[ovs-dev] Merging datapath into the upstream kernel tree

Justin Pettit jpettit at nicira.com
Thu Aug 5 01:51:26 UTC 2010

> I am wondering what the thoughts on merging datapath into
> the upstream kernel tree are. I would be more than willing
> to volunteer for the task.

That would be fantastic.  We've been discussing how to move forward with this.  Here's a quick list of items that we think need to be addressed before it would be considered:

	- The kernel module is currently a character device that is controlled by ioctls.  This should be changed to a module that just uses netlink.  This is more inline with Linux network configuration, and it will be more flexible if new features are added, so a consistent userspace application can be used across kernels.

	- Don't steal the bridge hooks.  This should be trivial with the new hooks that should appear in 2.6.36.

	- Break out vports.  OVS introduces the concept of a vport, which is an interface abstraction.  It's fairly monolithic at the moment, so it will likely need to be more modular.

	- Support network namespaces.

	- Rip out bridge compatibility code.  This is for backwards compatibility with some hypervisors, but shouldn't be needed on new kernels.

	- Add sysfs information.  Currently we only support items that allows us to impersonate the bridge.

	- Possibly call hooks for netfilter/iptables, if necessary.

We think reworking the kernel module is the greatest single amount of work, and it's already on Ben Pfaff's to-do list.  We would love to hear your input on areas that we may have missed and suggestions you may have for smoothing out the process.  If there are any parts you'd like to work on, that would be great, too.  Let us know how you'd like to contribute.



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