Configuring Junos' Dead Gateway Detection

In this blog post, we will delve into the configuration of Dead Gateway Detection (DGD) on Junos devices. This topic is particularly relevant for students preparing for the JNCIS-ENT certification, as it forms a crucial part of the network troubleshooting and resilience section of the syllabus.

What is Dead Gateway Detection?

Dead Gateway Detection is a feature in Junos OS that allows a device to detect when a default gateway is no longer available. When the default gateway is detected as 'dead', the device can then switch to a backup gateway, ensuring network connectivity is maintained.

Why is Dead Gateway Detection Important?

In a network, the default gateway is the device that routes traffic from a local network to other networks or the internet. If this gateway fails, it can cause significant disruption to network services. DGD helps to mitigate this risk by providing a mechanism to switch to a backup gateway if the primary gateway fails.

Configuring Dead Gateway Detection

Now, let's look at how to configure DGD on a Junos device. The configuration is done in the [edit interfaces] hierarchy level.

Here is a basic example:

[edit interfaces]
user@router# set ge-0/0/0 unit 0 family inet address primary
user@router# set ge-0/0/0 unit 0 family inet address secondary
user@router# set ge-0/0/0 unit 0 family inet dead-interval 10

In this example, the interface ge-0/0/0 is configured with two IP addresses. The first IP address ( is the primary default gateway, and the second IP address ( is the secondary (or backup) default gateway. The 'dead-interval' is set to 10 seconds, which means the device will switch to the backup gateway if it does not receive a response from the primary gateway within 10 seconds.

Verifying Dead Gateway Detection

After configuring DGD, you can verify its operation using the 'show interfaces terse' command:

user@router> show interfaces terse ge-0/0/0

This command will display the status of the ge-0/0/0 interface, including the primary and secondary IP addresses. If the primary gateway is 'up', the primary IP address will be displayed first. If the primary gateway is 'down', the secondary IP address will be displayed first.


Dead Gateway Detection is a valuable feature in Junos OS that helps to maintain network connectivity in the event of a default gateway failure. By understanding how to configure and verify DGD, you can enhance the resilience of your network and improve your troubleshooting skills - both of which are key competencies for the JNCIS-ENT certification.

Remember, practice is key when preparing for the JNCIS-ENT certification. Try configuring DGD in a lab environment and use the 'show interfaces terse' command to verify your configuration. Happy studying!

© Ben Jacobson.RSS