To route is to direct a quantity of something along a certain path, either static or dynamic, based on various affecting factors, ie the price of the path, the quality of the path, the size of the path, and the speed of the path. This could apply to any kind of traffic, be it automotive or IP, but it usually refers to the latter. Routers route internet traffic among their destinations. Traffic control cops route cars.

route is a Unix command which is used to display or modify the routing table. "route" typed on its own will display the routing table (you can also do this by typing "netstat -r"). To modify the routing table, use the add or del option to route. For example, here's how I'd set up the routing table on one of my Linux machines. (Actually, the Debian install process asked me a few questions about my IP address, netmask and gateway, then ran these commands for me.)

route add -net netmask

This sets up a local route - every machine with an IP address beginning with 131.111 is deemed to be local, and is communicated with directly, not via a gateway. See understanding subnets and netmasks for a detailed explanation of how the computer determines whether the destination IP address matches a route.

route add default gw

This sets up a default route. Any machine with an IP address which does not begin with 131.111 is not local, and packets for it will be sent via the gateway at The gateway itself is local and is accessed using the first route.

Route [OE. & F. route, OF. rote, fr. L. rupta (sc. via), fr. ruptus, p.p. of rumpere to break; hence, literally, a broken or beaten way or path. See Rout, and cf. Rut a track.]

The course or way which is traveled or passed, or is to be passed; a passing; a course; a road or path; a march.

Wide through the furzy field their route they take. Gay.


© Webster 1913.

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