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TAP(4) DragonFly Kernel Interfaces Manual TAP(4)
tap -- Ethernet tunnel software network interface
The tap interface is a software loopback mechanism that can be loosely
described as the network interface analog of the pty(4), that is, tap
does for network interfaces what the pty driver does for terminals.
The tap driver, like the pty driver, provides two interfaces: an inter-
face like the usual facility it is simulating (an Ethernet network inter-
face in the case of tap, or a terminal for pty), and a character-special
device ``control'' interface.
The network interfaces are named tap0, tap1, etc, and each one supports
the usual Ethernet network-interface ioctl(2)s, such as SIOCSIFADDR and
SIOCSIFNETMASK, and thus can be used with ifconfig(8) like any other Eth-
ernet interface. When the system chooses to transmit an Ethernet frame on
the network interface, the frame can be read from the control device (it
appears as ``input'' there); writing an Ethernet frame to the control
device generates an input frame on the network interface, as if the (non-
existent) hardware had just received it.
The Ethernet tunnel device, normally /dev/tapN, is exclusive-open (it
cannot be opened if it is already open) and is restricted to the super-
user. A read() call will return an error (EHOSTDOWN) if the interface is
not ``ready''. Once the interface is ready, read() will return an Ether-
net frame if one is available; if not, it will either block until one is
or return EWOULDBLOCK, depending on whether non-blocking I/O has been
enabled. If the frame is longer than is allowed for in the buffer passed
to read(), the extra data will be silently dropped.
A write(2) call passes an Ethernet frame in to be ``received'' on the
pseudo-interface. Each write() call supplies exactly one frame; the
frame length is taken from the amount of data provided to write().
Writes will not block; if the frame cannot be accepted for a transient
reason (e.g., no buffer space available), it is silently dropped; if the
reason is not transient (e.g., frame too large), an error is returned.
The following ioctl(2) calls are supported (defined in
TAPSDEBUG The argument should be a pointer to an int; this
sets the internal debugging variable to that value.
What, if anything, this variable controls is not
documented here; see the source code.
TAPGDEBUG The argument should be a pointer to an int; this
stores the internal debugging variable's value into
FIONBIO Turn non-blocking I/O for reads off or on, according
as the argument int's value is or isn't zero (Writes
are always nonblocking).
FIOASYNC Turn asynchronous I/O for reads (i.e., generation of
SIGIO when data is available to be read) off or on,
according as the argument int's value is or isn't
FIONREAD If any frames are queued to be read, store the size
of the first one into the argument int; otherwise,
TIOCSPGRP Set the process group to receive SIGIO signals, when
asynchronous I/O is enabled, to the argument int
TIOCGPGRP Retrieve the process group value for SIGIO signals
into the argument int value.
SIOCGIFADDR Retrieve the Media Access Control (MAC) address of
the ``remote'' side. This command is used by the
VMware port and expected to be executed on descrip-
tor, associated with control device (usually
/dev/vmnetN or /dev/tapN). The buffer, which is
passed as the argument, is expected to have enough
space to store the MAC address. At the open time
both ``local'' and ``remote'' MAC addresses are the
same, so this command could be used to retrieve the
``local'' MAC address.
SIOCSIFADDR Set the Media Access Control (MAC) address of the
``remote'' side. This command is used by VMware port
and expected to be executed on a descriptor, associ-
ated with control device (usually /dev/vmnetN).
The control device also supports select(2) for read; selecting for write
is pointless, and always succeeds, since writes are always non-blocking.
On the last close of the data device, the interface is brought down (as
if with ``ifconfig tapN down'') unless the devices is a VMnet device.
All queued frames are thrown away. If the interface is up when the data
device is not open, output frames are thrown away rather than letting
them pile up.
The tap device is also can be used with the VMware port as a replacement
for the old VMnet device driver. The driver uses the minor number to
select between tap and vmnet devices. VMnet minor numbers begin at
0x10000 + N; where N is a VMnet unit number. In this case control device
is expected to be /dev/vmnetN, and network interface will be vmnetN.
Additionally, VMnet devices do not ifconfig(8) themselves down when the
control device is closed. Everything else is the same.
In addition to the above mentioned, ioctl(2) calls, there is one addi-
tional one for the VMware port.
VMIO_SIOCSIFFLAGS VMware SIOCSIFFLAGS.
DragonFly 4.9 August 6, 2009 DragonFly 4.9