How to Configure OSPFv2 Single-Area

OSPFv2 is a link-state routing protocol Introduced in 1991 for IPv4 as an alternative to Routing Information Protocol (RIP). The figure1 is reference topology for configuring OSPFv2.

The routers in the topology have a starting configuration, including interface address configuration, password configuration, etc. There is no static or dynamic routing configured on any of the routers. All routers are in single-area.


Router OSPF Configuration Mode and Process ID

To enable OSPFv2 on routers in the topology we should use the command “router ospf process-id” in global configuration mode. The value of the process-id is the number between 1 and 65,535. More students confused with process ID.

It is only important locally, which means that it does not have to be the same value on the other OSPF routers to set up adjacencies with those neighbors. The process ID has no bearing on the structure of any OSPF packet or LSA update, so you can have a separate process-id on every single router in your network if you so wish!

 OSPF Router ID

Every router in the OSPF network requires a router ID to give in the domain. We can define the router ID manually or automatically assigned by the router. The router ID also important in enabling OSPF  router to:

  • The router ID uniquely identifies routers each other within the OSPF domain and all packets that initiate from them.
  • The router ID is also important in multi-access LAN environment for the election of the DR and BDR during initial establishment of the OSPF network. When OSPF links turn into active state, the router with the highest priority elected as DR. If there priority not configured on the routers, or same priority has configured for the routers; then the router with the highest router ID elected as a DR and the routing device with the second-highest router ID elected as a BDR.

Determining Router ID

There is a three-way for Cisco routers to find the router ID as described:

  • The router ID is configured using the OSPF“router-id rid” command in router configuration mode. The value rid is any 32-bit value expressed as an IPv4 address. This is the recommended method for assigning a router ID.
  • If the router ID not configured, then the router chooses itself the highest IPv4 address of any of configured loopback interfaces. This is the second-best method to assigning a router ID.
  • If loopback interfaces not configured on the router, then the router chooses the highest active IPv4 address of any of its physical interfaces. This method not recommended by many network administrator because it makes assigning an ID to the router very difficult for administrators to differentiate between specific routers.

If the highest IPv4 address uses as router ID; the interface does not require to be OSPF-enabled. It is not necessary to configure that interface for OSPF protocol.

The only requirement is that the interface is active and in the upstate. The router ID is an IP address, but it is not routable and, So, is not integrated into the routing table, unless the OSPF routing process chooses an interface that is properly defined by a network command.

Configuring an OSPF Router ID

As I say prior that we can configure Router ID using the “router-id rid” command in router configuration mode. An OSPF router identifies itself to other routers using the router ID. The rid is any 32-bit number in the form of IPv4 address.

As shown in Figure 1, Router1 has configured with a router ID of, Router2 with, Router2 with and R4 with We can verify the router ID using the “show ip protocols” command.

The figure-2 illustrates the rid assignment to Router2 and figure-3 illustrates the verification of the router ID to Router2. You can see that when we enter the router ID, the router must reload to clear IP OSPF process. If the router ID is the same on two neighboring routers, the router displays an error message for duplicate router ID. To resolve this problem configure all routers with unique OSPF router IDs.

How to Configure OSPFv2 Single-Area 1
How to Configure OSPFv2 Single-Area 2

Modifying Router ID

Sometimes we need to modify the router ID. Due to wrong configuration or network change. For example, if we want to assign a new ID to router2 in the above topology due to the new router ID scheme. So, an active OSPF router does not allow the router ID; to be changed; until the router reloaded or the OSPF process cleared.

The way to assign a new router ID to a router is same, only it required the reloading the router to kill the OSPF active process due to active adjacencies. The adjacencies must renegotiate and established with the new router ID.

The preferred method for changing router ID is clearing the OSPF process. The command for killing the OSPF process is “ clear ip ospf process” in privileged EXEC mode.

This command down the OSPF to Init states also displaying the adjacency change messages from full to down and then from loading to full. Now again you can verify the ID changing using “show ip protocols”. The figure-4 illustrates the clearing OSPF process.

How to Configure OSPFv2 Single-Area 3

Using a Loopback Interface as the Router ID

We can also use a loopback interface as a router ID. The IPv4 address of the loopback interface required configuration using subnet mask This is a 32-bit subnet mask which does not advertise as a route to other OSPF routers.

Configure Single-Area OSPFv2

The network command in router mode adds the interfaces in the OSPF area. Interfaces that match the network address in the network command are enabled to send and receive OSPF packets. As a result, the network (or subnet) address for the interface has included in OSPF routing updates. The command syntax is <network network-address wildcard-mask area area-id>.

The area area-id is the OSPF area planned by the network administrator. When configuring single-area OSPF, the network command must be configured with the same area-id on all routers. Though we can use any area ID it is good to use an area ID of 0 with single-area OSPF. This principle makes later network changes from a single area to multi-area OSPF.

Wild Card Mask

The wildcard-mask with the network address of the interface enable OSPF. We know that OSPF is a classless protocol by design; So, the wildcard mask always required to find interfaces which participating in a routing process. So, it is the inverse of the subnet mask configured on that interface. It is a string of 32 binary digits.

The wildcard mask decides the bits of the address to check for a match. In a subnet mask, binary 1 is equal to a match and binary 0 is not a match but In a wildcard mask, the reverse is true. To calculate a wild card mask is to subtract the network subnet mask from

For example, if we have a /24 and /25 network as shown in the figure-5 below the wildcard mask from the /24 subnet mask and the wildcard mask from /25 network is We just simply subtract the subnet mask fro 32-bit string.

How to Configure OSPFv2 Single-Area 4

The example in Figure 2 calculates the wildcard mask from the network address of Again, the subnet mask was subtracted from providing a result of Therefore, is with a wildcard mask of

The Network command

Router1 participate in the OSPFv2 routing process for an area. The wildcard masks identify the respective interfaces based on their network addresses. Because this is a single-area OSPF network, all area IDs has set to 0. We enable the interface into OSPFv2 using the <network intf-ip-address area area-id> router configuration mode command.

The benefit of specifying the interface is that the wildcard mask calculation is not important. OSPFv2 uses the interface address and subnet mask to resolve the network to advertise.

Some IOS versions also allow the subnet mask instead of the wildcard mask. The IOS then converts the subnet mask automatically to the wildcard mask format. The figure-6 illustrates the configuration of networks on Router2.

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