ovsdb-client(1)               Open vSwitch Manual              ovsdb-client(1)

       ovsdb-client - command-line interface to ovsdb-server(1)

       ovsdb-client [options] list-dbs [server]
       ovsdb-client [options] get-schema [server] [database]
       ovsdb-client [options] get-schema-version [server] [database]
       ovsdb-client [options] list-tables [server] [database]
       ovsdb-client [options] list-columns [server] [database] [table]
       ovsdb-client [options] transact [server] transaction
       ovsdb-client [options] dump [server] [database]
       ovsdb-client  [options] monitor [server] [database] table [column[,col
       ovsdb-client [options] monitor [server] [database] ALL
       ovsdb-client help

       Output formatting options:
              [--format=format]  [--data=format]   [--no-heading]   [--pretty]
              [--bare] [--no-heading] [--timestamp]

       Daemon options:
              [--pidfile[=pidfile]]      [--overwrite-pidfile]      [--detach]

       Logging options:

       Public key infrastructure options:

       Common options:
              [-h | --help] [-V | --version]

       The ovsdb-client program is a command-line client for interacting  with
       a  running  ovsdb-server  process.   Each  command connects to an OVSDB
       server, which is unix:/var/run/openvswitch/db.sock by default,  or  may
       be specified as server in one of the following forms:

                     The specified SSL 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.  If ip is an IPv6 address,
                     then wrap ip with square brackets, e.g.:  ssl:[::1]:6640.
                     The  --private-key,  --certificate, and --ca-cert options
                     are mandatory when this form is used.

                     Connect to the given TCP port on ip, where ip can be IPv4
                     or  IPv6  address. If ip is an IPv6 address, then wrap ip
                     with square brackets, e.g.: tcp:[::1]:6640.

                     On POSIX, connect to the Unix domain server socket  named

                     On  Windows,  connect to a localhost TCP port whose value
                     is written in file.

                     Listen on the  given  SSL  port  for  a  connection.   By
                     default,  connections are not bound to a particular local
                     IP address and it listens only on  IPv4  (but  not  IPv6)
                     addresses,  but specifying ip limits connections to those
                     from the given ip, either IPv4 or IPv6 address.  If ip is
                     an IPv6 address, then wrap ip with square brackets, e.g.:
                     pssl:6640:[::1].  The --private-key,  --certificate,  and
                     --ca-cert options are mandatory when this form is used.

                     Listen  on  the  given  TCP  port  for  a connection.  By
                     default, connections are not bound to a particular  local
                     IP  address  and  it  listens only on IPv4 (but not IPv6)
                     addresses, but ip may be specified  to  listen  only  for
                     connections to the given ip, either IPv4 or IPv6 address.
                     If ip is an IPv6 address, then wrap ip with square brack‐
                     ets, e.g.: ptcp:6640:[::1].

                     On  POSIX,  listen on the Unix domain server socket named
                     file for a connection.

                     On Windows, listen on a kernel chosen  TCP  port  on  the
                     localhost. The kernel chosen TCP port value is written in

       The default database is Open_vSwitch.

       The following commands are implemented:

       list-dbs [server]
              Connects to server, retrieves the list of known  databases,  and
              prints  them  one  per  line.  These database names are the ones
              that may be used for database in the following commands.

       get-schema [server] [database]
              Connects to server,  retrieves  the  schema  for  database,  and
              prints it in JSON format.

       get-schema-version [server] [database]
              Connects  to  server,  retrieves  the  schema  for database, and
              prints its version number on stdout.  A  schema  version  number
              has the form x.y.z.  See ovs-vswitchd.conf.db(5) for details.

              Schema  version  numbers  and  Open  vSwitch version numbers are

              If database was created before schema versioning was introduced,
              then  it  will  not  have a version number and this command will
              print a blank line.

       list-tables [server] [database]
              Connects to server,  retrieves  the  schema  for  database,  and
              prints  a  table listing the name of each table within the data‐

       list-columns [server] [database] table
              Connects to server,  retrieves  the  schema  for  database,  and
              prints a table listing the name and type of each column.  If ta
              ble is specified, only columns in that table are listed;  other‐
              wise, the tables include columns in all tables.

       transact [server] transaction
              Connects  to  server,  sends it the specified transaction, which
              must be a JSON array containing one or more valid  OVSDB  opera‐
              tions, and prints the received reply on stdout.

       dump [server] [database]
              Connects  to  server, retrieves all of the data in database, and
              prints it on stdout as a series of tables.

       monitor [server] [database] table [column[,column]...]...
              Connects to server and monitors the contents of table  in  data
              base.   By  default,  the initial contents of table are printed,
              followed by each change as it occurs.  If at least one column is
              specified, only those columns are monitored.  The following col
              umn names have special meanings:

                     Do not print the initial contents of the  specified  col‐

                     Do not print newly inserted rows.

                     Do not print deleted rows.

                     Do not print modifications to existing rows.

              Multiple  [column[,column]...]  groups may be specified as sepa‐
              rate arguments, e.g. to apply different reporting parameters  to
              each  group.   Whether multiple groups or only a single group is
              specified, any given column may only be mentioned  once  on  the
              command line.

              If  --detach  is  used  with monitor, then ovsdb-client detaches
              after it has successfully received and printed the initial  con‐
              tents of table.

       monitor [server] [database] ALL
              Connects  to  server  and monitors the contents of all tables in
              database.  Prints initial values and all kinds of changes to all
              columns   in   the   database.    The   --detach  option  causes
              ovsdb-client to detach after it successfully receives and prints
              the initial database contents.

   Output Formatting Options
       Much  of  the  output  from ovsdb-client is in the form of tables.  The
       following options controlling output formatting:

       -f format
              Sets the type of table formatting.  The following types of  for
              mat are available:

              table (default)
                     2-D text tables with aligned columns.

              list   A  list  with one column per line and rows separated by a
                     blank line.

              html   HTML tables.

              csv    Comma-separated values as defined in RFC 4180.

              json   JSON format as defined in RFC  4627.   The  output  is  a
                     sequence  of  JSON  objects, each of which corresponds to
                     one table.  Each JSON object has  the  following  members
                     with the noted values:

                            The  table's  caption.   This member is omitted if
                            the table has no caption.

                            An array with one element per table column.   Each
                            array element is a string giving the corresponding
                            column's heading.

                     data   An array with one element  per  table  row.   Each
                            element  is also an array with one element per ta‐
                            ble column.  The  elements  of  this  second-level
                            array  are  the  cells  that constitute the table.
                            Cells that represent OVSDB data or data types  are
                            expressed  in  the  format  described in the OVSDB
                            specification; other cells are simply expressed as
                            text strings.

       -d format
              Sets the formatting for cells within output tables.  The follow‐
              ing types of format are available:

              string (default)
                     The simple format described in the Database  Values  sec‐
                     tion of ovs-vsctl(8).

              bare   The  simple  format with punctuation stripped off: [] and
                     {} are omitted around  sets,  maps,  and  empty  columns,
                     items  within  sets  and  maps  are  space-separated, and
                     strings are never quoted.  This format may be easier  for
                     scripts to parse.

              json   JSON.

              The  json  output  format  always  outputs cells in JSON format,
              ignoring this option.

              This option suppresses the heading row that otherwise appears in
              the first row of table output.

              By  default, JSON in output is printed as compactly as possible.
              This option causes JSON in output to be printed in a more  read‐
              able  fashion.   Members  of  objects and elements of arrays are
              printed one per line, with indentation.

              This option does not affect JSON  in  tables,  which  is  always
              printed compactly.

       --bare Equivalent to --format=list --data=bare --no-headings.

              For  the monitor command, adds a timestamp to each table update.
              Most output formats add the timestamp on a line of its own  just
              above the table.  The JSON output format puts the timestamp in a
              member of the top-level JSON object named time.

   Daemon Options
       The daemon options apply only to the monitor command.  With  any  other
       command, they have no effect.  The following options are valid on POSIX
       based platforms.

              Causes a file (by default, ovsdb-client.pid) to be created indi‐
              cating  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 /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,
              ovsdb-client  refuses  to start.  Specify --overwrite-pidfile to
              cause it to instead overwrite the pidfile.

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

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

              Creates  an  additional process to monitor the ovsdb-client dae‐
              mon.  If the daemon dies due to a signal that indicates  a  pro‐
              gramming  error  (SIGABRT, SIGALRM, SIGBUS, SIGFPE, SIGILL, SIG
              PIPE, 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, ovsdb-client changes its
              current  working  directory  to  the  root  directory  after  it
              detaches.   Otherwise,  invoking  ovsdb-client 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
              ovsdb-client 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  ovsdb-client  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.

   Logging Options
              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/open

              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.

   Public Key Infrastructure Options
       -p privkey.pem
              Specifies  a  PEM  file  containing  the  private  key  used  as
              ovsdb-client'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
              ovsdb-client 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

       -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.

              When cacert.pem exists, this option has the same effect as -C or
              --ca-cert.  If it does not exist, then ovsdb-client will attempt
              to obtain the CA certificate from the SSL peer on its first  SSL
              connection and save it to the named PEM file.  If it is success‐
              ful, it will immediately drop the connection and reconnect,  and
              from then on all SSL connections must be authenticated by a cer‐
              tificate signed by the CA certificate thus obtained.

              This option exposes the SSL connection  to  a  man-in-the-middle
              attack  obtaining the initial CA certificate, but it may be use‐
              ful for bootstrapping.

              This option is only useful if the SSL peer sends its CA certifi‐
              cate  as  part  of  the SSL certificate chain.  The SSL protocol
              does not require the server to send the CA certificate.

              This option is mutually exclusive with -C and --ca-cert.

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

              Prints version information to the console.

       ovsdb-server(1), ovsdb-client(1), and the OVSDB specification.

Open vSwitch                        2.4.90                     ovsdb-client(1)