I have come up against this error a number of times, but haven't yet found an explanation of what the error means, or what can cause the problem.

I'm not posting my configs or the specific route I'm trying to add as I don't want someone to tell me what I've done wrong THIS time, I'd like an understanding of what the error means (what is RTNETLINK for a start), and what are the common/known causes of this error, so that I can solve it for myself this and next time.

# ip route add .....
RTNETLINK answers: No such process

1 Answer 1


Rtnetlink allows the kernel's routing tables to be read and altered. It is used within the kernel to communicate between various subsystems, and for communication with user-space programs. Source

The most common cause for the message I've seen is that you're trying to route via a path that is not known to the host. For example, LAN is and WAN is ip route add via results in RTNETLINK answers: No such process because is not known to the host.

  • 4
    Thanks (I'd upvote if I could). Could I paraphrase that as "the host must have an interface on the subnet containing the next hop in the route?" Oct 12, 2012 at 5:43

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