RUNOS OpenFlow Controller
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RUNOS logo

What is RuNOS

Runos is an OpenFlow Controller.

It is fully userspace controller with high functionality, easy to develop your apps, relatively high performance comparing with existing controllers. It supports OpenFlow 1.3.

More info:


RuNOS documentation [ru]: (Actual for 0.6 version)

Build prerequirements

This components should be installed in the system:

  • Utilities: cmake, autoconf, libtool, pkg-config
  • libfluid dependencies: libevent openssl.
  • Libraries: QtCore 5, google-glog, boost::graph, boost::system, boost::thread, boost::coroutine, boost::context, uglifyjs
  • UglifyJS dependencies: npm, nodejs

You can use this line on Ubuntu 15.10+ to install required packages:

$ sudo apt-get install build-essential cmake autoconf libtool \
    pkg-config libgoogle-glog-dev \
    libssl-dev qtbase5-dev libboost-graph-dev libboost-system-dev \
    libboost-thread-dev libboost-coroutine-dev libboost-context-dev \
    libgoogle-perftools-dev curl nodejs npm \

To install libevent on Ubuntu 17.10+, just use

$ sudo apt-get install libevent-dev

On older systems, you have to install it manually. At least version 2.1.5 is required:

# Get the source code
$ wget
$ tar -xvf libevent-2.1.5-beta.tar.gz
$ cd libevent-2.1.5-beta
# And build
$ ./configure
$ make
$ sudo make install
$ sudo ldconfig

You need to install the JavaScript packages:

    $ sudo  npm install uglify-js -g

    # You maybe needed to  creating symbolic link from nodejs to node
    $ sudo ln -s /usr/bin/nodejs /usr/bin/node

To build the project you must use g++-5.2 compiler (or above) or another compiler with support of std::regex. If it is not bundled, we recommend to install g++-5.2 this way:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-toolchain-r/test
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install g++-5.2


# Initialize third-party libraries
$ third_party/

# Create out of source build directory
$ mkdir -p build; cd build
# Configure (if you use g++)
$ CXX=g++-5.2 cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release ..
# OR configure (otherwise)
$ cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release ..

# Build third-party libraries
$ make prefix -j2
# Build RuNOS
$ make -j2


Setup environment variables (run once per shell session):

# Run it INSIDE build directory
$ source ../

Run the controller:

$ cd .. # Go out of build dir
$ build/runos

You can use this arguments for MiniNet:

$ sudo mn --topo $YOUR_TOPO --switch ovsk,protocols=OpenFlow13 \
            --controller remote,ip=$CONTROLLER_IP,port=6653

To run web UI, open the following link in your browser:


Be sure your MiniNet installation supports OpenFlow 1.3. See for more instructions.

Using QtCreator

  1. Execute Building section, but use cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug .. instead Release
  2. In QtCreator File->Open File or Project and select CMakeLists.txt as project file
  3. In build section: select build directory as ./build
  4. In run section:
    • select working direcory as ./ (project path)
    • set Run Environment:
      • LD_LIBRARY_PATH to $PDW/prefix/lib for Linux
      • DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH to $PWD/prefix/lib for OS X
      • GLOG_logtostderr to 1
      • GLOG_colorlogtostderr to 1
  5. Compile and run!

Using JetBrains CLion

  1. Add project to CLion by File->Open... and select the project root's location. Further we will call it as ./
  2. Mark ./third_party directory as Library root (right click to the directory name in Project view panel) and restart the IDE. You may also need to install libfluid system-wide: it will be used by CLion for making smart suggestions (not for compilation).
  3. Configure project. Bad news are that Clion is still not be able to build project natively (via Build action), but you can build it by running a bash comand (write your own or use listed bellow one). Good news are that graphical debugger and other aspects of using IDE works perfect! So, Edit configurations... -> runos:
    • Executable: select ./build/runos
    • Working directory: ./
    • Environment variables:
      • LD_LIBRARY_PATH to ./prefix/lib for Linux
      • GLOG_logtostderr to 1
      • GLOG_colorlogtostderr to 1
    • Before launch:
      • Remove Build
      • Add Run external tool -> Add...:
        • Program: /bin/bash
        • Parameters: -c "cd ./build/ && make -j2 && source ../"
    • Mark the configuration as Single instance only
  4. Compile and run via Run action or launch debugging session via Debug action!

Writing your first RuNOS app

Note: look at full documentation in Russian:

Step 1: Override Application class

Create and MyApp.hh files inside src directory and reference them in CMakeLists.txt.

Fill them with the following content:

/* MyApp.hh */
#pragma once

#include "Application.hh"
#include "Loader.hh"

class MyApp : public Application {
    void init(Loader* loader, const Config& config) override;

/* */
#include "MyApp.hh"


void MyApp::init(Loader *loader, const Config& config)
    LOG(INFO) << "Hello, world!";

What we do here? We declare our application by subclassing Application interface and named it myapp. Now we should reference myapp in configuration file (defaults to network-setting.json) at services section to force run it.

Start RuNOS and see "Hello, world!" in the log.

Step 2: Subscribing to other application events

Now our application was started but do nothing. To make it useful you need to communicate with other applications.

Look at this line of


In the second argument here you tell RuNOS what apps you will use as dependencies. Last element should be empty string indicating end-of-list.

You can interact with other applications with method calls and Qt signals. Let's subscribe to switchUp event of controller application. Add required dependencies:

REGISTER_APPLICATION(MyApp, {"controller", ""})

Then include Controller.hh in and get controller instance:

void MyApp::init(Loader *loader, const Config& config)
    Controller* ctrl = Controller::get(loader);


Now we need a slot to process switchUp events. Declare it in MyApp.hh: #include "SwitchConnection.hh" ...

public slots:
    void onSwitchUp(SwitchConnectionPtr ofconn, of13::FeaturesReply fr);

And connect signal to it in MyApp::init:

    QObject::connect(ctrl, &Controller::switchUp,
                     this, &MyApp::onSwitchUp);

Finally, write MyApp::onSwitchUp implementation:

void MyApp::onSwitchUp(SwitchConnectionPtr ofconn, of13::FeaturesReply fr)
    LOG(INFO) << "Look! This is a switch " << fr.datapath_id();

Great! Now you will see this greeting when switch connects to RuNOS.

Step 3: Working with data flows

You learned how subscribe to other application events, but how to manage flows? Imagine you wan't to do MAC filtering, ie drop all packets from hosts not listed in the configuration file.

To do so you need to create packet-in handler.

So, register PacketMissHandlerFactory in init:

#include "api/PacketMissHandler.hh"
#include "api/Packet.hh"
#include "types/ethaddr.hh"
#include "api/TraceablePacket.hh"
#include "oxm/openflow_basic.hh"
#include "Maple.hh"

REGISTER_APPLICATION(MyApp, {"controller", "maple", ""})

void MyApp::init(Loader *loader, const Config& config)

    Maple* maple = Maple::get(loader);
        [=](Packet& pkt, FlowPtr, Decision decision){
	if (pkt.test(oxm::eth_src() == "00:11:22:33:44:55"))
	     return decision.drop().return_();
                 return decision;


What it means? First, all handlers arranged into pipeline, where every handler can stop processing, look at some packet fields and add actions. We need also insert our handler in pipeline. In network-settings.json maple has his setting, and pariculary pipeline, which contains name of handlers in pipeline.

So, we name our handler as "mac-filtering" and need to place it before "forwarding".

Now compile RuNOS and test that all packets from 00:11:22:33:44:55 had been dropped.

REST Applications

List of available REST services

The format of the RunOS REST requests:

<HTTP-method> /api/<app_name>/<list_of_params>
  • <HTTP-method> is GET, POST, DELETE of PUT
  • <app_name> is calling name of the application
  • <list_of_params> is list of the parameters separated by a slash

In POST and PUT request you can pass parameters in the body of the request using JSON format.

Current version of RunOS has 6 REST services:

  • switch-manager
  • topology
  • host-manager
  • flow
  • static-flow-pusher
  • stats

'Switch Manager'

GET /api/switch-manager/switches/all 	(RunOS version)
GET /wm/core/controller/switches/json 	(Floodlight version)

Return the list of connected switches


GET /api/topology/links			    (RunOS version)
GET /wm/topology/links/json 		(Floodlight version)

Return the list of all the inter-switch links

GET /wm/topology/external-links/json 	(Floodlight)

Return external links

'Host Manager'

GET /api/host-manager/hosts		(RunOS)
GET /wm/device/			        (Floodlight)

List of all end hosts tracked by the controller

'Flow Manager'

GET /api/flow/<switch_id>
DELETE /api/flow/<switch_id>/<flow_id>

List flow entries in the switch and remove some flow entry

'Static Flow Pusher'

POST /api/static-flow-pusher/newflow/<switch_id>
body of request: JSON description of new flow

Create new flow entry in the some switch


GET /api/stats/port_info/<switch_id>/all
GET /api/stats/port_info/<switch_id>/<port_id>

Get switch port statistics


GET /apps

List of available applications with REST API.

Also you can get events in the applications that subscribed to event model. In this case you should specify list of required applications and your last registered number of events.

GET /timeout/<app_list>/<last_event>
  • <app_list> is app_1&app_2&...&app_n
  • <last_event> is unsigned integer value


For testing your and other REST application's requests and replies you can use cURL. You can install this component by sudo apt-get install curl command in Ubuntu.

In mininet topology --topo tree,2, for example:

Request: $ curl $CONTROLLER_IP:$LISTEN_PORT/api/switch-manager/switches/all Reply: [{"DPID": "0000000000000001", "ID": "0000000000000001"}, {"DPID": "0000000000000002", "ID": "0000000000000002"}, {"DPID": "0000000000000003", "ID": "0000000000000003"}]

Adding REST for your RunOS app

To make REST for your application class MyApp:

  • add REST for your application:

      #include "Rest.hh"
      #include "AppObject.hh"
      #include <string>
      class MyApp : public Application, RestHandler {
          bool eventable() override { return false; }
          std::string displayedName() override { return "My beautiful application"; } // or skip this
          std::string page() override { return "my_page.html"; } // if your application has webpage
          json11::Json handleGET(std::vector<std::string> params, std::string body) override;
          json11::Json handlePOST(std::vector<std::string> params, std::string body) override;
          // also handlePUT and handleDELETE
  • in init() function in class MyApp register Rest handler:

  • then, you should set the handled pathes and methods in MyApp::init:

    // handle GET request with path /api/my-app/switches/ acceptPath(Method::GET, "switches/[0-9]+");

    // handle POST request with path /api/my-app/mac/ acceptPath(Method::POST, "[A-Fa-f0-9:-]");

  • method MyApp::handleGET proccesses input GET-HTTP requests. This method gets the list of parameters and returns reply in JSON format.

  • each REST application may have own webpage, i.e. WebUI for application To connect REST application to webpage you must specify this page in page() method:

      std::string page() override { return "my_page.html"; }

    File "my_page.html" must be located in web/html directory. If your application has not WebUI, write "none" instead webpage.

  • if your application supports event model, you can enable it by setting true in eventable() method:

      bool eventable() override { return true; }

In current version events can signal about appearance or disappearance some objects:

# some_object is object inherited class AppObject
addEvent(Event::Add, some_object);
# or
addEvent(Event::Delete, some_object);

Static Flow Pusher

You can use static flow pusher to set rules proactively. At first, you can write required rules in network-settings.json file. For example:

"static-flow-pusher": {
  "flows": [
    "dpid": "all",
    "flows": [
          "priority": 0,
          "in_port": 15,
          "ip_src": "",
          "out_port" : 22

Also, you can add other match fields: in_port, eth_src, eth_dst, ip_src, ip_dst, out_port. To set idle and hard timeout use idle and hard strings. To set OFPP_TO_CONTROLLER action, write in out_port string value to-controller.

Secondly, to set flows proactively, you should add to your application StaticFlowPusher application, create FlowDesc object, fill it with your match field and call &StaticFlowPusher::sendToSwitch method.

And thirdly, use REST POST requests of StaticFlowPusher to set new flow from REST API.