Solaris UNIX Add Static Routes

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Q. How do I add Static Routes under Solaris UNIX? My default gateway configured in /etc/defaultrouter, but what is the proper place to configure static routes for a Solaris UNIX server? Can you tell me exact configuration file name for a static routing?

A.. There are many ways to configure static routing under Solaris UNIX.


Task: Display current routing table

Use netstat command, enter:
# netstat -nr

Task: Delete a route

To delete a route, enter:
# route delete dest gateway
# route delete myhost myrouter

Method # 1: Set static routes using route command

Use route command to add static route on fly (dynamic modification of routing table), enter:
# route add dest gateway
# route add net netmask
# route add net
# route add host myhostname myrotername

The only drawback is static routes are not persistence i.e. routing will be deleted when Solaris box get rebooted.

Method # 2: Set static routing using /etc/gateways configuration for in.routed

The file /etc/gateways is act as configuration file for /usr/sbin/in.routed IPv4 network routing daemon. All you have to do is put static route per line using following format:

net Nname[/mask] gateway Gname metric value <passive | active | extern>

Open config file:
# vi /etc/gateways
Append following entries:
net gateway metric 1 passive
net gateway metric 1 active

You must one of these keywords must be present to indicate whether the gateway should be treated as passive or active, or whether the gateway is external to the scope of the RIP protocol. A passive gateway is not expected to exchange routing information, while gateways marked active should be willing to exchange RIP packets. The keywoard passive should be used if you want the entry to be permanent.The keyword active should be used if you want in.routed to occasionally query the gateway host, and delte the route if it becomes inactive. See in.routed man page for further details.

Save and close the file. You can set default router in /etc/defaultrouter file.

Method #3 : Managing routing using routeadm command

Solaris has routeadm command which is used to administer system-wide configuration for IP forwarding and routing. IP forwarding is the passing of IP packets from one network to another; IP routing is the use of a routing protocol to determine routes. You need to use /etc/defaultrouter to setup the default route and /etc/gateways to set static routing. To start the in.routed, enter:
# routeadm -u -e ipv4-routing
To view current routing configuration, enter:
# routeadm
To stop the in.routed daemon, enter:
# routeadm -u -d ipv4-routing

Method # 4: Old way – Create a init script

Login as root and type the command:
# cd /etc/rc2.d/
# touch S99static-routes
# chmod +x S99static-routes
# vi S99static-routes

Write a shell script and append static route using route command itself:
route add net netmask 1
route add net netmask

Save and close the file.

I recommend using method # 2 to create static routing under Solaris UNIX. See following man pages for further details:
$ man in.routed
$ man route
$ man gateways


Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

13 comment

  1. i dont know what author of this article was taking at the time of writing -> methods #2 and #3 have nothing to do with setting permanent/persistent static routes on solaris (as sbd eloquently put somewhere else they are only for setting/correcting dynamic routing protocols settings for in.routed(RIP and ICMP Router Discovery)… So that you dont loose as much time as I did because of this stupid article, read about ‘route -p’ command for setting persistent static routes (saves to /etc/inet/static_routes – dont edit directly)
    this applies to solaris 10u3 at least… (tested on u5)

  2. I found this site after trying using /etc/gateways on solaris 8. Solution #2 did not worked since in.routed will not be started when booting a system with a single nic.

  3. Thank you, it´s very helpful, but I´m rookie in this and I want to know, where I have to use my IP in method 2. I need set gateway to and my IP is, netmask is What will be format for method 2? I need to keep this settings after reboot system, thank you :-)

  4. Hello,
    is there a way for one to be able to configure the a solaris 8 machine which has 4 NICs all connected to the same network to pass traffic being originated by them or directed to their IP to get it directly from the default gateway instead of using the “primary” interface of the machine with the highest priority or that appears first in the static routing table?

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