LISP Mobile Node Implementation
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The Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) is being developed within the IETF as a potential solution to the routing scalability problem documented in RFC 4984. It uses the concept of Endpoint IDentifiers (EIDs) to name hosts in edge networks, and Routing LOCators (RLOCs) for nodes in transit networks. EIDs and RLOCs are syntactically indistiguishable from current IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, enabling backwards compatibility with the existing Internet architecture. A distributed database, the mapping system, is responsible for maintaining the associations between EIDs and RLOCs.

LISP Mobile Node (LISP-MN) is a specification to enable fast host mobility using LISP. The LISPmob project aims to deliver a full implementation of this specification for Linux, but parts of the implementation may be reusable on other Unix-like operating systems.

LISPmob consists of three major components:

  • data plane
  • control plane
  • tools

The data plane is implemented in kernel space, with two modules: lisp_int.ko, which creates a virtual interface for the EID(s); and lisp.ko, responsible for encapsulating/decapsulating packets, maintaining the mapping cache, etc.

The user space daemon lispd is responsible for control plane functionality, such as sending and receiving control messages, managing interfaces, etc.

The distribution offers some external tools as well, which can be used for various testing and debugging purposes.

The current reference platform for LISPmob development is Ubuntu Server 10.04.3 LTS (Lucid Lynx). It was also demonstrated on a Nokia N900 mobile phone running MeeGo 1.2 Community Edition.

Network Prerequisites

Running LISPmob host on the public Internet requires the following:

  • an EID from a Mapping Service Provider (MSP),
  • the RLOC of the Map-Server that will accept registration of this EID,
  • an authentication token to register the EID with the Map-Server,
  • the RLOC of a Map-Resolver,
  • the RLOC of a Proxy-ETR,
  • a publicly routable RLOC for the host, which is neither firewalled, nor behind NAT.

Other than the last item, the above information is used for configuring lispd via the configuration file lispd.conf.

The EID will be used by the applications on the host for establishing communications. The RLOC will change, depending on the network point of attachment, i.e., it will be the IP address assigned to the host in the visited network. See the References section for pointers to detailed documentation on the above concepts and network elements.

Visit for more info on the deployment status of the LISP pilot network and how you can join the testbed.

Software Prerequisites

To build LISPmob, you will need:

  • a Linux hosts with a fairly recent kernel (tested with 2.6.32)
  • header files of the running kernel
  • a C compiler (tested with gcc)
  • GNU make
  • git, unless you use a tarball
  • OpenSSL development headers
  • libConfuse

On Debian-derived Linux distributions (including Ubuntu), installing the following packages will provide all necessary dependencies:

  • linux-headers
  • build-essential
  • git-core
  • libssl-dev
  • libconfuse-dev

The latest version of the LISPmob source code can be obtained from Github:

git clone git://


To build and install the code, run the following in the top-level directory:

sudo make install

This will build the kernel modules, which are installed to the /lib/modules directory, and the executable files, installed to /usr/local/sbin.

Running LISPmob

Once the code is successfully installed on the host, lispd.conf.example should be copied to /etc/lispd.conf and edited with the values obtained from the MSP (see "Network Prerequisites"). Additionally the host interface used for physical network connectivity (such as eth0, wlan0 or ppp0) must also be specified in the configuration file.

The user space daemon must be started as the super-user:

sudo lispd -f /etc/lispd.conf

It will load the kernel modules, set up networking and register to the mapping system, after which you can enjoy all the benefits of LISP-MN. When lispd is running, the EID obtained from the MSP should be associated to the lmn0 virtual interface. The previous default gateway (RLOC_GW) on the physical interface should have its metric set to 100 and the default gateway with metric 0 should now be lmn0:

$ ip addr
1: lo: <LOOPBACK,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 16436 qdisc noqueue state UNKNOWN 
    link/loopback 00:00:00:00:00:00 brd 00:00:00:00:00:00
    inet scope host lo
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
2: eth0: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc pfifo_fast state UP qlen 1000
    link/ether 00:00:00:00:00:00 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
    inet <RLOC> brd <RLOC_BROADCAST> scope global eth0
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
3: lmn0: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,NOARP,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1300 qdisc pfifo_fast state UNKNOWN qlen 1000
    link/ether 00:00:00:00:00:00 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
    inet <EID> scope global lmn0
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever

$ ip route
<Visited_Network> dev eth0  proto kernel  scope link  src <RLOC> dev eth0  scope link  metric 1000
default via <EID> dev lmn0
default via <RLOC_GW> dev eth0  metric 100

Source routing should also be correctly set up:

$ ip rule
0:      from all lookup local
1:      from <RLOC> lookup 5
32766:  from all lookup main
32767:  from all lookup default

$ ip route show table 5
default via <RLOC_GW> dev eth0


Should you have questions regarding the use of the LISPmob distribution, please subscribe to the mailing list and ask there (

If you wish to participate in the development of LISPmob, use the dedicated mailing list, (

Additionally, important announcements are sent to the low volume mailing list (

More interactive help can sometimes be obtained on the #lispmob IRC channel on FreeNode.

Bugs you encounter should be filed at the repository's issue tracker on Github.


  1. The Locator Identifier Separation Protocol (LISP)
  2. Locator/ID Separation Protocol
  3. LISP Mobile Node
  4. Interworking LISP with IPv4 and IPv6
  5. LISPmob Project