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 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  ad‐
                     dresses, 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

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

                     The  specified  port  on the given host, which can be ex‐
                     pressed either as a DNS name (if built with  unbound  li‐
                     brary)  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  repre‐
                     sented  by  a  file created in the path file to mimic the
                     behavior of a Unix domain socket.

              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  (be‐
              cause 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.  An‐
              other  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  (be‐
              cause 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 op‐
              tions, 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

              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 de‐
              sign 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.

   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 argu‐
              ment is not specified, or if it does not begin with /,  then  it
              is created in /usr/local/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.

              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  dis‐
              abling  logging  to the console), and changes its current direc‐
              tory 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,  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 an‐
              other 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  af‐
              ter  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 implemen‐
              tations 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  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,
                     respectively.  (If --detach  is  specified,  ovs-testcon‐
                     troller  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 be‐

              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  /usr/local/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.  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 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 ex‐
                     ample, 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 inter‐
              preted  as  relative  to   /usr/local/var/run/openvswitch.    If
              --unixctl  is  not  used  at all, the default socket is /usr/lo‐
              cal/var/run/openvswitch/ovs-testcontroller.pid.ctl, where pid is
              ovs-testcontroller's process ID.

              On Windows a local named pipe is used to listen for runtime man‐
              agement 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 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.

              These protocol versions are enabled by default:

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

              •      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.

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

              % ovs-testcontroller ptcp:

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

Open vSwitch                         3.3.0               ovs-testcontroller(8)