Open-source networking revisited

A move is afoot to revive development of an open-source router platform.

The Extensible Open Router Platform (XORP) is an open-source software project for creating production-level open-source router code. Like its predecessor the Linux Router Project (which ended in 2002) the goal of XORP is to create open-source routing code that can run on commodity hardware and become "the Linux of routing," according to the project's founders. The project is run by the International Computer Science Institute, which is affiliated with the University of California at Berkeley.

The software can run on machines with Linux kernel 2.4 and FreeBSD 4.9-based operating systems. XORP supports all major Internet routing protocols, such as Border Gateway Protocol, Router Information Protocol, Open Shortest Path First and Internet Group Multicast Protocol.

The creators of XORP say they are not trying to replace commercial routers, but instead offer users a low-cost, open-source alternative to products from Cisco, Adtran, Allied Telesyn, 3Com and Enterasys. With an open-source router platform, XORP creators say users will be able to modify the code to enhance certain functions of the router, such as optimized forwarding, or multicast support, or add features and applications like security. Version 1.0 of the code is expected in June.

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