ovs-dpctl(8)                 Open vSwitch Manual                ovs-dpctl(8)

NAME         top

       ovs-dpctl - administer Open vSwitch datapaths

SYNOPSIS         top

       ovs-dpctl [options] command [switch] [args...]

DESCRIPTION         top

       The ovs-dpctl program can create, modify, and delete Open vSwitch
       datapaths.  A single machine may host any number of datapaths.

       This program works only with datapaths that are implemented outside
       of ovs-vswitchd itself, such as the Linux and Windows kernel-based
       datapaths.  To manage datapaths that are integrated into
       ovs-vswitchd, such as the userspace (netdev) datapath, use
       ovs-appctl(8) to invoke the dpctl/* commands, which are documented in

       A newly created datapath is associated with only one network device,
       a virtual network device sometimes called the datapath's ``local
       port''.  A newly created datapath is not, however, associated with
       any of the host's other network devices.  To intercept and process
       traffic on a given network device, use the add-if command to
       explicitly add that network device to the datapath.

       If ovs-vswitchd(8) is in use, use ovs-vsctl(8) instead of ovs-dpctl.

       Most ovs-dpctl commands that work with datapaths take an argument
       that specifies the name of the datapath.  Datapath names take the
       form [type@]name, where name is the network device associated with
       the datapath's local port.  If type is given, it specifies the
       datapath provider of name, otherwise the default provider system is

       The following commands manage datapaths.

       add-dp dp [netdev[,option]...]
              Creates datapath dp, with a local port also named dp.  This
              will fail if a network device dp already exists.

              If netdevs are specified, ovs-dpctl adds them to the new
              datapath, just as if add-if was specified.

       del-dp dp
              Deletes datapath dp.  If dp is associated with any network
              devices, they are automatically removed.

       add-if dp netdev[,option]...
              Adds each netdev to the set of network devices datapath dp
              monitors, where dp is the name of an existing datapath, and
              netdev is the name of one of the host's network devices, e.g.
              eth0.  Once a network device has been added to a datapath, the
              datapath has complete ownership of the network device's
              traffic and the network device appears silent to the rest of
              the system.

              A netdev may be followed by a comma-separated list of options.
              The following options are currently supported:

                     Specifies the type of port to add.  The default type is

                     Requests a specific port number within the datapath.
                     If this option is not specified then one will be
                     automatically assigned.

                     Adds an arbitrary key-value option to the port's

              ovs-vswitchd.conf.db(5) documents the available port types and

       set-if dp port[,option]...
              Reconfigures each port in dp as specified.  An option of the
              form key=value adds the specified key-value option to the port
              or overrides an existing key's value.  An option of the form
              key=, that is, without a value, deletes the key-value named
              key.  The type and port number of a port cannot be changed, so
              type and port_no are only allowed if they match the existing

       del-if dp netdev...
              Removes each netdev from the list of network devices datapath
              dp monitors.

              Prints the name of each configured datapath on a separate

       [-s | --statistics] show [dp...]
              Prints a summary of configured datapaths, including their
              datapath numbers and a list of ports connected to each
              datapath.  (The local port is identified as port 0.)  If -s or
              --statistics is specified, then packet and byte counters are
              also printed for each port.

              The datapath numbers consists of flow stats and mega flow mask

              The "lookups" row displays three stats related to flow lookup
              triggered by processing incoming packets in the datapath.
              "hit" displays number of packets matches existing flows.
              "missed" displays the number of packets not matching any
              existing flow and require user space processing.  "lost"
              displays number of packets destined for user space process but
              subsequently dropped before reaching userspace. The sum of
              "hit" and "miss" equals to the total number of packets
              datapath processed.

              The "flows" row displays the number of flows in datapath.

              The "masks" row displays the mega flow mask stats. This row is
              omitted for datapath not implementing mega flow. "hit"
              displays the total number of masks visited for matching
              incoming packets. "total" displays number of masks in the
              datapath. "hit/pkt" displays the average number of masks
              visited per packet; the ratio between "hit" and total number
              of packets processed by the datapath.

              If one or more datapaths are specified, information on only
              those datapaths are displayed.  Otherwise, ovs-dpctl displays
              information about all configured datapaths.

       The following commands are primarily useful for debugging Open
       vSwitch.  The flow table entries (both matches and actions) that they
       work with are not OpenFlow flow entries.  Instead, they are different
       and considerably simpler flows maintained by the Open vSwitch kernel
       module.  Use ovs-ofctl(8), instead, to work with OpenFlow flow

       The dp argument to each of these commands is optional when exactly
       one datapath exists, in which case that datapath is the default.
       When multiple datapaths exist, then a datapath name is required.

       [-m | --more] [--names | --no-names] dump-flows [dp] [filter=filter]
              Prints to the console all flow entries in datapath dp's flow
              table.  Without -m or --more, output omits match fields that a
              flow wildcards entirely; with -m or --more, output includes
              all wildcarded fields.

              If filter=filter is specified, only displays the flows that
              match the filter. filter is a flow in the form similiar to
              that accepted by ovs-ofctl(8)'s add-flow command. (This is not
              an OpenFlow flow: besides other differences, it never contains
              wildcards.)  The filter is also useful to match wildcarded
              fields in the datapath flow. As an example,
              filter='tcp,tp_src=100' will match the datapath flow
              containing 'tcp(src=80/0xff00,dst=8080/0xff)'.

              If type=type is specified, only displays flows of a specific
              type.  type can be offloaded to display only offloaded rules
              or OVS to display only non-offloaded rules.  By default both
              offloaded and non-offloaded rules are displayed.

       add-flow [dp] flow actions

       [--clear] [--may-create] [-s | --statistics] mod-flow [dp] flow
              Adds or modifies a flow in dp's flow table that, when a packet
              matching flow arrives, causes actions to be executed.

              The add-flow command succeeds only if flow does not already
              exist in dp.  Contrariwise, mod-flow without --may-create only
              modifies the actions for an existing flow.  With --may-create,
              mod-flow will add a new flow or modify an existing one.

              If -s or --statistics is specified, then mod-flow prints the
              modified flow's statistics.  A flow's statistics are the
              number of packets and bytes that have passed through the flow,
              the elapsed time since the flow last processed a packet (if
              ever), and (for TCP flows) the union of the TCP flags
              processed through the flow.

              With --clear, mod-flow zeros out the flow's statistics.  The
              statistics printed if -s or --statistics is also specified are
              those from just before clearing the statistics.

              NOTE: flow and actions do not match the syntax used with
              ovs-ofctl(8)'s add-flow command.

              Usage Examples

              Forward ARP between ports 1 and 2 on datapath myDP:

                     ovs-dpctl add-flow myDP \
                       "in_port(1),eth(),eth_type(0x0806),arp()" 2

                     ovs-dpctl add-flow myDP \
                       "in_port(2),eth(),eth_type(0x0806),arp()" 1

              Forward all IPv4 traffic between two addresses on ports 1 and

                     ovs-dpctl add-flow myDP \
                        ipv4(src=,dst=" 2

                     ovs-dpctl add-flow myDP \
                        ipv4(src=,dst=" 1

       [-s | --statistics] del-flow [dp] flow
              Deletes the flow from dp's flow table that matches flow.  If
              -s or --statistics is specified, then del-flow prints the
              deleted flow's statistics.

       [-m | --more] [--names | --no-names] get-flow [dp] ufid:ufid
              Fetches the flow from dp's flow table with unique identifier
              ufid.  ufid must be specified as a string of 32 hexadecimal

       del-flows [dp]
              Deletes all flow entries from datapath dp's flow table.

       The following commands are primarily useful for debugging the
       connection tracking entries in the datapath.

       The dp argument to each of these commands is optional when exactly
       one datapath exists, in which case that datapath is the default.
       When multiple datapaths exist, then a datapath name is required.

       N.B.(Linux specific): the system datapaths (i.e. the Linux kernel
       module Open vSwitch datapaths) share a single connection tracking
       table (which is also used by other kernel subsystems, such as
       iptables, nftables and the regular host stack).  Therefore, the
       following commands do not apply specifically to one datapath.

       [-m | --more] [-s | --statistics] dump-conntrack [dp] [zone=zone]
              Prints to the console all the connection entries in the
              tracker used by dp.  If zone=zone is specified, only shows the
              connections in zone.  With --more, some implementation
              specific details are included. With --statistics timeouts and
              timestamps are added to the output.

       flush-conntrack [dp] [zone=zone]
              Flushes all the connection entries in the tracker used by dp.
              If zone=zone is specified, only flushes the connections in

       ct-stats-show [dp] [zone=zone] [verbose]
              Displays the number of connections grouped by protocol used by
              dp.  If zone=zone is specified, numbers refer to the
              connections in zone. The verbose option allows to group by
              connection state for each protocol.

       ct-bkts [dp] [gt=Threshold]
              For each ConnTracker bucket, displays the number of
              connections used by dp.  If gt=Threshold is specified, bucket
              numbers are displayed when the number of connections in a
              bucket is greater than Threshold.

OPTIONS         top

              Causes the show command to print packet and byte counters for
              each port within the datapaths that it shows.

       --more Increases verbosity of output for dump-flows and get-flow.

              Enables or disables showing port names in place of numbers in
              output for dump-flows and get-flow.  By default, names are
              shown if at least one -m or --more is specified.

              Limits ovs-dpctl runtime to approximately secs seconds.  If
              the timeout expires, ovs-dpctl will exit with a SIGALRM

              Sets logging levels.  Without any spec, sets the log level for
              every module and destination to dbg.  Otherwise, spec is a
              list of words separated by spaces or commas or colons, up to
              one from each category below:

              ·      A valid module name, as displayed by the vlog/list
                     command on ovs-appctl(8), limits the log level change
                     to the specified module.

              ·      syslog, console, or file, to limit the log level change
                     to only to the system log, to the console, or to a
                     file, respectively.  (If --detach is specified,
                     ovs-dpctl closes its standard file descriptors, so
                     logging to the console will have no effect.)

                     On Windows platform, syslog is accepted as a word and
                     is only useful along with the --syslog-target option
                     (the word has no effect otherwise).

              ·      off, emer, err, warn, info, or dbg, to control the log
                     level.  Messages of the given severity or higher will
                     be logged, and messages of lower severity will be
                     filtered out.  off filters out all messages.  See
                     ovs-appctl(8) for a definition of each log level.

              Case is not significant within spec.

              Regardless of the log levels set for file, logging to a file
              will not take place unless --log-file is also specified (see

              For compatibility with older versions of OVS, any is accepted
              as a word but has no effect.

              Sets the maximum logging verbosity level, equivalent to

              Sets the log pattern for destination to pattern.  Refer to
              ovs-appctl(8) for a description of the valid syntax for

              Sets the RFC5424 facility of the log message. facility can be
              one of kern, user, mail, daemon, auth, syslog, lpr, news,
              uucp, clock, ftp, ntp, audit, alert, clock2, local0, local1,
              local2, local3, local4, local5, local6 or local7. If this
              option is not specified, daemon is used as the default for the
              local system syslog and local0 is used while sending a message
              to the target provided via the --syslog-target option.

              Enables logging to a file.  If file is specified, then it is
              used as the exact name for the log file.  The default log file
              name used if file is omitted is

              Send syslog messages to UDP port on host, in addition to the
              system syslog.  The host must be a numerical IP address, not a

              Specify method how syslog messages should be sent to syslog
              daemon.  Following forms are supported:

              ·      libc, use libc syslog() function.  This is the default
                     behavior.  Downside of using this options is that libc
                     adds fixed prefix to every message before it is
                     actually sent to the syslog daemon over /dev/log UNIX
                     domain socket.

              ·      unix:file, use UNIX domain socket directly.  It is
                     possible to specify arbitrary message format with this
                     option.  However, rsyslogd 8.9 and older versions use
                     hard coded parser function anyway that limits UNIX
                     domain socket use.  If you want to use arbitrary
                     message format with older rsyslogd versions, then use
                     UDP socket to localhost IP address instead.

              ·      udp:ip:port, use UDP socket.  With this method it is
                     possible to use arbitrary message format also with
                     older rsyslogd.  When sending syslog messages over UDP
                     socket extra precaution needs to be taken into account,
                     for example, syslog daemon needs to be configured to
                     listen on the specified UDP port, accidental iptables
                     rules could be interfering with local syslog traffic
                     and there are some security considerations that apply
                     to UDP sockets, but do not apply to UNIX domain

       --help Prints a brief help message to the console.

              Prints version information to the console.

SEE ALSO         top

       ovs-appctl(8), ovs-vswitchd(8)

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the Open vSwitch (a distributed virtual
       multilayer switch) project.  Information about the project can be
       found at ⟨⟩.  If you have a bug report for
       this manual page, send it to  This page was
       obtained from the project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨⟩ on 2018-04-30.  (At that
       time, the date of the most recent commit that was found in the repos‐
       itory was 2018-04-26.)  If you discover any rendering problems in
       this HTML version of the page, or you believe there is a better or
       more up-to-date source for the page, or you have corrections or
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       of the original manual page), send a mail to

Open vSwitch                       2.8.90                       ovs-dpctl(8)

Pages that refer to this page: ovs-testcontroller(8)ovs-vswitchd(8)