On a Cisco switch, when an interface is configured as OSPF passive and will not actively form OSPF adjacencies, the following types of log messages can be generated:

  1. %OSPF-5-ADJCHG: This log message indicates an OSPF adjacency change.
  2. Process <Process_ID>: The log message includes the OSPF process ID for the specific OSPF instance running on the Cisco switch.
  3. Nbr <Neighbor_IP>: This part shows the IP address of the OSPF neighbor with whom the adjacency has changed.
  4. on <Interface>: The log message specifies the name of the interface where the OSPF adjacency change occurred.
  5. from FULL to DOWN: This section indicates that the OSPF adjacency transitioned from the FULL state (active adjacency) to the DOWN state (inactive adjacency).
  6. Passive Adjacency Formation: The log message indicates that the interface is configured as OSPF passive and will not actively form OSPF adjacencies.

The log message will vary slightly based on the Cisco IOS version and the specific switch model, but the key information mentioned above will be present. The log message serves as an informational notification for network administrators, highlighting that the specified interface has been intentionally configured as OSPF passive to prevent active participation in OSPF routing adjacencies.


In OSPF, interfaces can be configured as passive, meaning they will not actively form OSPF adjacencies with neighboring routers. While OSPF passive interfaces have their use cases, they can cause connectivity issues if not implemented correctly. In this article, we will explore the concept of OSPF passive interfaces, their significance, and provide solutions to address common challenges related to OSPF adjacency formation on Cisco devices.

Understanding OSPF Passive Interfaces: In OSPF, an interface can be configured as passive to prevent it from forming active OSPF adjacencies. Passive interfaces will not send OSPF “Hello” packets and, therefore, do not participate in the OSPF routing process actively. They are often used on interfaces that are not part of the OSPF domain or where OSPF routing is not required. However, misconfiguration or lack of proper understanding of passive interfaces can lead to connectivity issues between routers.

Common Challenges and Solutions:

  1. Challenge: Lack of Adjacency Formation When an interface is configured as OSPF passive, it will not establish OSPF adjacencies with neighboring routers, leading to potential routing problems.

Solution: Ensure that interfaces that require OSPF adjacencies are not mistakenly configured as passive. Verify the OSPF configuration on the interface and remove the “passive” statement if necessary:

router ospf <Process_ID>
no passive-interface <Interface>

  1. Challenge: Incorrect Interface Selection Choosing the wrong interfaces as passive can lead to unexpected OSPF behavior and impact routing decisions.

Solution: Select the appropriate interfaces for OSPF operation based on network design requirements. Review the OSPF configuration and verify that only the intended interfaces are designated as passive.

  1. Challenge: Suboptimal Routing Paths Misconfiguring passive interfaces may cause suboptimal routing paths and inefficient traffic flow.

Solution: Review the network topology and consider the OSPF configuration on passive interfaces. Make sure that OSPF routing is correctly enabled on the required interfaces to optimize routing paths.

  1. Challenge: OSPF “Hello” Packet Issues Interfaces that should be active might not send OSPF “Hello” packets due to incorrect passive interface configurations.

Solution: Check for OSPF “Hello” packet transmission issues on interfaces that should be active. Ensure the passive interface is removed, and OSPF adjacency is established as expected.

  1. Challenge: OSPF Database Inconsistency Misconfiguration of passive interfaces can lead to OSPF database inconsistencies across routers.

Solution: Verify OSPF database consistency across routers and inspect the OSPF passive interface configurations. Correct any inconsistencies and ensure proper OSPF operation.

Conclusion: Configuring an interface as OSPF passive can be useful in certain scenarios to prevent OSPF adjacencies where not required. However, proper understanding and implementation are crucial to avoid potential connectivity issues and suboptimal routing paths. By following the solutions provided in this article and ensuring correct OSPF configurations, network administrators can maintain efficient OSPF routing and achieve seamless data exchange among routers in their network. Regular checks and monitoring of OSPF operations will help identify and rectify any issues related to OSPF passive interfaces, contributing to a stable and reliable network infrastructure.