Using bash command-line completion scripts

There are two completion scripts available, ovs-appctl-bashcomp.bash and ovs-vsctl-bashcomp.bash respectively.


ovs-appctl-bashcomp.bash adds bash command-line completion support for ovs-appctl, ovs-dpctl, ovs-ofctl and ovsdb-tool commands.


  display available completion or complete on unfinished user input
  (long option, subcommand, and argument).

  once the subcommand (e.g. ofproto/trace) has been given, the
  script will print the subcommand format.

  the script can convert between keywords like 'bridge/port/interface/dp'
  and the available record in ovsdb.


  only support small set of important keywords
  (dp, datapath, bridge, switch, port, interface, iface).

  does not support parsing of nested options
  (e.g. ovsdb-tool create [db [schema]]).

  does not support expansion on repeatitive argument
  (e.g. ovs-dpctl show [dp...]).

  only support matching on long options, and only in the format
  (--option [arg], i.e. should not use --option=[arg]).


ovs-vsctl-bashcomp.bash adds bash command-line completion support for ovs-vsctl command.


  display available completion and complete on user input for
  global/local options, command, and argument.

  query database and expand keywords like 'table/record/column/key'
  to available completions.

  deal with argument relations like 'one and more', 'zero or one'.

  complete multiple ovs-vsctl commands cascaded via '--'.


  completion of very long ovs-vsctl command can take up to several

How to use:

The bashcomp scripts should be placed at /etc/bashcompletion.d/ to be available for all bash sessions. Running 'make install' will place the scripts to $(sysconfdir)/bashcompletion.d/. So user should specify --sysconfdir=/etc at configuration. Meanwhile, if OVS is installed from packages, the scripts will automatically be placed inside /etc/bash_completion.d/.

If you just want to run the scripts in one bash, you can remove them from /etc/bash_completion.d/ and run the scripts via '. ovs-appctl-bashcomp.bash' or '. ovs-vsctl-bashcomp.bash'.


Unit tests are added in tests/ and integrated into autotest framework. To run the tests, just do make check.

Bug Reporting:

Please report problems to