Building VPP

To get started developing with VPP, you need to get the required VPP sources and then build the packages. For more detailed information on the build system please refer to Build System.

VPP for Ubuntu: Environment Setup

If you are not downloading VPP on Ubuntu with WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux), please disregard this section and jump to 'Get the VPP Sources'.

Before starting on VPP for Ubuntu, make sure WSL2 and Ubuntu are installed.

To install WSL2 and Ubuntu, run Windows PowerShell as an administrator and enter this in the terminal:

$ wsl --install

Next, go to the 'resolv.conf' file in Ubuntu's '/etc' folder. It should have been automatically generated when Ubuntu was installed; if it doesn't exist, create it. Please use 'sudo' to avoid "File resolv.conf is unwritable" errors.

$ cd /etc
$ sudo nano resolv.conf

In the file, add the following content in place of the current 'nameserver X.X.X.X' line:


This replaces the DNS nameserver on your machine with the Google DNS service, resolving any DNS Internet connection issues.

Note: by default, the 'resolv.conf' file regenerates every time you restart Ubuntu, so your changes won't be saved. To keep your changes, run the following command to make 'resolv.conf' immutable:

$ sudo chattr +i /etc/resolv.conf

Now copy the following lines from 'resolv.conf':

generateResolvConf = false

Then, go to the 'wsl.conf' file in '/etc' and paste the lines there. Please use 'sudo' here as well to avoid "File wsl.conf is unwritable" errors.

$ sudo nano wsl.conf

In order to test your DNS server connection, please ping on the terminal:

$ ping
PING ( 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=116 time=9.58 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=116 time=45.8 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=3 ttl=116 time=9.62 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=4 ttl=116 time=11.4 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=5 ttl=116 time=12.2 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=6 ttl=116 time=8.69 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=7 ttl=116 time=52.4 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=8 ttl=116 time=11.0 ms

While still in /etc, run the following commands:

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
$ sudo apt-get install --reinstall ca-certificates
$ sudo update-ca-certificates

Finally, head back to your home directory and jump to 'Get the VPP Sources'.

Set up Proxies

Depending on the environment you are operating in, proxies may need to be set. Run these proxy commands to specify the proxy-server-name and corresponding port-number:

$ export http_proxy=http://<proxy-server-name>.com:<port-number>
$ export https_proxy=https://<proxy-server-name>.com:<port-number>

Get the VPP Sources

To get the VPP sources that are used to create the build, run the following commands:

$ git clone
$ cd vpp

As VPP version is derived from git description (which is based on git tags), if the github generated tarballs are used, the version information will be missing from the version file (.../src/scripts/.version) which is required by the version script when building in a non-git based workspace or the build will fail. In that case, put the desired version string into .../src/scripts/.version to satisfy the requirements of the version script.

Alternatively, the make dist command in a cloned git workspace will generate an xz compressed tarball of the source including the .../src/scripts/.version file containing the git hash using the standard nomenclature for VPP images.

Extract the tarball using the -J option to decompress it using xz. For example, tar xvJf ./build-root/vpp-23.10-rc0~184-g48cd559fb.tar.xz

Build VPP Dependencies

Before building a VPP image, make sure there are no VPP or DPDK packages installed, by entering the following commands:

$ dpkg -l | grep vpp
$ dpkg -l | grep DPDK

There should be no output, or no packages shown after the above commands are run.

Please make sure make is installed before running the next command. If it is not installed, run the following command first:

$ sudo apt install make

Run the following make command to install the dependencies for VPP.

If the download hangs at any point, then you may need to set up proxies for the download to work.

$ make install-dep
Hit:1 xenial InRelease
Get:2 xenial-updates InRelease [109 kB]
Get:3 xenial-security InRelease [107 kB]
Get:4 xenial-backports InRelease [107 kB]
Get:5 xenial-updates/main amd64 Packages [803 kB]
Get:6 xenial-updates/main i386 Packages [732 kB]
Update-alternatives: using /usr/lib/jvm/java-8-openjdk-amd64/bin/jmap to provide /usr/bin/jmap (jmap) in auto mode
Setting up default-jdk-headless (2:1.8-56ubuntu2) ...
Processing triggers for libc-bin (2.23-0ubuntu3) ...
Processing triggers for systemd (229-4ubuntu6) ...
Processing triggers for ureadahead (0.100.0-19) ...
Processing triggers for ca-certificates (20160104ubuntu1) ...
Updating certificates in /etc/ssl/certs...
0 added, 0 removed; done.
Running hooks in /etc/ca-certificates/update.d...


Build VPP (Debug)

This build version contains debug symbols which are useful for modifying VPP. The make command below builds a debug version of VPP. The binaries, when building the debug images, can be found in /build-root/vpp_debug-native.

The Debug build version contains debug symbols, which are useful for troubleshooting or modifying VPP. The make command below, builds a debug version of VPP. The binaries used for building the debug image can be found in /build-root/vpp_debug-native.

$ make build
make[1]: Entering directory '/home/vagrant/vpp-master/build-root'
@@@@ Arch for platform 'vpp' is native @@@@
@@@@ Finding source for dpdk @@@@
@@@@ Makefile fragment found in /home/vagrant/vpp-master/build-data/packages/ @@@@
@@@@ Source found in /home/vagrant/vpp-master/dpdk @@@@
@@@@ Arch for platform 'vpp' is native @@@@
@@@@ Finding source for vpp @@@@
@@@@ Makefile fragment found in /home/vagrant/vpp-master/build-data/packages/ @@@@
@@@@ Source found in /home/vagrant/vpp-master/src @@@@
make[5]: Leaving directory '/home/vagrant/vpp-master/build-root/build-vpp_debug-native/vpp/vpp-api/java'
make[4]: Leaving directory '/home/vagrant/vpp-master/build-root/build-vpp_debug-native/vpp/vpp-api/java'
make[3]: Leaving directory '/home/vagrant/vpp-master/build-root/build-vpp_debug-native/vpp'
make[2]: Leaving directory '/home/vagrant/vpp-master/build-root/build-vpp_debug-native/vpp'
@@@@ Installing vpp: nothing to do @@@@
make[1]: Leaving directory '/home/vagrant/vpp-master/build-root'

Build VPP (Release Version)

This section describes how to build the regular release version of VPP. The release build is optimized and does not create any debug symbols. The binaries used in building the release images are found in /build-root/vpp-native.

Use the following make command below to build the release version of VPP.

$ make build-release

Installing External Dependencies

At this point, there are still some VPP external dependencies left to install. They could be installed using 'make-build', but this only installs them locally in the VPP tree, not in the operating system. In order to fix this and save time, run the following command:

$ make install-ext-deps

Building Necessary Packages

The package that needs to be built depends on the type system VPP will be running on:

  • The Debian package is built if VPP is going to run on Ubuntu

  • The RPM package is built if VPP is going to run on Centos or Redhat

Building Debian Packages

To build the debian packages, use the following command:

$ make pkg-deb

Reproducible builds on Debian

By default the VPP artifacts have various bits of information in them aimed at simplifying the identification during the development (like, the user name that built the package as well as the build times). By setting a few environment variables one can obtain bit-identical .deb files, assuming that the prerequisites installed in the build environment are identical.

Setting and using the SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH variable (see takes care of most of the magic necessary.

The package vpp-ext-deps is already being built with that date set to date of the last modification of the build/external/ tree (similar to deriving the "number of commits" for the package versioning of vpp-ext-deps)

For the rest of the packages, pinning the following three variables should result in bit-identical artifacts across multiple runs in the build environment:

export SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH=$(date +%s)
export VPP_BUILD_HOST="buildhost"
export VPP_BUILD_USER="builduser"

If you want to reproduce the bit-identical builds across different environments, take a look at "vpp_<BUILD_VERSION>.buildinfo" file which gets created in build-root alongside the .deb repositories - it has the cryptographic hashes for the newly built packages, and the full list of build dependencies and their versions.

Building RPM Packages

To build the rpm packages, use one of the following commands below, depending on the system:

$ make pkg-rpm

Once the packages are built they can be found in the build-root directory.

$ ls build-root/*.deb

If the packages are built correctly, then this should be the corresponding output:

vpp_18.07-rc0~456-gb361076_amd64.deb             vpp-dbg_18.07-rc0~456-gb361076_amd64.deb
vpp-dev_18.07-rc0~456-gb361076_amd64.deb         vpp-api-lua_18.07-rc0~456-gb361076_amd64.deb
vpp-lib_18.07-rc0~456-gb361076_amd64.deb         vpp-api-python_18.07-rc0~456-gb361076_amd64.deb

Finally, the created packages can be installed using the following commands. Install the package that corresponds to OS that VPP will be running on:

For Ubuntu:

$ sudo dpkg -i build-root/*.deb

For Centos or Redhat:

$ sudo rpm -ivh build-root/*.rpm