Dear all,

I found great papers about netmap(4)s desigen and implementation
details, and I'm sure it's one other masterpeace of rizzo-quality :-)
Thanks to all participants for that great code!

To be honest, I haven't read all of that, because I'm short in time and
my first mission is to see if FreeBSD 11 will replace some of my ESXi

One key element seems netmap(4).
It's quiet hard to find userland documentation.

So far, I've discovered that there are three essential tools waiting in
_usr/src/tools/tools/netmap_ to be compiled
(resulting in *./vale-ctl*, *./bridge*, *./pkt-gen*)

While the latter is often referenced in netmap(4) documentation, it's
not of interest for me, because I'll be doing real-world performance
tests and I'm convinced that all the impressive numbers presented in the
netmap documentation are valid :-)

So *vale-ctl(-8)* seems to be of interest (I'm using (-8) becaus
currently there is no man8 part (I guess that's the reason for these
tools not beeing integrated into base binaries))

Accidentally I found out that 'vale-ctl -n testif0' creates a artificial
interface, which is reported by ifconfig(8):
testif0: flags=8801<UP,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST> metric 0 mtu 1500
ether 00:be:eb:8d:f8:00

But I can't assign a IP address: 'ifconfig testif0'
ifconfig: ioctl (SIOCAIFADDR): Invalid argument

I guess couldn't geti the picture of the netmap(4) world yet.
Probably, testif0 is available only in netmap(4) world, not in "host world".
I'm assuming, because I found vale-ctl(-8)s "-h" switch.

So another very little peace I'm aware of the netmap(4) world, is how to
attach physical interfaces to virtual switches:
'/usr/src/tools/tools/netmap/vale-ctl -a vale0:em1'
Now vale-ctl(-8) shows:
bdg_ctl [149] bridge:0 port:0 vale0:em1

To share my experience: One cannot use any other than vale[[:digit:]]
for defining the on-demand to be created virtual switch instance, so
e.g. "vale-ctl -a vale-test:em1" doesn't work, although found in
netmap(4) man page in FreeBSD-11:
»valeXXX:YYY (arbitrary XXX and YYY)
the file descriptor is bound to port YYY of a VALE switch called
XXX, both dynamically created if necessary. The string cannot
exceed IFNAMSIZ characters, and YYY cannot be the name of any
existing OS network interface«

I was about to give up on netmap(4) investigations because I thought it
isn't production ready yet (in FreeBSD), since even andding the first
physical interface fails: '/usr/src/tools/tools/netmap/vale-ctl -a
vale-test:em1: Invalid argument

Probably accidentally I used vale[[:digit:]] instead and wondered whay
it suddenly works…

To get back to vale-ctl(-8)s "-h" switch:

If I add a physical interface with -h instead of -a, the host's IP stack
doesn't get disconnected from the interface, so it's still usable by
host applications and vale-ctl(-8) lists one line more:
bdg_ctl [149] bridge:0 port:0 vale0:em1
bdg_ctl [149] bridge:0 port:1 vale0:em1^
So my assumption that netmap(4) lives decapsuled from the well known
FreeBSD IP world.

Now my question:

How can I plug a jail's or vmm's artificial interface to a VALE virtual
switch, bridging frames to real-world via physical interfaces?
(the latter part should work with vale-ctl -h vale0:em1, but what
interface to use for jail(8) vnet.interface and how to create/attach?)



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