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RARE/freeRtr home


RARE (Router for Academia, Research & Education) is an ongoing effort under the G√ČANT 4th programme which focus on creating an Open Source routing software platform. The project aims to integrate different pieces of software related to building blocks inherent to a routing stack:

Control plane:

  • RARE uses FreeRtr under the hood used as the control plane component

Programmable dataplane

Communication interface

  • This is the interface between the control plane and data plane and it is specific to the target dataplane. For example, BMv2, the open source P4 virtual switch developed by, uses P4Runtime in order to expose internal P4 program's object to an external control plane

P4 and NPL are such languages that allows data plane programmability.


P4 and NPL languages attempt to be as much as possible independent from the target or Programmable Ethernet ASIC architecture. However architecture dependance is still prominent. Code adjustments followed by a target specific compilation is necessary if you want to run your dataplane program on a specific architecture.

How to use this site

You'll find in this page various guides that will help you deploy and use RARE/FreerTr router.


This documentation site is a work in progress, so don't be surprised if feels "incomplete". We are working hard on providing relevant material so you can quickly start your RARE/freeRtr journey in the best possible way.

Getting started

This section will introduce you to freeRtr open source control plane. It will guide you in learning how to install, configure and run freeRtr in a basic scenario.