[dev] Northbound API and the new libyang dependency

Renato Westphal renato at opensourcerouting.org
Mon Nov 5 12:19:53 EST 2018

Hi all,

I'd like to announce that the Northbound API PR [1] was merged a
couple of days ago. This is only the beginning of a long journey to
modernize FRR with a model-driven architecture based on the YANG
modeling language. The goal of this initiative is to provide better
interfaces to configure and monitor FRR programatically, since the
good old CLI is unfit for that purpose. Examples of new management
interfaces include the NETCONF and RESTCONF protocols (supported
though the ConfD and Sysrepo plugins). There's also a new gRPC-based
northbound plugin under development and the CLI will of course
continue to be available, now with new features like support for
configuration transactions and rollbacks (please check the demos [2]).

It's important to say, however, that only daemons converted to the new
northbound model will be able to take advantage of the new northbound
capabilities. As of now, only the ripd daemon was converted (ripd was
chosen for being one of the simplest daemons we have). This means we
can configure/monitor ripd using NETCONF for example, but the same
doesn't apply to the other daemons yet. The remaining daemons should
be converted within the next few months, and everyone from the
community is welcome to collaborate :)

For more information about the new Northbound API, please check the
documentation [3].

As a consequence of this work, FRR will have a new mandatory
dependency: libyang [4]. Everyone please check the updated FRR build
instructions to see how to obtain and install this library for your

Thanks everyone who collaborated to make this possible!

Best Regards,

[1] https://github.com/FRRouting/frr/pull/2705
[2] https://github.com/opensourcerouting/frr/wiki/Demos
[3] https://github.com/opensourcerouting/frr/wiki/Architecture
[4] https://github.com/CESNET/libyang

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