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

       ovs-testcontroller - simple OpenFlow controller for testing

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

       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 test‐
       ing 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 methods:

                     Listens for OpenFlow connections on  port.   The  default
                     port  is  6653.  By default, connections are allowed from
                     any IPv4 address.  Specify ip as an  IPv4  address  or  a
                     bracketed IPv6 address (e.g. ptcp:6653:[::1]).  DNS names
                     may not be used.  For pssl, the  --private-key,--certifi
                     cate, and --ca-cert options are mandatory.

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

                     The specified port on the host at  the  given  ip,  which
                     must  be  expressed  as an IP address (not a DNS name) in
                     IPv4 or IPv6 address  format.   Wrap  IPv6  addresses  in
                     square  brackets,  e.g.  tcp:[::1]:6653.   For  ssl,  the
                     --private-key, --certificate, and --ca-cert  options  are

                     If port is not specified, it defaults to 6653.

                     On POSIX, a Unix domain server socket named file.

                     On Windows, a localhost TCP port written in file.

              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 production.

              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

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

       --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 production.

              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

              The optional wildcard_mask is an OpenFlow  wildcard  bitmask  in
              hexadecimal  that specifies the fields to wildcard.  If no wild
              card_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 fields.

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

              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 mes‐
              sages sent to it by switches.

              This option is only for debugging the Open  vSwitch  implementa‐
              tion 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 num‐
              ber, 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

              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 --queue.

              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

              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 files.

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

       -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  --cer
              tificate,  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 certifi‐
              cates cannot be verified to be those of known trusted hosts.

              Specifies a PEM file that contains one or more  additional  cer‐
              tificates  to  send to SSL peers.  peer-cacert.pem should be the
              CA certificate used to sign  ovs-testcontroller's  own  certifi‐
              cate, that is, the certificate specified on -c or --certificate.
              If ovs-testcontroller's certificate is self-signed, then  --cer
              tificate 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 certifi‐
              cate  on  its  first  SSL connection.  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 argu‐
              ment is not specified, or if it does not begin with /,  then  it
              is created in /var/run/openvswitch.

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

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

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

              Causes ovs-testcontroller to detach itself from  the  foreground
              session and run as a background process.

              Creates  an additional process to monitor the ovs-testcontroller
              daemon.  If the daemon dies due to a  signal  that  indicates  a
              programming  error  (SIGABRT,  SIGALRM,  SIGBUS, SIGFPE, SIGILL,
              SIGPIPE, SIGSEGV, 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  func‐
              tions 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.

       --user Causes ovs-testcontroller to run as a non root user specified in
              "user:group", thus dropping all  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
              interact  with  datapath,  such as ovs-vswitchd, will be granted
              two   additional   capabilities,   namely   CAP_NET_ADMIN    and

              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  com‐
                     mand 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,

                     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 --ver

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

              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 /var/log/openvswitch/ovs-test

              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 dae‐
              mon.  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

              ·      unix:file, use UNIX domain socket directly.  It is possi‐
                     ble 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 pos‐
                     sible 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  sock‐
                     ets, but do not apply to UNIX domain sockets.

              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 inter‐
              preted as relative to /var/run/openvswitch.  If --unixctl is not
              used    at   all,   the   default   socket   is   /var/run/open
              vswitch/ovs-testcontroller.pid.ctl, where  pid  is  ovs-testcon
              troller's process ID.

              On  Windows,  uses  a kernel chosen TCP port on the localhost to
              listen for runtime management commands.  The kernel  chosen  TCP
              port  value  is written in a file whose absolute path is pointed
              by socket. If --unixctl is not used at all, the file is  created
              as  ovs-testcontroller.ctl  in  the configured OVS_RUNDIR direc‐

              Specifying none for socket disables the control socket feature.

       --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 estab‐
              lishing an OpenFlow session.

              The  following  versions  are considered to be ready for general
              use.  These protocol versions are enabled by default:

              ·      OpenFlow10, for OpenFlow 1.0.

              Support for the following  protocol  versions  is  provided  for
              testing  and  development  purposes.   They  are  not enabled by

              ·      OpenFlow11, for OpenFlow 1.1.

              ·      OpenFlow12, for OpenFlow 1.2.

              ·      OpenFlow13, for OpenFlow 1.3.

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

              % ovs-testcontroller ptcp:

       Configuring  a  Citrix  XenServer to connect to a particular controller
       only points the remote OVSDB management connection to that  controller.
       It does not also configure OpenFlow connections, because the manager is
       expected to do that over the management  protocol.   ovs-testcontroller
       is not an Open vSwitch manager and does not know how to do that.

       As a stopgap workaround, ovs-vsctl can wait for an OVSDB connection and
       set the controller, e.g.:

              % ovs-vsctl -t0 --db=pssl: --certificate=cert.pem --ca-cert=none
              --private-key=privkey.pem   --peer-ca-cert=cacert.pem   set-con
              troller ssl:ip

       ovs-appctl(8), ovs-ofctl(8), ovs-dpctl(8)

Open vSwitch                        2.4.90               ovs-testcontroller(8)