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VDE_SWITCH(1) FreeBSD General Commands Manual VDE_SWITCH(1)

vde_switch - Virtual Distributed Ethernet switch

vde_switch [ -hub ] [ -sock commdirpath ] [ -mod octal-mode ] [ -group NAME ] [ -tap interface ] [ -daemon ]

A vde_switch is a virtual switch for the vde architecture.
A vde network can include several vde_switches running on different (real) computers. vde_switches can be connected by vde cables (see vde_plug (1) ).
Supported architecture for VDE end nodes include: real linux boxes (through the tuntap interface), bochs, qemu and MPS virtual machines.
VDE is useful to create networks of heterogeneous virtual machines as well as as a general tunneling tool -- all the ethernet based protocols work by this kind of tunnel -- and also as a tool for mobility. In fact VDE creates an overlay network where users can keep their IP addresses despite of the change of IP addresses on the interfaces.
vde_switch needs root privileges to open a tap interface, can be run by users when no -tap option is specified.
vde-2 has several features: VLAN, Fast Spanning Tree Protocol, command line management (on console for foreground switches, on a terminal for daemonized switches). If a vde_switch run in foreground mode simply type return to have the prompt. For daemons there is the -M option to specify the management socket. Unixterm is the tool to start a terminal for the management. Type "help" at the prompt for a list of possible options.

turn off the switch engine. It operates as a hub.
-sock commdirpath
specify the directory when comm socket are created. The default value is "/tmp/vde.ctl"
-mod octalmode
specify the octal permissions for the comm sockets.
-group NAME
specify the group owner for the comm socket. The default value is the current user's primary group
-tap interface
connect the specified tuntap interface to this vde_switch (needs root privileges) It is possible to specify several tap interfaces, comma separated.
Run as a daemon. Use syslog for logging.
-f rcfile
rc file to set the initial switch configuration. This rc file has the same syntax of the command line interface.
help. Please use it for a more complete list of options. vde_switch is a modular program, options vary depending of the compiled-in modules.

Virtual Distributed Ethernet is not related in any way with ("Verband der Elektrotechnik, Elektronik und Informationstechnik" i.e. the German "Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies").

vde_plug(1), vde_plug2tap(1), vdeq(1), dpipe(1), unixterm(1).

VDE is a project by Renzo Davoli <>
VDE started as an enhancement of uml_switch by Jeff Dike and others. VDE-2 has been almost completely rewritten but maybe some statements come from the historical source. So, some copyright and thanks also for Dike&Co.
December 6, 2006 Virtual Distributed Ethernet

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