Scope filtering

IRRd supports a scope filter, where RPSL objects matching certain prefixes and AS numbers can be filtered.

Enabling the scope filter

You can enable the scope filter by setting scopefilter.prefixes and/or scopefilter.asns. See the configuration documentation for their exact syntax.

As soon as this is enabled and you (re)start IRRd or send a SIGHUP, IRRd will check all RPSL in the database against the scope filter.

Query responses

By default, RPSL objects that are out of scope are not included in in any query response.

To aid in debugging, it is possible to include out of scope objects in the response. The filter can be disabled for a connection with the !fno-scope-filter command. The filter is disabled only for !r queries and all RIPE style queries.

Objects that may be filtered

  • A route(6) object is out of scope if the origin is out of scope, or the prefix overlaps with any out of scope prefix.

  • An aut-num object is out of scope if its primary key is an out of scope ASN.

  • Other object classes are never out of scope.

“Overlaps” for prefixes includes an exact match, less specific or more specific of a prefix in scopefilter.prefixes.

Where validation takes place

  • IRRd validates all objects in the database against the scope filter on startup, and if the scopefilter setting is changed and a SIGHUP is sent.

  • For each imported object from NRTM, periodic full imports, or manual data loading, IRRd sets the scope filter status using the current configuration, both on creations or changes.

  • IRRd checks creation of objects in authoritative databases against the filter, and rejects the objects when they are out of scope. Updates and deletions are permitted.

  • IRRd will always set objects from sources with sources.{name}.scopefilter_excluded as in scope, i.e. they are never regarded as out of scope objects at any time.

  • Database exports and NRTM streams will not include out of scope objects. NRTM streams will include deletions.

  • If the status of an object changes, due to a configuration change, an NRTM ADD or DEL is created in the journal.

  • The scope filter also applies to pseudo-IRR objects generated from ROAs.

An example of validation in the context of mirroring: your IRRd mirrors source DEMO from the authoritative source, you keep a local journal, and a third party mirrors DEMO from you. When the authoritative source for DEMO sends an NRTM ADD for an out of scope route, that update is not recorded in your IRRd’s local journal. The third party that mirrors from you will not see this ADD over NRTM.

If you change the configuration later that results in the route being in scope, an ADD is recorded in the local journal, and the third party can pick up the change from an NRTM query to your IRRd. If that route becomes out of scope again, causing the route to return to out of scope, a DEL is recorded in your local journal.

Therefore, both the local state of your IRRd, and anyone mirroring from your IRRd, will be up to date with the filter status. This does not apply to excluded sources, whose objects are never seen as out of scope.


When first enabling the scope filter, it may generate a significant amount of local journal entries, which are used to generate NRTM responses for anyone mirroring any source from your IRRd. Depending on the sources, there may be a few thousand NRTM updates.