Indigo Virtual Switch
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Indigo Virtual Switch


Indigo Virtual Switch (IVS) is a pure OpenFlow virtual switch designed for high performance and minimal administration. It is built on the Indigo platform, which provides a common core for many physical and virtual switches,

This README contains documentation to help you get started using IVS. For full documentation, see the IVS pages at Project Floodlight.

Building IVS

  1. Install required dependencies:
  • Ubuntu 11.10: sudo apt-get install libnl3-dev pkg-config python-tz libpcap-dev openvswitch-datapath-dkms
  • Ubuntu 12.04: sudo apt-get install libnl-3-dev libnl-genl-3-dev libnl-route-3-dev pkg-config python-tz libpcap-dev openvswitch-datapath-dkms
  1. Clone the IVS repository: git clone --recurse-submodules

  2. cd ivs

  3. Compile IVS: make

  4. The IVS daemon and ivs-ctl utility will be written to targets/ivs/build/gcc-local/bin/ivs and targets/ivs-ctl/build/gcc-local/bin/ivs-ctl respectively. They can be run directly from the build directory.

Building Debian Packages

Packaging, including init scripts, is available for Debian-based distributions in the debian directory. If using git we recommend git-buildpackage.

When building packages for multiple architectures and distributions we use the build/ script. This script uses the cowbuilder package to create a chroot for the target distribution and build the package inside it. The SUITE and ARCH environment variables are used to determine the target distribution. For example:

SUITE=oneiric ARCH=i386 ./build/


You'll need an OpenFlow controller to use IVS. We suggest Floodlight, which should work out of the box. Follow your controller's instructions to get it running and note down its IP address.

The openvswitch kernel module must be loaded: modprobe openvswitch.

Now you just need to run the IVS daemon. You'll need to tell it the IP address of the controller (-c) and the initial set of network interfaces to connect (-i). Here's an example command line:

sudo ivs -c -i eth1 -i eth2

IVS will immediately begin communicating with the controller and, depending on your controller's configuration, forwarding traffic between eth1 and eth2.

ivs-ctl add-port and ivs-ctl del-port can be used to add and remove ports at runtime (for example, this is used by hypervisors when a VM is started). See the ivs-ctl man page for more details.


Please fork the repository on GitHub and open a pull request.

You might be interested in the document in this repository which describes the layout of the source code and includes other details relevant to developers.