ovs-testcontroller(8) — Linux manual page


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

NAME         top

       ovs-testcontroller - simple OpenFlow controller for testing

SYNOPSIS         top

       ovs-testcontroller [options] method [method]...

DESCRIPTION         top

       ovs-testcontroller is a simple OpenFlow controller that manages
       any number of switches over the OpenFlow protocol, causing them
       to function as L2 MAC-learning switches or hubs.  It is suitable
       for initial testing of OpenFlow networks.  It is not a necessary
       or desirable part of a production OpenFlow deployment.

       ovs-testcontroller controls one or more OpenFlow switches,
       specified as one or more of the following OpenFlow connection

                     Listens for OpenFlow connections on port.  The
                     default port is 6653.  By default, connections are
                     allowed from any IPv4 address.  Specify host as an
                     IPv4 address or a bracketed IPv6 address (e.g.
                     ptcp:6653:[::1]).  On Linux, use %device to
                     designate a scope for IPv6 link-level addresses,
                     e.g. ptcp:6653:[fe80::1234%eth0].  DNS names can be
                     used if built with unbound library.  For pssl, the
                     --private-key,--certificate, and --ca-cert options
                     are mandatory.

                     Listens for OpenFlow connections on the Unix domain
                     server socket named file.

                     The specified port on the given host, which can be
                     expressed either as a DNS name (if built with
                     unbound library) or an IP address in IPv4 or IPv6
                     address format.  Wrap IPv6 addresses in square
                     brackets, e.g. tcp:[::1]:6653.  On Linux, use
                     %device to designate a scope for IPv6 link-level
                     addresses, e.g. tcp:[fe80::1234%eth0]:6653.  For
                     ssl, the --private-key, --certificate, and
                     --ca-cert options are mandatory.

                     If port is not specified, it defaults to 6653.

                     On POSIX, a Unix domain server socket named file.

                     On Windows, connect to a local named pipe that is
                     represented by a file created in the path file to
                     mimic the behavior of a Unix domain socket.

OPTIONS         top

              By default, ovs-testcontroller sets up a flow in each
              OpenFlow switch whenever it receives a packet whose
              destination is known due through MAC learning.  This
              option disables flow setup, so that every packet in the
              network passes through the controller.

              This option is most useful for debugging.  It reduces
              switching performance, so it should not be used in

              Sets secs as the number of seconds that a flow set up by
              the controller will remain in the switch's flow table
              without any matching packets being seen.  If permanent is
              specified, which is not recommended, flows will never
              expire.  The default is 60 seconds.

              This option has no effect when -n (or --noflow) is in use
              (because the controller does not set up flows in that

       --hub  By default, the controller acts as an L2 MAC-learning
              switch.  This option changes its behavior to that of a hub
              that floods packets on all but the incoming port.

              If -H (or --hub) and -n (or --noflow) are used together,
              then the cumulative effect is that every packet passes
              through the controller and every packet is flooded.

              This option is most useful for debugging.  It reduces
              switching performance, so it should not be used in

              By default, ovs-testcontroller sets up exact-match flows.
              This option allows it to set up wildcarded flows, which
              may reduce flow setup latency by causing less traffic to
              be sent up to the controller.

              The optional wildcard_mask is an OpenFlow wildcard bitmask
              in hexadecimal that specifies the fields to wildcard.  If
              no wildcard_mask is specified, the default value 0x2820F0
              is used which specifies L2-only switching and wildcards L3
              and L4 fields.  Another interesting value is 0x2000EC,
              which specifies L3-only switching and wildcards L2 and L4

              This option has no effect when -n (or --noflow) is in use
              (because the controller does not set up flows in that

              By default, ovs-testcontroller directs packets to a
              particular port or floods them.  This option causes it to
              direct non-flooded packets to the OpenFlow OFPP_NORMAL
              port.  This allows the switch itself to make decisions
              about packet destinations.  Support for OFPP_NORMAL is
              optional in OpenFlow, so this option may not well with
              some non-Open vSwitch switches.

       --mute Prevents ovs-testcontroller from replying to any OpenFlow
              messages sent to it by switches.

              This option is only for debugging the Open vSwitch
              implementation of ``fail open'' mode.  It must not be used
              in production.

       -q id
              By default, ovs-testcontroller uses the default OpenFlow
              queue for sending packets and setting up flows.  Use one
              of these options, supplying id as an OpenFlow queue ID as
              a decimal number, to instead use that specific queue.

              This option is incompatible with -N or --normal and with
              -H or --hub.  If more than one is specified then this
              option takes precedence.

              This option may be useful for testing or debugging quality
              of service setups.

       -Q port-name:queue-id

       --port-queue port-name:queue-id
              Configures packets received on the port named port-name
              (e.g. eth0) to be output on OpenFlow queue ID queue-id
              (specified as a decimal number).  For the specified port,
              this option overrides the default specified on -q or

              This option may be specified any number of times with
              different port-name arguments.

              This option is incompatible with -N or --normal and with
              -H or --hub.  If more than one is specified then this
              option takes precedence.

              This option may be useful for testing or debugging quality
              of service setups.

       --with-flows file
              When a switch connects, push the flow entries as described
              in file.  Each line in file is a flow entry in the format
              described for the add-flows command in the Flow Syntax
              section of the ovs-ofctl(8) man page.

              Use this option more than once to add flows from multiple

   Public Key Infrastructure Options
       -p privkey.pem
              Specifies a PEM file containing the private key used as
              ovs-testcontroller's identity for outgoing SSL

       -c cert.pem
              Specifies a PEM file containing a certificate that
              certifies the private key specified on -p or --private-key
              to be trustworthy.  The certificate must be signed by the
              certificate authority (CA) that the peer in SSL
              connections will use to verify it.

       -C cacert.pem
              Specifies a PEM file containing the CA certificate that
              ovs-testcontroller should use to verify certificates
              presented to it by SSL peers.  (This may be the same
              certificate that SSL peers use to verify the certificate
              specified on -c or --certificate, or it may be a different
              one, depending on the PKI design in use.)

       -C none
              Disables verification of certificates presented by SSL
              peers.  This introduces a security risk, because it means
              that certificates cannot be verified to be those of known
              trusted hosts.

              Specifies a PEM file that contains one or more additional
              certificates to send to SSL peers.  peer-cacert.pem should
              be the CA certificate used to sign ovs-testcontroller's
              own certificate, that is, the certificate specified on -c
              or --certificate.  If ovs-testcontroller's certificate is
              self-signed, then --certificate and --peer-ca-cert should
              specify the same file.

              This option is not useful in normal operation, because the
              SSL peer must already have the CA certificate for the peer
              to have any confidence in ovs-testcontroller's identity.
              However, this offers a way for a new installation to
              bootstrap the CA certificate on its first SSL connection.

   Daemon Options
       The following options are valid on POSIX based platforms.

              Causes a file (by default, ovs-testcontroller.pid) to be
              created indicating the PID of the running process.  If the
              pidfile argument is not specified, or if it does not begin
              with /, then it is created in

              If --pidfile is not specified, no pidfile is created.

              By default, when --pidfile is specified and the specified
              pidfile already exists and is locked by a running process,
              ovs-testcontroller refuses to start.  Specify
              --overwrite-pidfile to cause it to instead overwrite the

              When --pidfile is not specified, this option has no

              Runs ovs-testcontroller as a background process.  The
              process forks, and in the child it starts a new session,
              closes the standard file descriptors (which has the side
              effect of disabling logging to the console), and changes
              its current directory to the root (unless --no-chdir is
              specified).  After the child completes its initialization,
              the parent exits.

              Creates an additional process to monitor the
              ovs-testcontroller daemon.  If the daemon dies due to a
              signal that indicates a programming error (SIGABRT,
              SIGXCPU, or SIGXFSZ) then the monitor process starts a new
              copy of it.  If the daemon dies or exits for another
              reason, the monitor process exits.

              This option is normally used with --detach, but it also
              functions without it.

              By default, when --detach is specified, ovs-testcontroller
              changes its current working directory to the root
              directory after it detaches.  Otherwise, invoking
              ovs-testcontroller from a carelessly chosen directory
              would prevent the administrator from unmounting the file
              system that holds that directory.

              Specifying --no-chdir suppresses this behavior, preventing
              ovs-testcontroller from changing its current working
              directory.  This may be useful for collecting core files,
              since it is common behavior to write core dumps into the
              current working directory and the root directory is not a
              good directory to use.

              This option has no effect when --detach is not specified.

              By default daemon will try to self-confine itself to work
              with files under well-known directories determined during
              build.  It is better to stick with this default behavior
              and not to use this flag unless some other Access Control
              is used to confine daemon.  Note that in contrast to other
              access control implementations that are typically enforced
              from kernel-space (e.g. DAC or MAC), self-confinement is
              imposed from the user-space daemon itself and hence should
              not be considered as a full confinement strategy, but
              instead should be viewed as an additional layer of

       --user Causes ovs-testcontroller to run as a different user
              specified in "user:group", thus dropping most of the root
              privileges. Short forms "user" and ":group" are also
              allowed, with current user or group are assumed
              respectively. Only daemons started by the root user
              accepts this argument.

              On Linux, daemons will be granted CAP_IPC_LOCK and
              CAP_NET_BIND_SERVICES before dropping root privileges.
              Daemons that interact with a datapath, such as
              ovs-vswitchd, will be granted three additional
              capabilities, namely CAP_NET_ADMIN, CAP_NET_BROADCAST and
              CAP_NET_RAW.  The capability change will apply even if the
              new user is root.

              On Windows, this option is not currently supported. For
              security reasons, specifying this option will cause the
              daemon process not to start.

              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-testcontroller 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 below).

              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 hostname.

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

              •      libc, use libc syslog() function.  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 sockets.

              •      null, discards all messages logged to syslog.

              The default is taken from the OVS_SYSLOG_METHOD
              environment variable; if it is unset, the default is libc.

              Sets the name of the control socket on which
              ovs-testcontroller listens for runtime management commands
              (see RUNTIME MANAGEMENT COMMANDS, below).  If socket does
              not begin with /, it is interpreted as relative to
              /usr/local/var/run/openvswitch.  If --unixctl is not used
              at all, the default socket is
              where pid is ovs-testcontroller's process ID.

              On Windows a local named pipe is used to listen for
              runtime management commands.  A file is created in the
              absolute path as pointed by socket or if --unixctl is not
              used at all, a file is created as ovs-testcontroller.ctl
              in the configured OVS_RUNDIR directory.  The file exists
              just to mimic the behavior of a Unix domain socket.

              Specifying none for socket disables the control socket

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

              Prints version information to the console.

       -O [version[,version]...]
              Sets the OpenFlow protocol versions that are allowed when
              establishing an OpenFlow session.

              These protocol versions are enabled by default:

              •      OpenFlow10, for OpenFlow 1.0.
       The following protocol versions are generally supported, but for
       compatibility with older versions of Open vSwitch they are not
       enabled by default:

              •      OpenFlow11, for OpenFlow 1.1.

              •      OpenFlow12, for OpenFlow 1.2.

              •      OpenFlow13, for OpenFlow 1.3.

              •      OpenFlow14, for OpenFlow 1.4.

              •      OpenFlow15, for OpenFlow 1.5.

EXAMPLES         top

       To bind locally to port 6653 (the default) and wait for incoming
       connections from OpenFlow switches:

              % ovs-testcontroller ptcp:

SEE ALSO         top

       ovs-appctl(8), ovs-ofctl(8), ovs-dpctl(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 ⟨http://openvswitch.org/⟩.  If you have a bug report for
       this manual page, send it to bugs@openvswitch.org.  This page was
       obtained from the project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨https://github.com/openvswitch/ovs.git⟩ on 2024-06-14.  (At that
       time, the date of the most recent commit that was found in the
       repository was 2024-06-07.)  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 improvements to the information in this COLOPHON
       (which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail to

Open vSwitch                     3.2.90            ovs-testcontroller(8)