Archived Content

This page describe how to install OFDPA i12 with ONL 1.x, which is the version supported in CORD 1.0 Creamy Vegetable.
For latest information, please visit Hardware Switch Installation Guide.


In this wiki page, we are going to show you how to setup the hardware switches for CORD Fabric.
Here we focus on Accton 6712 40G x 32 switches, which are the switches we use to build the CORD Pod in ON.Lab.
Ideally, all hardware switches running OF-DPA pipeline should be compatible with the Fabric control logic (i.e. Segment Routing app on ONOS)

Wire Up

Connect power cable, console port and management network.

C1. Install Open Networking Linux (ONL)

The switches are shipped with Open Networking Install Environment (ONIE) bootloader. After booting up, we should see the ONIE prompt from console.
Here we assume that the management port on the switch already has Internet access. (via DHCP)

At the ONIE prompt, we need to get and install ONL. Depending on the switch model you are using, we need to use different installers from here:

For powerpc based 5710, use onl-18cc760-powerpc-all.2016.
For x86 based 5712 and 6712, use onl-18cc760-amd64-all.2016.

In the console, type

ONIE:/ # wget <installer-url>
ONIE:/ # sh <installer-filename>

to fetch and install the latest ONL.

The switch will automatically reboot into ONL after installation. Default login credential of ONL is: root/onl 

We might want to configure a fixed IP address for the management interface.
First edit /etc/network/interfaces and configure ma1, which is the management interface.

auto ma1
iface ma1 inet static

Second, we need to make the configuration file persistent so we don't lose the configuration after rebooting the switch. This step is required for every config file in the switch.

# persist /etc/network/interfaces
# savepersist

C2. Install OF-DPA package

The OF-DPA package is a Debian package that includes the OF Agent.

You need this file for 6712s and 5712s which are both x86 based: ofdpa-i.12.1.1_12.1.1+accton1.7-1_amd64.deb

For 5710s use the powerpc debian package: ofdpa-i.12.1.1_12.1.1+accton1.7-1_powerpc.deb

Download from here:

Please note: Only this version of OF-DPA will work for the fabric!

Copy the package to /mnt/flash2 on the switch so it is persistent after rebooting.

$ scp ofdpa-i.12.1.1_12.1.1+accton1.7-1_amd64.deb

Install the OF-DPA package. (Note that this is required every time after rebooting. I will show a trick later so it can be done automatically.)

# service ofdpa stop
# dpkg -i --force-overwrite /mnt/flash2/ofdpa-i.12.1.1_12.1.1+accton1.7-1_amd64.deb

C3. (Optional) Switch Port Config

By default, all 32 ports are running in 1x40G mode. The /etc/accton/ofdpa.conf need to be modified if we want to break out 1x40G into 4x10G.

port_mode_1=4x10g    # front port 1

Restart ofdpa service after modifying the config

# service ofdpa restart
# persist /etc/accton/ofdpa.conf
# savepersist 

C4. Connect Switch to ONOS

Run Indigo OpenFlow Agent to connect the switch to controller(s).

Please make sure you run client_cfg_purge to empty the hardware flow/group table every time you restart the Indigo OF agent.

# client_cfg_purge
# brcm-indigo-ofdpa-ofagent --dpid=0x0000000000000001 --controller= --controller= --controller=

C5. Config Network Interface on the Host

We need to configure the IP address and route on the host.

  1. Configure the IP address and subnet mask

    Make sure the IP address and the subnet mask on the fabric network interface of the host is consistent with the information in the Network Configuration host section. 
    For example, you can run

    ip addr add dev mlx0

  2. Configure the default route

    Make sure you change the default route of the host to the interface IP of the leaf switch it connects to.
    For example, you can run

    ip route add default via

    In the case that you want to keep default route through the management network, you need to add routes to all other subnets in the network one by one.


After the setup is completed, you should be able to ping from one host to another.

Other Useful Information

Useful Configurations

As mentioned, the OF-DPA package need to be installed every time switch is rebooted. We can add it into /etc/rc.local so it will be automatically installed

hostname fabric-spine1
dpkg -i --force-overwrite /mnt/flash2/ofdpa-i.12.1.1_12.1.1+accton1.7-1_amd64.deb

Save /etc/rc.local and make it persistent

# persist /etc/rc.local
# savepersist 

Useful Commands

There are some useful commands under /usr/bin/ofdpa-2.0-ea3/examples/



Sometimes the switch fails to install OpenFlow rules because they are not compliant with the OFDPA requirements. In these cases you may want to run OFDPA in debug mode to get more insight on how to properly install the flow rules. To enable debugging mode type the following:

# service ofdpa stop
# KERNEL_MODS=/lib/modules/`uname -r`/ofdpa
# insmod $KERNEL_MODS/linux-kernel-bde.ko dmasize=32M maxpayload=128
# insmod $KERNEL_MODS/linux-user-bde.ko
# ofdpa -d4 -c1 -c2 -c3 -c4 -c5

Now, open a new terminal and enter the following:

# ./client_debugcomp -c 1
# ./client_debugcomp -c 2
# ./client_debugcomp -c 3
# ./client_debugcomp -c 4
# ./client_debuglvl 3
# brcm-indigo-ofdpa-ofagent ...

The above commands may fail if ofdpa has not been initialized yet. If that happens, wait 10-20 seconds and try it again.

After this, you should be able to see more comprehensible messages.

If it is necessary to improve the verbosity of Indigo Agent you can type the following:

# brcm-indigo-ofdpa-ofagent ... -a [1-2]

Recovery from a faulty ONL install

If, for some reason, the ONL install process fails, you may be brought to the grub rescue prompt upon reboot. You may or may not find system files, or even basic grub rescue commands (i.e. 'help'). There are two options for returning to a (known working) ONIE prompt.

  1. Reinstaller - Accton provides a ISO for reinstalling the firmware to factory default. This can be acquired from Accton by registering for their online support, and applying for it here.
    Once you have the ISO, you can either use PXE or a live USB to boot the switch into the image.

  2. Manually boot to ONIE - If the files are there, you can manually configure GRUB to load the necessary modules to boot back into ONIE.

    # This should be the partition on the ONIE partition on the AS6712. 
    # It might be hd1 or hd0. Change appropriately. 
    grub rescue> ls (hd0,gpt2)/
    ./ ../ lost+found/ onie/ grub/ grubenv
    # These instructions will load the kernel and ONIE initrd. 
    grub rescue> set prefix=(hd0,gpt2)/grub
    grub rescue> set root=(hd0,gpt2)
    grub rescue> insmod normal
    grub rescue> insmod linux
    grub rescue> ls /onie
    ./ ../ vmlinuz-3.2.35-onie initrd.img-3.2.35-onie tools/ grub/ grub.d/ config/
    # if the ",115200n8" is omitted, baud rate defaults to 9600.
    grub rescue> linux /onie/vmlinuz-3.2.35-onie console=tty0 console=ttyS1,115200n8
    grub rescue> initrd /onie/initrd.img-3.2.35-onie
    # The system will not boot into ONIE and you can recover or re-install from there. 
    grub rescue> boot

Once back at the ONIE prompt, you can try to install ONL by following the same steps again.