This is a bit of a pointed question, but begs being asked: Why is the windows routing table abnormally large?

Go to a command prompt, and type "route print". You'll probably get >3 entries, even for a simple home-network setup. Why? Typically, and Linux machine on the same network will have only 3 entires:

  • Loopback
  • That network, usually something like, but not always
  • A default route

Windows, on the same network, never seems to have the same routing table, and typically has a ton of entries. Why? The three that Linux is using are all you need.

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    I think you would be better served by a question as to what the various entries in the Windows routing table do. You'll also come across as a bit less biased. – Slartibartfast Jul 30 '10 at 4:46
  • Mine is 8 entries long but all the destinations seem to be all special IP addresses. However I'm not familiar with the purpose of the routing table, so I don't know if its abnormal. Out of curiosity, whats the command to print the routing table in linux (Ubuntu)? – TheLQ Jul 30 '10 at 4:55
  • @TheLQ - you can print the routing table via netstat -r (which works on Windows too btw., but includes interfaces there as well, which would be netstat -i on Unix). – Steffen Opel Oct 7 '10 at 9:31

That's because Windows gives the full pedantic routing table, rather than just the bits people are interested in. The Windows table includes routes for:

  • The local IP address, including Localhost
  • The multicast network on each interface, including Localhost
  • Subnet routes for the local-host network

These are all routes that Linux cares about too, but the designers of '/sbin/route' felt were too obvious to bother outputting. Microsoft thought otherwise. That's all it is.

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    I like the "give them everything" approach, if you're new to networking and try that command on Linux the parts that they thought were obvious would be left out so you may not grasp that the multicast address is explicitly routed... – Mokubai Jul 30 '10 at 8:14

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