Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Cisco Community Designated VIP Class of 2020

EIGRP and OSPF neighbors flap over the GRE tunnel




This document describes the problem faced by an user where EIGRP and OSPF neighbors flap over GRE Tunnel.


What is EIGRP?

EIGRP stands for Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol which is a Cisco-proprietary routing protocol. It falls under classless routing protocol which means: subnet mask of the interfaces is sent in routing updates, which is calculated by complex metric based on bandwidth and delay.


EIGRP is also known as a hybrid routing protocol because it inherits characteristics of both distance-vector and link-state protocols.Term “hybrid” mislead because EIGRP is not a hybrid between distance vector and link-state routing protocols. It is a distance vector routing protocol with enhanced features.


EIGRP has proved itself as a  powerful routing protocol and it standout from its ancestor IGRP. Some characteristics of EIGRP are mentioned below:


Supports VLSM and discontiguous networks

  • It uses Reliable Transport Protocol (RTP) for delivery and reception of EIGRP packets
  • It uses the best path selected by the help of Diffusing Update Algorithm (DUAL), guarantees loop-free paths and backup paths throughout the routing domain
  • It discover neighboring devices by  sending Hello messages periodicaly in order to discover and monitor connection status with its neighbors
  • It exchanges the full routing table at the time of startup and send partial triggered updates.The triggered updates are sent only to those routers who need the information.

For example, EIGRP will send updates when a new link comes up or a link goes down.

  • It supports multiple protocols. EIGRP is capable of exchanging routes for IPv4, IPv6, AppleTalk and IPX/SPX networks
  • Load balancing: EIGRP enables the user with unequal metric load balancing, which allows user distribute traffic flow in a better manner.



What is OSPF?

OSPF stands for Open-Shortest-Path-First (OSPF). OSPF is the most widely used interior gateway routing protocol because it is non-proprietary routing protocol, where as EIGRP is a Cisco proprietary protocol.It falls under class of complex link-state routing protocol. It is known so beacuse it generates routing updates when a change is detected in the topology.

For eg. When a link state changes, the neighboring device who detects the change sends a link-state advertisement (LSA) concerning the mentioned link and LSA is spread to all neighboring devices with the help of a special multicast address. The routing device notes a copy of the LSA and updates its link-state database (LSDB), and then the LSA is forwarded to remaining neighboring devices.


Note:OSPF routers use LSA (Link State Advertisement) to register there link state.All LSA's are stored in LSDB.


Five types of OSPF Link-State Packets (LSPs).

  • Hello: They help in establishing and maintaining adjacency with other OSPF routers. They  also help in the process of electing the Designated Router (DR) and Backup Designated Router (BDR) on multiaccess networks.
  • Database Description (DBD or DD): They consist of a list of router’s link-state database and is utilized by neighboring routers to verify against the local link-state database
  • Link-State Request (LSR): It is used by the receiving routers to seek detailed information about any entry in the DBD
  • Link-State Update (LSU): It is used to reply to LSRs and to announce any new information. LSUs consists of seven different types of Link-State Advertisements (LSAs)
  • Link-State Acknowledgement (LSAck): It is sent as a confirmation receipt of LSU message.


Core issue


The %TUN-5-RECURDOWN: Tunnel0 temporarily disabled due to recursive routing error message means that the Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE) tunnel router has discovered a recursive routing problem.

Symptoms of this issue include continuously flapping tunnel interfaces, as well as flapping Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) and Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) neighbors when the neighbors are over a GRE tunnel.




When you route a payload protocol over a carrier protocol (like tunneling IP over IP), it is possible to misconfigure your network and try to route to the tunnel destination address through the tunnel. This condition is usually caused by a misconfiguration of the tunnel or a temporary instability caused by a route flapping elsewhere in your network. Ensure that the routing information between the carrier networks and the payload networks is not allowed to mix. If the router discovers a recursive routing problem, it shuts down the tunnel interface for a few minutes so that the situation causing this problem can resolve itself as routing protocols converge. If the problem is caused by misconfiguration, the link may oscillate indefinitely.

To resolve this issue, configure the static route for the tunnel destination.


For more information, refer to The "%TUN-5-RECURDOWN" Error Message and Flapping EIGRP/OSPF/BGP Neighbors Over a GRE Tunnel.

CreatePlease to create content
Content for Community-Ad
FusionCharts will render here