The BIG lab – Part 4 – RIP and RIPv2

Welcome back to part 4 of the big lab. So far we have covered some trunking and etherchannel technologies, PPP and OSPF. Today we are going to extend our topology by adding RIP. The exam guide has RIPv2 under part 2.30 and does not have as much listed for is as OSPF or EIGRP. So what can we do with RIP? Well, apart from the obvious basic configuration we’ll use it as the intermediate routing protocol for redistribution – with the end goal being that our OSPF network will be able to talk to our EIGRP network.

Out topology has evolved since the first part of this series, and will, in all probability, change again. But at the moment it looks like this:


About RIP

RIP is a Distance Vector protocol, it has a maximum of 15 hops so does not scale well in larger environments.

RIP comes in two flavors – version 1 (RIPv1) and version 2 (RIPv2).

RIPv1 versus RIPv2

RIPv1 is classful so does not include the subnet mask in its routing updates, therefore it does not support VLSM. Version 2 is classful to overcome this and so does include the subnet mask in the updates, and also supports VLSM. RIPv2 also supports authentication and route tagging. Cisco IOS will default to version 1.

Interoperability between RIPv1 and RIPv2

RIPv1 will only send version 1 packets
RIPv1 can receive V1 and V2 packets
RIPv2 will only send and receive V2 packets

Configuring RIPv2

At the moment we will concentrate on R4, R5, R6 and R7.

I will be using the 10.20.X.X/24 networks in this post:

s0/1 –

s0/0 –
so/1 –

s0/0 –
s0/1 –

s0/1 –
lo0 –

Lets start by setting up R4:

basic ripv2 configuration

We start with creating the routing process using the command “router rip“. We then specify the version to be v2 with the sub command “version 2
RIP will by default summarize networks on classful boundaries so we use the command “no auto-summary“, and after that, we can specify which of our local networks we want to participate in the RIP process using the command “network“.

R5 is very similar:

basic ripv2 configuration

Not at this stage would we expect R4 to see the subnet in its routing table? R5 has an interface that is configured for that network, and we have advertised it into the RIP process, so it should be there, right? Well no. R5 does not even have the network in its routing table. It’s not until we fire up R6 that we can see the network advertised:

rip ip routing

Its easier to see on R5 as we can see the interface coming up:

rip ip routing

And on R4 we can now see:

rip ip routing

R6 and R7 were started at around the same time so we get the network advertised into our RIP process much quicker:

basic ripv2 configuration

Although it is not shown the command “no auto-summary” has been set, the routing table looks good:

rip ip routing

R7 will have a loopback address and will be used to create the tunnel over to R9 in a different post.

basic ripv2 configuration

Now if we head back over to R4 we can see that out routing table now looks like this:

rip ip routing

And we have full reachability

rip ping loopback

ping from loopback source

Advanced RIPv2 configuration

So far our RIPv2 implementation is very straight forward, in fact, this is the beauty of RIP in that it is very simple, doesn’t scale well for larger environments, but it is simple.

So what can we do with it now that we have it in place? We can:

  • Configure the timers
  • Control participation in RIP through passive-interfaces
  • Change the default behavior from multicast to unicast
  • Set authentication for RIPv2

Configuring RIP timers

RIP has four timers (default times are in brackets):

Update timer (30 seconds) – how often a router will send a routing table update
Invalid timer (180 seconds) – how long a route remains in the routing table before being declared invalid. A route declared invalid will be placed in the hold-down state and advertised with a metric of 16 (unreachable).
Hold-down timer (180 seconds) – RIP will not accept updates for routes in the hold-down state unti the hold-down timer expires.
Flush timer (240 seconds) – how long a route can remain in the routing table before being flushed. Runs at the same time as the Invalid timer – so a route marked as Invalid will be flushed after 60 seconds.

RIP timers must be identical on all routers in the RIP network, otherwise, instability will occur.

We can adjust the timers using the command

Router(config)#router rip
Router(config-router)#timers basic 20 120 120 160

This would set the Update timer to 20 seconds, the Invalid and Hold-down timers to 120 seconds and the Flush timer to 160 seconds.


A passive interface will allow a router to listen to updates from the neighboring RIP routers, but will not send any updates back.

within the RIP process we use the command “passive-interface <interface>” command:

rip passive-interface

We can configure all interfaces to be passive using the command “passive-interface default” and then remove particular interfaces from this default behavior by the command “no passive-interface <interface>”

If we want to have even tighter control we can use the passive-interface command and use unicast instead of multicast for our neighbors.

Controlling RIPv2 updates – from Multicast to Unicast

By default, RIPv2 uses multicast to send out updates,with the IP address We can change this to unicast by specifying the neighbor command (similar to BGP).

On R5 and R6 we will change from the default of multicast updates to unicast:

rip neighbor

If we turn on debugging for rip we can see that on R5 its using multicast for one connection and unicast for another connection:

rip unicast updates

Above, we can see that it is sending an update over serial 0/1 to R6 using the unicast address but also via multicast. To force unicast only on the specific interfaces we need to include the “passive-interface” option, once we have done this we can look at the debug output on R5 and see:

rip unicast updates

Now we can see that updates to R4 over serial 0/0 are still using the multicast address, but all updates sent and received between R5 and R6 use the unicast address.

RIPv2 Authentication

The final thing we are going to cover today is RIPv2 authentication.

RIPv2 authentication is very similar to other routing protocol authentication setups. We start by creating a keychain:

Rip authentication

Next, we go into our respective interfaces and specify that rip will be using a keychain and what mode we are to use (clear text or md5):

rip authentication

It’s always worth checking back with another router (R4 in this case) to make sure that we don’t lose any routes along the way. But we can also debug the RIP database to see what’s going on.

Here we can see that I have lost the network:

rip ip routing

If I remove the authentication between R6 and R7 the loopback is back:

rip ip routing

If I try adding it back with text mode, it still loses the route. If I turn on debugging for rip we can see:


The configs look fine:


So once we remove and then re-add the keychain we can head back to R7 and finally see the authentication working correctly:


Chances are there was a space at the end of the keychain key-string, which although not visible in the config, would still be taken as part of the key-string passed between routers – a handy exam tip!

R4 can again see the network.

RIPv2 debugging

So some useful debugging there! I used “debug ip rip” to see that the authentication was wrong and “debug ip rip database” to see what gets added and removed from the routing table, and I also used “debug ip rip events” to see the flow of updates.

That’s it for today. In the next post, we’ll get EIGRP┬árunning before we move on to redistributing between the three protocols.