This is an archive of the ONOS 1.4 wiki. For the current ONOS wiki, look here.

For the impatient that want to jump right into the code, head over to our JIRA issue tracker and look for tickets with the Starter label in the IP-Optical epic.

This page contains information for developers wanting to understand how multi-layer networking is supported in ONOS. A major focus is also how to extend the current implementation.

Most information right now is on southbound protocols currently in use for optical devices. In particular, we review OpenFlow, TL1 and PCEP providers.



Most commercially available ROADMs offer vendor-specific messaging based on TL1. In collaboration with the ON.Lab, teams at Fujitsu and Ciena have developed TL1 providers for their equipment. In particular, both vendors created a DeviceProvider, LinkProvider and FlowRuleProvider. These remain closed source for now and thus cannot be publicly distributed.


Huawei uses a tunnel model to drive configuration and forwarding in their optical devices. This work is integrated in ONOS and fully available under an open source license. A good place to start investigating the code is under onos/providers/pcep.


The Optical Transport Working Group in ONF has been instrumental in adding support for optical devices in OpenFlow. Their work covers both Layer 0 (WDM) and Layer 1 (OTN). Version 1.0 (ONF TS-022) was publicly released on March 15, 2015. We are slowly adding support for this spec through integration and testing with the following devices:

  1. LINC switch is an optical ROADM emulator that supports OpenFlow 1.3 with the extensions defined by the ONF. If you are interested in how LINC implements the optical extensions, go here.
  2. Calient offers a fiber switch with an OpenFlow 1.3 interface; it requires custom Circuit Extensions as developed by Calient.

LoxiGen is a tool that generates OpenFlow bindings for a number of programming languages. It offers a production quality implementation of OpenFlow 1.0 and 1.3. The ONOS project relies on it to generate the OpenFlowJ library, which is used extensively by the OpenFlow subsystem.

This is a short guide on how to add OpenFlow extensions in Loxi, and how to use them in ONOS.

Setup your build environment

The ONOS project has forked LoxiGen (which will eventually be submitted upstream) to implement some of the optical extensions; start by cloning this.

$ git clone

Add extensions to Loxi

Add/edit the files under onos-loxi/openflow_input. There are a few examples you can look at, such as circuit, nicira and bsn.

For instance, the circuit file defines an of_action_circuit, which will lead to the creation of a circuit() method in the OFActions class. This method takes in an OXM object, which in this particular example will be of type of_oxm_och_sigid. This is a struct that has a field of type of_sig_id_t.

The mapping between OpenFlow message types and java types is defined in java_gen/ Here, we see that sig_id_t is mapped to the CircuitSignalID class in Java. You will find the definition of this class under java_gen/onos-loxi/pre-written/src/main/java/org/projectfloodlight/openflow/types, and its declaration as an OpenFlow match under java_gen/onos-loxi/pre-written/src/main/java/org/projectfloodlight/openflow/protocol/match.

Generate openflowj

The following command will create the actual openflowj library and make it available to other projects. Run this inside the loxi source directory.

onos-loxi$ make install-java

The new library will be installed into your local repository, typically under ~/.m2.

Support extensions in ONOS

You can now refer to the new openflowj library from ONOS. Basically, you want to:

  1. define a new Criterion type
  2. handle the new type in the Criteria
  3. create a new handler in the Instructions
  4. map the Criteria and Instructions to the DefaultTrafficSelector and DefaultTrafficTreatment respectively

From then on, you can do things like 


You will also want to handle the extensions in the FlowModBuilder and the FlowEntryBuilder. Note that for the former, version-specific implementations are available in, e.g., FlowModBuilderVer13. ONOS currently supports OpenFlow 1.0 and 1.3, so you want to handle these cases appropriately.

Upgrade version

If you are ready with your work, you should upgrade the openflowj version number.

First, open onos-loxi/java_gen/pre-written/pom.xml and find the following section. Bump up the version number.


Then, generate and install the new openflowj library using make install-java, after which you should upgrade the version ONOS uses. Open onos/pom.xml and search for the following line; make sure the version matches the new version you created.


Finally, if you want to submit your changes to the onos-loxi repo, you'll need to get in touch with the core dev team via the onos-dev mailing list. Again note that, over time, we will be phasing out our forked loxi repo by submitting all changes upstream.

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