I have a Linux host and couple of routerboadrs. I created a GRE tunnel, but Linux does not answer keepalive packages. Then router mark gre connection as unreachable, so I cant send to Linux host from router subnet. If linux sends something into tunnel (ping, etc.) - RouterOS mark connection as reacheble. Second and next packages routed nicely until one minute idle (no traffic).

Tunnel in linux a make in this way:


ip tunnel add ${dev} mode gre remote ${remote} ttl 255
ip addr add peer dev ${dev}
ip link set ${dev} up
ip route add ${network} dev ${dev}

And ip l:

14: gre21: <POINTOPOINT,NOARP,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1476 qdisc noqueue state UNKNOWN 
    link/gre peer

How to set state "running"?

How to keep alive tunnel? Ping in cron?

3 Answers 3


The answer is too late, but you probably want this one: https://github.com/Jamesits/linux-gre-keepalive

If you are interested why setting accept_local helps, here is an answer: https://bv2ex.com/t/588215

A GRE Keepalive is a "host to router" GRE packet encapsulated inside a "router to host" GRE packet. The idea being the host (in this case Linux) receives the packet, sees the packet is actually a GRE packet for the router, and sends it back out. The router receives this packet and knows the remote end is still responding.

The Linux FIB code is such that if it receives traffic where the source is a local unicast address, the traffic is considered invalid.

Observe the following code:


if (res.type != RTN_UNICAST) {
if (res.type != RTN_LOCAL || !accept_local)
goto e_inval_res;

This is not exactly a direct answer to the GRE tunnel keepalive, however you may find it easier to use the MikroTik EoIP option to a linux server as this has been ported and allows tunnel ID and keepalive in a similar fashion (also handles fragmentation for any size link).


  • "1 core load 70%, bandwidth 54+58(TX/RX) Mbps" - is bad performance result.
    – eri
    Nov 14, 2013 at 12:42

crontab -e

*/1 * * * * ping -c 69

Its works for me, are simple keep pinging alive.

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