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BGP Attributes List

BGP Attributes are pieces of information that a BGP router attaches to describe different prefixes included in it’s BGP update messages. There is a variable sequence of BGP attributes in every update message except for those that carries only withdrawn routes.

Each attribute is a TLV that consists of attribute type, attribute length and attribute value. Each attribute type consists of two octets, one for flag and the other is the type as described briefly in the following section.

BGP attributes have different distinctive types that defines how routes are going to use and propagate a certain attribute to it’s neighbors. The types are explained in details in our post BGP Attribute types and Flags.

Well known BGP attribute types:
  • Well-known mandatory: Attributes of this type must be understood by all BGP implementations and must EXIST in the BGP update messages.
  • Well-known discretionary: Attributes of this type must be understood by all BGP implementations but they don’t have to exist in all BGP updates to all neighbors.
Optional BGP attribute types:
  • Optional transitive: optional BGP attributes as the name implies don’t need to be understood by all BGP implementations, but since the transitive flag is set they will be passed to other neighbors.
  • Optional non-transitive: Attributes of this type are also optional as the name implies and will not be passed to other neighbors.
BGP Attributes list:
Type CodeĀ  value Attribute Name Attribute Type
1 ORIGIN Well-known mandatory
2 AS_PATH Well-known mandatory
3 NEXT_HOP Well-known mandatory
4 MULTI_EXIT_DISC (MED) Optional non-transitive
5 LOCAL_PREF Well-known discretionary
6 ATOMIC_AGGREGATE Well-known discretionary
7 AGGREGATOR Optional transitive
8 COMMUNITY Optional transitive
9 ORIGINATOR_ID Optional non-transitive
10 Cluster List Optional non-transitive
11 DPA Designation Point Attribute
12 Advertiser BGP/IDRP Route Server
13 RCID_PATH/CLUSTER_ID BGP/IDRP Route Server
14 Multiprotocol Reachable NLRI Optional non-transitive
15 Multiprotocol Unreachable NLRI Optional non-transitive
16 Extended communities
256 Reserved for future development

These list of path attributes is used by every BGP router along the path to compare different network paths and the select the ones to move to the BGP table to the routing table.

One more attribute that is not included in this list, is the weight attribute. The weight is a Cisco proprietary local attribute that is not propagated in BGP update messages but is used by Cisco routers for path selection.

BGP Attributes cheat list:
BGP Attributes
BGP Attribute List

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