Demystifying Junos Routing Tables and Routing Instances

In this blog post, we will delve into the world of Junos routing tables and routing instances, key topics for anyone preparing for the JNCIS-ENT certification. Understanding these concepts is crucial for network engineers who work with Juniper Networks devices.

Junos Routing Tables

A routing table in Junos is a database that keeps track of paths to different network destinations. It is a critical component of any router's operation, as it guides the forwarding of packets to their intended destinations.

Junos maintains several types of routing tables:

  1. inet.0: This is the main IPv4 unicast routing table.
  2. inet6.0: This is the main IPv6 unicast routing table.
  3. inet.2: This table stores multicast routing information.
  4. inet.3: This table is used for MPLS forwarding.

Each routing table entry contains the destination network, the next hop, and the interface to use for forwarding packets.

You can view the routing table on a Junos device using the show route command:

user@router> show route

This command will display all routes in the main routing table (inet.0).

Junos Routing Instances

Routing instances in Junos are similar to Virtual Routing and Forwarding (VRF) in other networking operating systems. They allow you to create multiple routing tables in the same router, effectively partitioning the router into multiple virtual routers.

There are several types of routing instances in Junos:

  1. Virtual-router: This is the most common type. It creates a completely separate routing table.
  2. VRF: This type is used for MPLS VPNs.
  3. Forwarding: This type is used for Layer 2 bridging.
  4. No-forwarding: This type is used for filter-based forwarding.

To create a routing instance, you can use the following configuration:

user@router# set routing-instances INSTANCE_NAME instance-type virtual-router

Replace INSTANCE_NAME with the name of your routing instance.

To add an interface to a routing instance, use the following command:

user@router# set routing-instances INSTANCE_NAME interface INTERFACE_NAME

Replace INTERFACE_NAME with the name of your interface.

To view the routing table of a specific routing instance, use the show route table command:

user@router> show route table INSTANCE_NAME.inet.0

Replace INSTANCE_NAME with the name of your routing instance.


Understanding Junos routing tables and routing instances is essential for network engineers working with Juniper Networks devices. These concepts are also key for anyone preparing for the JNCIS-ENT certification. By mastering these topics, you will be well on your way to becoming a Juniper Networks Certified Specialist.

Remember, practice is key when it comes to mastering these concepts. So, don't just read about them, but also get hands-on experience configuring and troubleshooting routing tables and routing instances on Junos devices.

© Ben Jacobson.RSS