From Fedora Project Wiki

Open vSwitch


Open vSwitch is a flexible, multi-layer software network switch.


Current status

  • Targeted release: Fedora 17
  • Last updated: Mar 21, 2012
  • Percentage of completion: 100%

Detailed Description

Open vSwitch is a flexible, multi-layer software network switch. Typically used in virtualization environments as the network switching component in the hypervisor, Open vSwitch provides virtual machines their network connectivity. Open vSwitch maintains the logical state of a virtual machine's network connection across physical hosts when a virtual machine is migrated, and it can be managed and monitored by standard protocols such as: OpenFlow, NetFlow, sFlow, SPAN, RSPAN. See here for a more complete list of Open vSwitch features. Open vSwitch can be used instead of the traditional Linux bridge, however Fedora will not include the upstream project's "bridge compatibility" layer (it's neither necessary nor supported in upstream Linux).

Benefit to Fedora

Open vSwitch is a key component to advancing Fedora's virtual network management capabilities. Features such as Features/OpenStack Quantum can use Open vSwitch to manage virtual networks. It also presents an OpenFlow manageable switch for users interested in using an OpenFlow controller to manage their networks.


Open vSwitch has two main components. The data plane (fast path), which is in the kernel as of 3.3, and the control plane, which is a collection of userspace daemons and utilities. The work captured in this feature is primarily a packaging effort for the userspace component. Included in the userspace package are service management scripts and network management scripts to allow for Fedora integration. Future integration work is possible, but not required at this time. Open vSwitch functionally overlaps with the existing Linux bridge, however the two can coexist.

How To Test

Basic testing requires installing Open vSwitch, creating an Open vSwitch switch instance, creating an uplink port to facilitate external connectivity, and attaching virtual machines to the switch. Virtual machines should then be able to talk to one another as well as the external world through the switch.

User Experience

For simple, standalone virtualization servers, the user experience will not change. For multi-server installs, user's will be able to centrally manage virtual networks with something like Features/OpenStack Quantum, giving them better control and visibility into their virtual network environments.



Contingency Plan

None necessary, revert to previous release behaviour.


Plenty of documentation available from

Release Notes

  • Open vSwitch is now supported in Fedora. Users will be able to create, manage, and monitor virtual networks using the flexible, multi-layer software network switch.

Comments and Discussion