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The libnetwork plugin integration is no longer included as a core component in Calico releases, and is not being actively developed or supported by the core Calico team. The latest release of Calico which includes this plugin is the v2.6.x series of releases.

This repository relies on community contributions for enhancements and bug fixes, which will be reviewed and merged by the Calico team on a best-effort basis.

If you would like to become a maintainer of this project, please reach out to the Calico team in the #calico-dev slack channel.

Libnetwork plugin for Calico

This plugin for Docker networking (libnetwork) is intended for use with Project Calico. For Calico's Kubernetes integration, see the CNI plugin.

Supported options for confguration

Working with Networks

  • When creating a network, the --subnet option can be passed to docker network create. The subnet must match an existing Calico pool, and any containers created on that network will use an IP address from that Calico Pool.
  • Other than --driver and --ipam-driver, no other options are supported on the docker network create command.

Working with Containers

When creating containers, use the --net option to connect them to a network previously created with docker network create

  • The --ip option can be passed to docker run to assign a specific IP to a container.
  • The --mac and --link-local options are currently unsupported.

Working with the code

  • Clone the repo (clone it into your GOPATH and make sure you use projectcalico in the path, not your fork name).
  • Create the vendor directory (make vendor). This uses glide in a docker container to create the vendor directory.
  • Build it in a container using make dist/libnetwork-plugin. The plugin binary will appear in the dist directory.
  • Running tests can be done in a container using make test-containerized. Note: This works on linux, but can require additional steps on Mac.
  • Submit PRs through GitHub. Before merging, you'll be asked to squash your commits together, so 1 PR = 1 commit.
  • Before submitting your PR, please make sure tests pass and run make static-checks. Both these will be done by the CI system too though.

How to Run It During Development

make run-plugin

Running the plugin in a container requires a few specific options docker run --rm --net=host --privileged -e CALICO_ETCD_AUTHORITY=$(LOCAL_IP_ENV):2379 -v /run/docker/plugins:/run/docker/plugins -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock --name calico-node-libnetwork calico/node-libnetwork /calico

  • --net=host Host network is used since the network changes need to occur in the host namespace
  • privileged since the plugin creates network interfaces
  • -e CALICO_ETCD_AUTHORITY=a.b.c.d:2379 to allow the plugin to find a backend datastore for storing information
  • -v /run/docker/plugins:/run/docker/plugins allows the docker daemon to discover the plugin
  • -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock allows the plugin to query the docker daemon

How to Test It

On Linux

make test is all you need.

On OSX/Windows

On OSX/Windows you can't run Docker natively. To allow the Makefile to write the build libnetwork-plugin to your host's filesystem and to allow the test to access the Docker daemon via the unix socket, the user id and group id of the docker user are needed. For boot2docker the user id is 1000 and group id 100.

Run make test like this: LOCAL_USER_ID=1000 LOCAL_GROUP_ID=100 make test-containerized

IPv6 Usage

Note: IPv4 can't be disabled, IPv6 is enabled in addition to IPv4.

Docker IPv6 support must be enabled e.g.

dockerd --cluster-store=etcd:// --ipv6 --fixed-cidr-v6="2001:db8:1::/64"

Start the libnetwork-plugin

sudo dist/libnetwork-plugin

Add an IPv6 address to the host

sudo ip addr add fd80:24e2:f998:72d7::1/112 dev eth1

Start calico/node, without using the calico/node libnetwork-plugin, also pass in the host IPv6 address

sudo calicoctl node run --disable-docker-networking --ip6=fd80:24e2:f998:72d7::1

Create an IPv6 network

docker network create --ipv6 -d calico --ipam-driver calico-ipam my_net

Run containers on the IPv6 network

  docker run --net my_net --name workload-A -tid busybox
  docker run --net my_net --name workload-B -tid busybox

Check IPv6 network connectivity

  docker exec workload-A ping -6 -c 4 workload-B.my_net
  docker exec workload-B ping -6 -c 4 workload-A.my_net

Check IPv4 network connectivity

  docker exec workload-A ping -4 -c 4 workload-B.my_net
  docker exec workload-B ping -4 -c 4 workload-A.my_net

Known limitations

The following is a list of known limitations when using the Calico libnetwork driver:

  • It is not possible to add multiple networks to a single container. However, once a container endpoint is created, it is possible to manually add additional Calico profiles to that endpoint (effectively adding the container into another network).


To change the prefix used for the interface in containers that Docker runs, set the CALICO_LIBNETWORK_IFPREFIX environment variable.

  • The default value is "cali"

To enable debug logging set the CALICO_DEBUG environment variable.

The plugin creates a Calico profile resource for the Docker network used (e.g. docker run --net <network> ...). This is enabled by default. It can be disabled by setting the environment: CALICO_LIBNETWORK_CREATE_PROFILES=false.

The plugin can copy Docker container labels to the corresponding Calico workloadendpoint. This feature is disabled by default. It can be enabled by setting the environment: CALICO_LIBNETWORK_LABEL_ENDPOINTS=true.

Workloadendpoint labelling

If you want to use Calico policies you need labels on the Calico workloadendpoint. The plugin can set labels by copying a subset of the Docker container labels.

To enable this feature you need to set the environment: CALICO_LIBNETWORK_LABEL_ENDPOINTS=true.

Only container labels starting with org.projectcalico.label. are used. This prefix is removed and the remaining key is used a label key in the workloadendpoint.

Example: docker run --label --net <calico network> <image> ... will create a workloadendpoint with label foo=bar. Of course you can use multiple --label org.projectcalico.label.<key>=<value> options.

NOTE: the labels are added to the workloadendpoint using an update, because the container information is not available at the moment the workloadendpoint resource is created.



Logs are sent to STDOUT. If using Docker these can be viewed with the docker logs command.


Check the plugin health by executing API calls.


# echo -e "GET /NetworkDriver.GetCapabilities HTTP/1.0\r\n\r\n" | nc -U /run/docker/plugins/calico.sock
HTTP/1.0 200 OK
Content-Type: application/vnd.docker.plugins.v1.1+json
Date: Thu, 08 Dec 2016 10:00:41 GMT
Content-Length: 19



# echo -e "GET /IpamDriver.GetCapabilities HTTP/1.0\r\n\r\n" | nc -U /run/docker/plugins/calico-ipam.sock
HTTP/1.0 200 OK
Content-Type: application/vnd.docker.plugins.v1.1+json
Date: Thu, 08 Dec 2016 10:02:51 GMT
Content-Length: 29