Babel (protocol)

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Babel logo black.svg
Developer(s) Juliusz Chroboczek
Operating system Linux, BSD, Mac OS X
Type Routing protocol
License MIT License

The Babel routing protocol is a distance-vector routing protocol for Internet Protocol packet-switched networks that is designed to be robust and efficient on both wireless mesh networks and wired networks.

Babel is based on the ideas in Destination-Sequenced Distance Vector routing (DSDV), Ad hoc On-Demand Distance Vector Routing (AODV), and Cisco's Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), but uses different techniques for loop avoidance. Babel has provisions for using multiple dynamically computed metrics; by default, it uses hop-count on wired networks and a variant of ETX on wireless links, but can be configured to take radio diversity into account [1] or to automatically compute a link's latency and include it in the metric.[2]

Babel operates on IPv4 and IPv6 networks. It has been reported to be a robust protocol and to have fast convergence properties.[3][4]

In October 2015, Babel was chosen as the mandatory-to-implement protocol by the IETF Homenet working group, albeit on an Experimental basis.[5] In June 2016, an IETF working group was created whose main goal is to produce a standard version of Babel[6].


Four implementations of Babel are freely available:

  • The standalone "reference" implementation
  • A version integrated into the FRR routing suite[7] (previously Quagga, from which Babel has been removed[8])
  • A minimal reimplementation in Python[9]
  • An extension to the BIRD routing platform[10]

The version that was integrated into Quagga allowed for authentication,[11] while the reference version has support for Source-specific routing.[12]


External links[edit]