This topic is to discuss the following lesson:

Two questions inspired by this lessons that maybe strictly speaking deserve its own lesson in BGP course:

  1. Rules for redistribution of default route into BGP - if it is from OSPF we need to explicitly inform BGP we want internal and external routes. From static routes it works straightforward. And maybe also from EIGRP (?). But thats not enough - we also need to confirm we want default that was distributed to be advertised by BGP. One way is to run default-information originate (and BGP does not have ‘always’ keyword, thats it will not advertise unless route is injected already into rib). But seems the same thing can be accomplished by running ‘network’ command. I tried it in the lab and could not find any difference, including that ‘network’ command does not do any good unless some other protocol had default already installed into rib. Only combination of redistribute default from OSPF (or static) and either ‘network’ or ‘default-information originate’ produces advertisement of by BGP. Like say having ‘network’ and default-information originate in BGP without also redistribute of from somewhere did not do any good. This is a strange logic to me but the main question is - is there indeed any difference between using ‘network’ and ‘default-information’ commands? (I don’t refer to ‘neighbor … default-originate’ - that one works fine without anything else but clearly not always convenient when you have many neighbors.
  2. Once default is in BGP and advertised to neighbor will it also be advertised to next neighbor? (assuming there are no explicit filters for it). It looks in my case it did not - the neighbor received default over BGP but did not advertise it to the nest neighbor (all three are iBGP neighbors - thats 1 and 2 neigbors and 2 and 3 are neighbors but not 1 and 3) . Does each neighbor need default-information command for default route to propagate? Would that behavior be different in case of eBGP?

Hello Vadim

Concerning point 1, indeed the network and the default-information originate commands deliver similar results in that they will inject the default route into the BGP RIB, and it will be advertised to all BGP neighbors. The difference is in the origin of the default route. In each case, the default route comes from a different source.

With default-information originate, the default route is artificially generated and injected into the BGP RIB. A redistribution statement must also be configured to complete this configuration or the default route will not be advertised.

With the network command, the default route will be injected into BGP only if the default route is currently present in the routing table. In case it is learned via redistribution, it must also be learned from the specific IGP from which redistribution into BGP is taking place.

The usage guidelines found within this Cisco Command Reference of the default-information originate command further describes the difference between these two commands:

Take a look at this post I shared with you four years ago about a similar discussion:

Concerning point 2, the reason you don’t see that default route readvertised to another iBGP peer is because of the iBGP split horizon rule which states “IBGP does not advertise prefixes from one IBGP neighbor to another IBGP neighbor.” It has nothing to do with the default route configuration but simply the way iBGP functions. More about that can be found here:

I hope this has been helpful!


Thanks, Laz, seems finally I got it (till the next 4 years later when I forget it all). After doing in lab all possible scenarios I can seems discard all the contradictory Internet explanations that people provide while still confused with this matter :-). It actually sticks with laconic CISCO command reference and can be stated as:
‘network’ forces BGP to advertise EXISTING in RIB (no matter how it got into RIB) default to all neighbors in address-family and treat it as originated by BGP locally (where network command is entered) route;
‘default-information originate’ forces BGP to advertise EXISTING in RIB AND redistributed into BGP default to all neighbors in the address family and treat it as redistributed route;
‘neighbor default-originate’ forces BGP to suck out of thumb the default route and advertise it to particular neighbor unconditionally and treat it as locally generated route;
In addition, it is not recommended to use combination of these commands together. Considering subtle but important differences in functions and similarity in naming, no wonder this trio causes so much confusion. Particularly if to add OSPF similar but working a little differently commands.

As to the second question - sure, it was generated after several hours of headache in the lab addressing the first question. I realized the culprit a little later.
Thank you

Hello Vadim

Yep, it looks like you’ve explained it very clearly here. Especially true is what you’ve said here…

Labbing things up and experiencing how they work is one of the most useful ways of learning, and that’s great that you’ve done this.

I hope this has been helpful!