OpenSwitch Network Operating System Becomes Linux Foundation Project

The Linux Foundation, a nonprofit advancing professional open source management for mass collaboration, has announced that the OpenSwitch Project is now becoming a Linux Foundation project.

OpenSwitch is an open source, Linux-based network operating system (NOS) designed to power enterprise-grade switches from multiple hardware vendors that would enable organizations to rapidly build data center networks that are customized for unique business needs.

“OpenSwitch brings another important ingredient of the open networking stack to The Linux Foundation,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation. “We’re looking forward to working with this community to advance networking across the enterprise.”

Members and participating organizations include Barefoot Networks, Broadcom, Cavium, Edgecore Networks, Extreme Networks, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, LinkedIn, Marvell, Mellanox Technologies, Nephos,, Quattro Networks. and SnapRoute.

jim zemlin linux foundation
“OpenSwitch brings another important ingredient of the open networking stack to The Linux Foundation,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation.

Enterprise-grade switches power the Internet by moving data packets among cloud service providers, Internet service providers, corporate intranets and VPNs, data centers, civil infrastructure and the Internet of Things (IoT). Traditional switches and network operating systems follow a proprietary and vertically integrated model, which does not allow vendors, operators or users the flexibility to innovate and tailor networks to meet very specific business needs.

“Transitioning OpenSwitch to The Linux Foundation is a major step forward and testament to the maturity of OpenSwitch and realizing the promise of creating stable and agile network infrastructures that can adapt to changing business requirements,” said Dominic Wilde, VP/GM Data Center Networking Business Unit, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). “As a catalyst in creating the source code, HPE will continue to actively participate in the OpenSwitch community to help make OpenSwitch the leading open source data center network operating system and the choice for demanding cloud data center business applications.”


OpenSwitch would allow developers to build networks that prioritize business-critical workloads and functions by removing the burdens of interoperability issues and complex licensing structures that are inherent in proprietary systems. OpenSwitch is developed collaboratively, allowing users and network operators to achieve advanced performance, flexibility and security throughout network protocols.

“We are excited that OpenSwitch is becoming a Linux Foundation project; this is great news for the OpenSwitch community,” said Zaid Ali Kahn, Senior Director of Global Infrastructure Architecture and Strategy, LinkedIn. “We are looking forward to actively participating in the development of OpenSwitch, sharing end-user requirements, and contributing innovations back to the community.” 

linux osOpenSwitch’s design would enable seamless interoperability with enterprise-scale open source technologies such as Ansible and OpenStack, and is able to integrate with other open source technologies including Broadcom Broadview, Grommit, LLDPD, P4, OpenVSwitch, and Quagga.

OpenSwitch also includes optional integration with SnapRoute‘s open source L2/L3 stack. The SnapRoute stack is designed with the principles of a modern network stack and safe software design, is built for developer use and includes extensive operator control and instrumentation.

The OpenSwitch Project operates with an open governance model and accepts contributions from all interested companies and developers. Developer releases are currently available for prototyping, experimentation, and implementing on reference hardware. Documentation, source code and engagement instructions can be found here.