brackets are optional:

  • always – advertise always a default route
  • metric – metric of generated default route (by default is 1)
  • metric-type – it can be E1 (metric will change through network) or E2 (which is default, remains constant)
  • route-map – check against a route-map
A default route can be generated in two ways:
  1. When advertising router has a default route – then you don’t need to use always keyword
  2. When advertising router doesn’t have a default route – then you need to use always keyword, and a default route will be generated anyway.

Please take a look at the scenario below. In this lab we’ll configure R1 to advertise a default route in OSPF domain, where internet connection will be simulated by R1’s loopback interface. R1 and R2 routers will be neighbors in Area 0.

OSPF default route

Initial configuration:


R1(config)#interface fastEthernet 0/0
R1(config-if)#ip address
R1(config-if)#no shutdown

R1(config)#router ospf 1
R1(config-router)#network area 0


R2(config)#interface fastEthernet 0/0
R2(config-if)#ip address
R2(config-if)#no shutdown

R2(config)#router ospf 1
R2(config-router)#network area 0

Now on R1 add under OSPF configuration mode:

R1(config-router)#default-information originate always

You’ve probably noticed that I used always keyword, because R1 doesn’t have a default route. Further let’s see routing table on R2

R2#show ip route 

... output ommited ...

Gateway of last resort is to network

C is directly connected, FastEthernet0/0
O*E2 [110/1] via, 00:05:16, FastEthernet0/0

Good! Default route was generated, metric-type is 2 as default (O*E2), and metric value is 1 as default (110/1).

In OSPF database you can see default route as type 5 LSA

                Type-5 AS External Link States

Link ID         ADV Router      Age         Seq#       Checksum Tag        770         0x80000001 0x00DACC 1
This output is on R2 where is R1’s Router ID (taken from loopback interface) And the last step will be to send a ping from R2 to R1’s loopback interface.

Type escape sequence to abort.
Sending 5, 100-byte ICMP Echos to, timeout is 2 seconds:
Success rate is 100 percent (5/5), round-trip min/avg/max = 16/21/28 ms
So, we have reached the end of this lab. Here we examined configuration of default route propagation in OSPF, a very easy task!

Comments (2)

  • Laticia


    That’s a nicely made answer to a challeingng question


  • Raja


    It Would be great if you can add the notes with the R1 loopback IP: underneath the R1 configuration or in the R1 Configuration tab. This can avoid hazels to the Novice engineers who would be configuring the above lab for the very first time.

    Simple, Neat and Effective Article.


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