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MetaRouter is a new feature in RouterOS 4.0 beta 1 and RouterOS v3.21

MetaRouter is used for the RB400 series boards to create virtual machines.


Each Metarouter instance uses just as much resources as a stand-alone RouterOS installation. This means you need a minimum of 16Mb of RAM for each machine, plus some for the main Router that hosts it. 16Mb is the absolute minimum - it is suggested to have more memory available per each Metarouter.

Currently you can create up to 8 metarouter virtual machines, this number will be increased to 16 in future versions.

In the main machine, you can create up to 8 virtual interfaces that will be connected to the metarouters. Currently the only way to add more, is to use VLAN. Currently it is not possible to use external storage devices (Store) in the metarouter virtual devices.


The MetaRouter function is useful for allowing clients or lower-privilege users access to their own 'router' and config to configure as they like, without the need for a complete second router, or giving them access to the main router configuration.

For example; a WISP can create a virtual router for the clients ethernet port allowing them to define their own firewall settings, while leaving the WISP's wireless settings untouched.


The /metarouter menu gives the following:

  • add - allows you to create a new virtual router
  • print - lets you list any virtual routers
  • enable - to enable a virtual router
  • disable - to disable a virtual router
  • console - lets you access the console of a virtual router
  • interface - lets you make network interface mappings

Creating a Metarouter

 [admin@RB_Meta] /metarouter> add name=mr0 memory-size=32 disk-size=32000  disabled=no
 [admin@RB_Meta] /metarouter> print
 Flags: X - disabled 
 #   NAME                 MEMORY-SIZE DISK-SIZE     USED-DISK     STATE        
 0   mr0                  16MiB       0kiB          377kiB        running      
  • name: the name of the virtual router
  • memory-size: amount of RAM allocated to the virtual router
  • disk-size: amount of HDD in kiB allocated to the virtual router (if 0, size is dynamic) *
  • used-disk: currently used disk space
  • state: identifies if the metarouter is running or disabled

Note: * be careful when using dynamic HDD size for metarouters, a proxy could fill up all your hosts storage!

Example with no settings

If you will add a new metarouter without specifying any parameters, it will be added with Dynamic HDD size, and 16MiB of RAM:

[admin@RB_Meta] /metarouter> add name=mr1
[admin@RB_Meta] /metarouter> print
Flags: X - disabled
 #   NAME                 MEMORY-SIZE DISK-SIZE     USED-DISK     STATE
 1   mr1                  16MiB       0kiB          3kiB          running

Adding Interfaces

First, you need to add a new interface to your virtual router. This is done in the interface menu.

The interface command has the following options:

 [admin@MikroTik] /metarouter> interface add 
 comment    disabled        dynamic-mac-address  type            virtual-machine
 copy-from  dynamic-bridge  static-interface     vm-mac-address

Let's add one interface:

[admin@MikroTik] /metarouter> interface add virtual-machine=mr1 type=dynamic

On the host physical router the interface appears as a virtual interface:

 [admin@MikroTik] > /interface print 
 Flags: D - dynamic, X - disabled, R - running, S - slave 
 #     NAME                                              TYPE             MTU  
 8  R  ether9                                            ether            1500 
 9  R  test                                              bridge           1500 
10 DR  vif1                                              vif              1500

Connecting to the virtual machine

To connect to your virtual machine, use the console command:

/metarouter console 0

You will see your newly added virtual interface here:

[admin@mr0] > interface print 
 Flags: D - dynamic, X - disabled, R - running, S - slave 
 #     NAME                                              TYPE             MTU  
 0  R  ether1                                            ether            1500

To disconnect from the metarouter virtual machine console, hit CTRL + A and then Q to Quit back to your Host console:

[admin@MikroTik] >
[Q - quit connection]      [B - send break]
[A - send Ctrl-A prefix]   [R - autoconfigure rate]

Configuring a virtual network

Right now you saw that the virtual interface is visible in the Host Interfaces menu as vif1 and also in the metarouter interfaces menu as ether1. You can add an IP address on both interfaces, and set up networking. Creating a bridge between the virtual interface and a physical interface allows traffic to pass.