CentOS 7 – Installing Floodlight

Hi there!,
In the following weeks, I’ll be using the Floodlight controller to develop some code to get a deeper understanding on Software-Defined Networks. In my lab environment I’ll using OpenFlow to configure some OpenVswitch virtual switches.

In this post I’m showing you how I’ve installed Floodlight on my CentOS 7 machine, creating a service, configuring logging and more.

Let’s begin installing some development tools, Git, Java and Ant:

yum group install -y "Development Tools"
yum -y install git
yum install -y java-1.7.0-openjdk ant

We need Floodlight’s source code and then we’ll build it:

cd /opt
git clone git://github.com/floodlight/floodlight.git
cd floodlight/

Buildfile: /opt/floodlight/build.xml
[jar] Building jar: /opt/floodlight/target/floodlight.jar
Total time: 50 seconds

Awesome, Floodlight was built succesfully. We’ll now create some directories:

mkdir /var/lib/floodlight
mkdir /etc/floodlight
mkdir /var/log/floodlight/

OpenFlow protocol will use IANA’s reserved port 6653. I’ll add a rule allowing that traffic from my management network

firewall-cmd --permanent --add-rich-rule='rule family="ipv4" source address="" port port="6653" protocol="tcp" accept'

firewall-cmd --reload

Also, if using the REST API (HTTP) or using the web user interface, we’ll need a rule allowing traffic on port 8080. In my lab, I’ll add a rule to allow traffic from my development network

firewall-cmd --permanent --add-rich-rule='rule family="ipv4" source address="" port port="8080" protocol="tcp" accept'

firewall-cmd --reload

Next. Let’s add a user called, guess it? floodlight!, set the JAVA_HOME and change some directories ownership:

useradd floodlight
echo 'export JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/jre-openjdk' >> /home/floodlight/.bash_profile 

chown -R floodlight:floodlight /opt/floodlight
chown -R floodlight:floodlight /var/lib/floodlight
chown -R floodlight:floodlight /var/log/floodlight
chown -R floodlight:floodlight /etc/floodlight

Now let’s open a shell using our floodlight user:

su - floodlight

Let’s copy the default floodlight’s properties file to our /etc/floodlight directory:

cp /opt/floodlight/src/main/resources/floodlightdefault.properties /etc/floodlight/

Let’s start Floodlight for the first time, specifying where’s our properties file. If everything is OK we’ll see some info and warning messages:

java -jar /opt/floodlight/target/floodlight.jar -cf /etc/floodlight/floodlightdefault.properties
11:00:08.221 INFO [n.f.c.m.FloodlightModuleLoader:main] Loading modules from /etc/floodlight/floodlightdefault.properties
11:00:08.702 WARN [n.f.r.RestApiServer:main] HTTPS disabled; HTTPS will not be used to connect to the REST API.
11:00:08.702 WARN [n.f.r.RestApiServer:main] HTTP enabled; Allowing unsecure access to REST API on port 8080.
11:00:19.552 WARN [n.f.c.i.OFSwitchManager:main] SSL disabled. Using unsecure connections between Floodlight and switches.
11:00:19.603 INFO [n.f.c.i.Controller:main] Controller role set to ACTIVE
11:00:19.716 INFO [n.f.f.Forwarding:main] Default flow matches set to: VLAN=true, MAC=true, IP=true, TPPT=true
11:00:20.572 INFO [o.s.s.i.r.RPCService:main] Listening for internal floodlight RPC on localhost/
11:00:20.812 INFO [n.f.c.i.OFSwitchManager:main] Listening for switch connections on
11:00:20.831 INFO [n.f.l.i.LinkDiscoveryManager:main] Setting autoportfast feature to OFF
11:00:35.997 INFO [n.f.l.i.LinkDiscoveryManager:Scheduled-1] Sending LLDP packets out of all the enabled ports
11:00:37.959 INFO [n.f.j.JythonServer:debugserver-main] Starting DebugServer on :6655

If using the default properties, we’ll now have an active OpenFlow controller with a Forwarding module that allows our virtual switches (if using Floodlight as the controller, of course!) to forward ethernet frames.

As an example, these are information messages when the first switch connects to Floodlight:

11:15:13.041 INFO [n.f.c.i.OFChannelHandler:New I/O worker #11] New switch connection from /
11:15:13.201 INFO [n.f.c.i.OFSwitchHandshakeHandler:New I/O worker #11] Switch OFSwitchBase DPID[00:00:bc:30:5b:da:eb:60] bound to class class net.floodlightcontroller.core.OFSwitch, description SwitchDescription [manufacturerDescription=Nicira, Inc., hardwareDescription=Open vSwitch, softwareDescription=2.3.1, serialNumber=None, datapathDescription=None]

Once we’ve checked that Floodlight can be started we’ll kill the process using Ctrl-C and close our session.

^C[floodlight@tornasol ~]$ exit

I’m not using floodlight as an interactive user anymore so I’ll remove the shell:

usermod -s /sbin/nologin floodlight

Floodlight by default, will use standard output to write many messages. I want to reduce log level and set a file where logs will be written. Thanks to the information provided by Volkan Yazici and Luca Prete in this Google’s group, these are the steps I’ve followed.

First I create a backup file for the /opt/floodlight/logback.xml file:

cp /opt/floodlight/logback.xml /opt/floodlight/logback.xml.orig

Then I create a new /opt/floodlight/logback.xml file with the following content. Basically I’m reducing the log level so only INFO and WARN messages are sent to /var/log/floodlight/floodlight.log and no messages are sent to standard output:

cat <<EOT > /opt/floodlight/logback.xml
<configuration scan="true">
<appender name="FILE" class="ch.qos.logback.core.FileAppender">
<pattern>%date %level [%thread] %logger{10} [%file:%line] %msg%n</pattern>
<root level="INFO">
<appender-ref ref="FILE" />
<logger name="org" level="WARN"/>
<logger name="LogService" level="WARN"/> <!-- Restlet access logging -->
<logger name="net.floodlightcontroller" level="INFO"/>
<logger name="net.floodlightcontroller.logging" level="WARN"/>

Ok. Now we’ll create a systemd service so Floodlight is started and stopped nicely. I’m specifying where is the configuration file for logback and where’s the properties file.

cat <<EOT > /etc/systemd/system/floodlight.service
Description=FloodLight Service 
ExecStart=/usr/bin/java -Dlogback.configurationFile=/opt/floodlight/logback.xml -jar /opt/floodlight/target/floodlight.jar -cf /etc/floodlight/floodlightdefault.properties

We’ll create the /etc/sysconfig/floodlight file so we’re sure that the JAVA_HOME environment variable is properly used:

cat <<EOT > /etc/sysconfig/floodlight

Let’s cross our fingers. Starting the service and checking status:

systemctl start floodlight.service

systemctl status floodlight.service

Floodlight service started

Looks good! Let’s enable service start at boot time:

systemctl enable floodlight.service

I think it’s a good idea to add a logrotate.d file so our Floodlight’s log file is rotated. I’ll use libvirtd file as a template to create the /etc/logrotate.d/floodlight file:

/var/log/floodlight/floodlight.log {
rotate 4
minsize 100k

Finally I’ll check that the web user interface is listening on the 8080 port and that I’ve information about my OpenFlow switches (URL http://x.x.x.x:8080/ui/index.html, use your IP address of course!)

floodlight ui

OK. Nice!, now I’m ready to start developing. I’ll post any useful information about Floodlight’s development or usage in my blog, but you should start visiting the official page, as I’m going to do right now 😀


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