The BGP swiss army knife of networking
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ExaBGP provides a convenient way to implement Software Defined Networking by transforming BGP messages into friendly plain text or JSON, which can then be easily handled by simple scripts or your BSS/OSS.

It is routinely used to improve service resilience and provide protection against network or service failures. For example, thanks to the healthcheck backend included, anycasted DNS service failures can be detected and handled gracefully. To help you get started, Vincent Bernat put forward a full lab explaining how to best use this feature.

Also, alone or in conjunction with fastnetmon, it provides network operators a cost effective DDOS protection solution.

But it is not its only strength, thanks to modern routers' flow balancing, ExaBGP can also be used to save you money on load balancers. Other uses include keeping an eye on network changes done by RIPE or by other networks with GIXLG.

Who is using ExaBGP ?

These organisations have spoken of, or are using/have used ExaBGP: AMS-IX, Alcatel Lucent, BBC, Blablacar, Cisco Systems, CloudFlare, Dailymotion, Facebook, MaxCDN, Microsoft, OpenDNS, Oracle, PowerDNS, RIPE NCC, ...

Therefore so should YOU! 😁


The program is packaged for Debian, Ubuntu, ArchLinux, Gentoo, Mint, FreeBSD, OSX and OmniOS (and probably more).

The latest version is available on pypi, the Python Package Index

> pip install exabgp
> exabgp --help
> python -m exabgp healthcheck --help

It is also possible to download the latest archive from github

> curl -L | tar zx
> ./exabgp-4.0.10/sbin/exabgp --help
> ./bin/healthcheck --help

If using git, for production deployment, use the "3.4` branch.

> git clone
> git checkout 3.4
> ./bin/healthcheck --help

Multiple versions can be used simultaneously without conflict when ExaBGP is ran from extracted archives and/or local git repositories.

The configuration file and API format change from time to time, but every effort is made to make sure backward compatibility is kept. However users are encouraged to read the release note/CHANGELOG and check their setup after upgrade.

ExaBGP 4.0 and later are targeting python3 when ExaBGP 3.4 and previous versions are python2 applications. At the moment, it is possible to run ExaBGP 4.0 using python2.7 but this backward compatibility should not be relied upon.


Landscape Code Quality Scrutinizer Code Quality Coverage Status Throughput Graph

ExaBGP is supported through Github's issue tracker. So should you encounter any problems, please do not hesitate to report it so we can help you.

During "day time" (GMT/BST) feel free to contact us on Gitter; we will try to respond if available. ExaBGP also has a channel on Freenode #exabgp but it is not monitored.

The best way to be kept informed about our progress/releases is to follow us on Google+ and/or Twitter. You can also use and subscribe to our low volume mailing list.


The documentation is known to be imperfect. One could even say wanting, limited, insufficient and lacking, therefore any contribution (however small) toward its improvement is truly welcomed.

Other users did however do a fair bit of documentation, just not on the wiki. 😢

To understand how ExaBGP should be configured, please have a look into the etc/exabgp folder of the repository where a great many examples are available.

exabgp --help is also a treasure trove of information.

Related Projects

The following projects are related to ExaBGP

Network Protection

  • fastnetmon a DDOS protection solution
  • exabgp edgerouter Spamhaus and Emerging Threats blocking with Ubiquiti EdgeRouters
  • exabgp-voipbl advertises local or/and blacklist using unicast or flow route.

Network Monitoring

Route Announcement



  • IOS2ExaBGP converts Cisco IOS IPv4 BGP LOC Rib dumps to ExaBGP's format
  • MRTparse convert MRT format to ExaBGP

High availability

  • ExaZK a plugin to interface ExaBGP & ZooKeeper
  • exazk a ruby solution to interface ExaBGP & ZooKeeper to achieve service HA
  • exabgp-healthcheck A third party healthcheck program in Perl
  • exa-template service discovery by BGP communities. more information on this blog


  • bgperf Stress test solution for Bird and Quagga (can be used with other implementations)
  • super smash brogp Stress test BGP
  • kyro realtime network performance measurement and optimal routes injection - not really ExaBGP related, they have their own stack, but worth mentioning


Other BGP implementation

  • Full list of known open source BGP implementation
  • Bird very good C based BGP implementation with powerful route filtering language for network administrators
  • GoBGP an implementation with various binding for programmers
  • RYU for SDN fans


  • WanGuard DDOS protection from Andrisoft with ExaBGP integration


RFC support includes ASN4, IPv6, MPLS, VPLS, Flow, Graceful Restart, Enhanced Route Refresh, and AIGP among others. More information can be found here

ExaBGP does not perform any FIB manipulation. If this is what you need, you may consider another open source BGP daemon such as BIRD or Quagga.

RFC compliance details the latest developments.