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k# route -6
Destination                    Next Hop        Flag   Met  Ref   Use  If
::/0                           fe80::8001      UGDAe  1024 0     0    eth0
[...]

What does flag "e" mean?

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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

It maps to RTF_EXPIRES. It means the route has a non-infinite lifetime. In this case, the kernel probably learned the route dynamically from a RA (Router Advertisement).

I recommend you use ip instead of route (and instead of ifconfig). Although it's Linux-specific and unportable, its syntax is much less archaic than the legacy commands. ip -6 route would even show you the actual amount of time before your route expires instead of just adding a e flag to say that it does.

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Thanks for shedding light on the meaning of RTF_EXPIRES. Is there a source you used? –  Mikel May 2 '12 at 15:17
1  
ipv6: Fix problem with expired dst cache indeed suggests it's IPv6 RA. –  Mikel May 2 '12 at 15:20
    
@Mikel, I didn't find documentation as such for the meaning but there are multiple hits when grepping for it in linux-2.6/net/ipv6 and the context around many of the hits makes the meaning quite clear, particularily linux-2.6/net/ipv6/addrconf.c line 1891 from a recent git checkout. –  Celada May 2 '12 at 15:42
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The man page doesn't say...

But the route program comes from the net-tools package...

There's a git interface to the source here

which gives us the following information:

 UP U
 GATEWAY G
 REJECT !
 HOST H
 REINSTATE R
 DYNAMIC D
 MODIFIED M
 DEFAULT d
 ALLONLINK a
 ADDRCONF c
 NONEXTHOP o
 EXPIRES e
 CACHE c
 FLOW f
 POLICY p
 LOCAL l
 MTU u
 WINDOW w
 IRTT i
 NOTCACHED n

So it means expires.

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