Mininet and Open vSwitch on CentOS 7

The following are the steps I took to get Mininet running in CentOS 7.  I ran into many issues trying to get OVS installed and running.  There was a conflict between the OVS script tools starting OVSDB and SELinux.  I had to set SELinux to Passive to work around it.  So depending on what system you are running this on,  be advised of the following steps and what system level settings I changed for security.  I assume most of these will be corrected once OVS officially supports CentOS/RHEL 7.

Installing Mininet on CentOS7
– I needed VM with 2GB memory to get OS installed.
– I used CentOS-7.0-1406-x86_64-livecd.iso to install the VM. I’m not going to outline steps for installing CentOS.
– I created a local user called mininet and gave it sudo access and ran the remainder as that user.
– Install SSHD
sudo yum -y install openssh-server
sudo chkconfig sshd on
sudo service sshd start

– Disable SELinux to get OVSDB to stasrt
sudo setenforce Permissive

– Modify sudoers secure_path to add /usr/local/bin so the ‘controller’ which be found.
Defaults    secure_path = /sbin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/local/bin

– Install GIT
sudo yum -y install git

– Get Mininet.
git clone git://
– Update installer mininet/util/
***ADD the following before the line ‘test -e /etc/fedora-release && DIST=”Fedora”‘. Somewhere around line 47.  May differ.
test -e /etc/centos-release && DIST="CentOS"
if [ "$DIST" = "CentOS" ]; then
    install='sudo yum -y install'
    remove='sudo yum -y erase'
    pkginst='sudo rpm -ivh'
    # Prereqs for this script
    if ! which lsb_release &> /dev/null; then
        $install redhat-lsb-core

if ! echo $DIST | egrep 'Ubuntu|Debian|Fedora|CentOS'; then
    echo " currently only supports Ubuntu, Debian and Fedora."
    exit 1

– Install Mininet and OpenFlow reference.  Not OVS.
mininet/util/ -nf

– Build and Install OVS
sudo yum -y install gcc make python-devel openssl-devel kernel-devel graphviz \
kernel-debug-devel autoconf automake rpm-build redhat-rpm-config \
libtool wget

mkdir -p /home/mininet/rpmbuild/SOURCES/
cd /home/mininet/rpmbuild/SOURCES/
tar zxvf openvswitch-2.3.0.tar.gz
cd openvswitch-2.3.0
rpmbuild -bb --without check rhel/openvswitch.spec
sudo rpm -ivh --nodeps /home/mininet/rpmbuild/RPMS/x86_64/openvswitch*.rpm

– Start OVS
sudo /etc/init.d/openvswitch start

– Check working
[mininet@localhost ~]$ sudo ovs-vsctl show
    ovs_version: "2.3.0"

– Test out Mininet
[mininet@localhost ~]$ sudo mn --test pingall
*** Creating network
*** Adding controller
*** Adding hosts:
h1 h2
*** Adding switches:
*** Adding links:
(h1, s1) (h2, s1)
*** Configuring hosts
h1 h2
*** Starting controller
*** Starting 1 switches
*** Waiting for switches to connect
*** Ping: testing ping reachability
h1 -> h2
h2 -> h1
*** Results: 0% dropped (2/2 received)
*** Stopping 1 controllers
*** Stopping 1 switches
s1 ..
*** Stopping 2 hosts
h1 h2
*** Done
completed in 5.397 seconds

So it seems to work.  But there are a few things to note.

1. The kernel datapath is not installed.  This is totally userspace.  I could not get the kernel module to compile.  Wait until official support of RHEL7.
2. The above is the extent of the testing I did.  There may be other issues that crop up.

Hope this helps anyone that uses CentOS or RHEL 7 with Mininet.


This post ‘Mininet and OVS on CentOS 7’ first appeared on


6 Responses to Mininet and Open vSwitch on CentOS 7

  1. bregman1990 says:

    Every time I’m running: sudo mn –test pingall I’m getting “*** Waiting for switches to connect” s1… and its just stuck on that
    Tried it on two different machines (rhel 7.1 and 7.0) -> same results.

    Did it happen to you?

    • Gregory Gee says:

      Is OVS running? There should be 2 OVS processes running all the time. Also, run ‘ovs-vsctl show’ while you have mininet running to see if the switches got created.

  2. Svetlozar says:


    Very nice guide. I followed the steps exactly. However, I got this error:

    [root@localhost x86_64]# sudo rpm -ivh –nodeps /home/mininet/rpmbuild/RPMS/x86_64/openvswitch*.rpm
    error: File not found by glob: /home/mininet/rpmbuild/RPMS/x86_64/openvswitch*.rpm

    Then I copied the file manually and it ran:

    [root@localhost x86_64]# cp openvswitch-2.3.0-1.x86_64.rpm /home/mininet/rpmbuild/RPMS/x86_64/
    [root@localhost x86_64]# cp openvswitch-debuginfo-2.3.0-1.x86_64.rpm /home/mininet/rpmbuild/RPMS/x86_64/
    [root@localhost x86_64]# sudo rpm -ivh –nodeps /home/mininet/rpmbuild/RPMS/x86_64/openvswitch-2.3.0-1.x86_64.rpm
    Preparing… ################################# [100%]
    Updating / installing…

    It ran smoothly – it started and displayed the version, but when it was time to start mininet, it didn’t find the command:

    [root@localhost openvswitch-2.3.0]# mn –test pingallbash: mn: command not found…
    Similar command is: ‘nm’

    I would very much appreciate some advice on how to proceed.


    • Gregory Gee says:

      I should probably do a followup to this article. This was written when I could not find any OVS packages. But now, OVS packages are available for CentOS 7 as part of the OpenStack distribution. This is probably the preferred method for OVS now.

      yum install -y
      yum install openvswitch openvswitch-test

      • 楊亮魯 says:

        Hi , I’m also stuck here ,
        *** Adding links:
        (h1, s1) (h2, s1)
        *** Configuring hosts
        h1 h2
        *** Starting controller
        *** Starting 1 switches
        s1 …
        *** Waiting for switches to connect

        but ovs-vsctl show have Infomation
        [stream@localhost ~]$ sudo ovs-vsctl show
        Bridge “s1”
        Controller “ptcp:6654”
        Controller “tcp:”
        fail_mode: secure
        Port “s1”
        Interface “s1”
        type: internal
        Port “s1-eth2”
        Interface “s1-eth2”
        Port “s1-eth1”
        Interface “s1-eth1”
        ovs_version: “2.5.0”

  3. mjvgomes says:

    Hello! I followed the steps u made it here.. but seems dat i have a small problem..
    So when we start in “Build and Install OVS”
    i tried to do this comands first..


    and i had a error.. so i had the idea do download the file and send it to the SOURCES directory and them i did

    tar zxvf openvswitch-2.3.0.tar.gz

    After dat.. i could follow the step cd openvswitch-2.3.0

    But when i did seems to give me a error

    rpmbuild -bb –without check rhel/openvswitch.spec

    Error: File /root/rpmbuild/SOURCES/openvswitch-2.3.0.tar.gz: No such file or directory

    Could u help me out?

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