Connected: An Internet Encyclopedia
9.1. Interface states

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9.1. Interface states

9.1. Interface states

The various states that router interfaces may attain is documented in this section. The states are listed in order of progressing functionality. For example, the inoperative state is listed first, followed by a list of intermediate states before the final, fully functional state is achieved. The specification makes use of this ordering by sometimes making references such as "those interfaces in state greater than X". Figure 11 shows the graph of interface state changes. The arcs of the graph are labelled with the event causing the state change. These events are documented in Section 9.2. The interface state machine is described in more detail in Section 9.3.

                                  +----+   UnloopInd   +--------+
                                  +----+               +--------+
                          +-------+  |               +--------------+
                          +-------+                  +--------------+
                              |   NeighborChange
          +------+           +-+<---------------- +-------+
          +------+---------->+-+<-----+           +-------+
                    Neighbor  |       |
                    Change    |       |Neighbor
                              |       |Change
                              |     +--+

                      Figure 11: Interface State changes

                 In addition to the state transitions pictured,
                 Event InterfaceDown always forces Down State, and
                 Event LoopInd always forces Loopback State


This is the initial interface state. In this state, the lower-level protocols have indicated that the interface is unusable. No protocol traffic at all will be sent or received on such a interface. In this state, interface parameters should be set to their initial values. All interface timers should be disabled, and there should be no adjacencies associated with the interface.


In this state, the router's interface to the network is looped back. The interface may be looped back in hardware or software. The interface will be unavailable for regular data traffic. However, it may still be desirable to gain information on the quality of this interface, either through sending ICMP pings to the interface or through something like a bit error test. For this reason, IP packets may still be addressed to an interface in Loopback state. To facilitate this, such interfaces are advertised in router links advertisements as single host routes, whose destination is the IP interface address.[4]


In this state, the router is trying to determine the identity of the (Backup) Designated Router for the network. To do this, the router monitors the Hello Packets it receives. The router is not allowed to elect a Backup Designated Router nor a Designated Router until it transitions out of Waiting state. This prevents unnecessary changes of (Backup) Designated Router.


In this state, the interface is operational, and connects either to a physical point-to-point network or to a virtual link. Upon entering this state, the router attempts to form an adjacency with the neighboring router. Hello Packets are sent to the neighbor every HelloInterval seconds.

DR Other

The interface is to a multi-access network on which another router has been selected to be the Designated Router. In this state, the router itself has not been selected Backup Designated Router either. The router forms adjacencies to both the Designated Router and the Backup Designated Router (if they exist).


In this state, the router itself is the Backup Designated Router on the attached network. It will be promoted to Designated Router when the present Designated Router fails. The router establishes adjacencies to all other routers attached to the network. The Backup Designated Router performs slightly different functions during the Flooding Procedure, as compared to the Designated Router (see Section 13.3). See Section 7.4 for more details on the functions performed by the Backup Designated Router.


In this state, this router itself is the Designated Router on the attached network. Adjacencies are established to all other routers attached to the network. The router must also originate a network links advertisement for the network node. The advertisement will contain links to all routers (including the Designated Router itself) attached to the network. See Section 7.3 for more details on the functions performed by the Designated Router.

Next: 9.2. Events causing interface state changes

Connected: An Internet Encyclopedia
9.1. Interface states


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