Cumulus Linux

Linux distribution for modern networking

play_circle_outline Introduction to Open Networking
(2 minute video)

Cumulus Linux is a networking-focused Linux distribution, deeply rooted in Debian.

Security Features & Updates

From OpenSSH to authentication, Cumulus Linux keeps your switches secure by offering both standard and unique security features.

Download the security whitepaper to learn more

Robust hardware ecosystem

In true Linux fashion, Cumulus Linux supports a broad ecosystem of global hardware partners giving you unprecedented access to cables, optics, silicon, and systems.

Cumulus Linux allows you to build and operate the right network for your company using the mind-set of the mega-scale pioneers.

Cumulus Linux 3.2 is here. See what's new!

Cumulus Linux Architecture

The modern data center is the supercomputer reinvented. Some call it warehouse computing for the sheer scale of the systems.

Cumulus Linux Features

Vendors on our hardware compatibility list include: Dell, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Mellanox, Penguin, Quanta and Supermicro.

Functionality Description Documentation
Layer 3 Features

Enhanced Quagga IPv4/v6 routing suite including OSPFv2, OSPFv3, BGPv4/v6.

Virtual Routing and Forwarding (VRF)

Equal-Cost Multi-Path (ECMP) and ECMP Resilient Hashing for IPv4 and IPv6 traffic.

Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD) across all platform & interface types, IPv4 and IPv6, BGP and OSPF, VXLAN.

Protocol-Independent Multicast (PIM)

View Docs
Layer 2 Features

Bridge management with STP (IEEE 802.1d), RSTP (IEEE 802.1w), PVRST, PVST, bridge assurance, BPDU guard, BPDU filter.

VLANs, VLAN trunks (IEEE 802.1q), LACP (IEEE 802.3ad), LACP bypass, unicast/broadcast storm control, LLDP, CDP, IPv6 neighbor discovery, IPV6 route advertisement.

MLAG (clagd daemon).

IGMPv2/v3 snooping, MLDv1/v2 snooping.

Virtual Router Redundancy (VRR - Active-active first hop redundancy protocol).

View Docs
Network Virtualization*

VXLAN Support

L2 Gateway integration with VMware NSX

VXLAN Head End Replication

VXLAN Active-Active bridging with MLAG

Controller-less Network Virtualization with LNV

View Docs

Single command line tool to configure and operate the switch (NCLU).

Native Linux management tools such as OpenSSH, SCP, FTPS.

Automated install and provisioning: zero touch install and zero touch provisioning.

Management VRF

DHCP, v4/v6 DHCP relays.

Authentication with LDAP, authorization with sudo NTP.

Interface configuration management (ifupdown2).

Advanced management/orchestration through third party add-on packages.

Power management for external devices with PoE and PoE+

Snapshot and Rollback of the entire system to eliminate the risk from system upgrades.

Operating System Install & Upgrade

Server-style upgrade/patching across minor releases, server-style process restart/termination.

Support for zero touch OS installation using ONIE loaded on industry-standard switches.

Standard mechanism for Authentication, Authorization & Accounting with TACACS+

View Docs
Monitoring & Troubleshooting

Traditional monitoring with SNMPv2 and network specific MIBs, hardware monitoring via watchdog, analytics with SPAN, ERSPAN, ACL-based counters, DOM optics data, thermal sensors, real time queue-depth and buffer utilization reporting.

Troubleshooting with dnsutils, syslog, reachability tools, hardware inventory, log files, server-style filesystem, and merchant silicon specific commands.

Advanced troubleshooting and ease of use with Prescriptive Topology Manager.

View Docs

Access control lists (ACLs) L2-L4 classification through IP/EPtables, CPU protection through hardware enforced ACL-based rate limiting , DoS control.

View Docs


Classification based on Class of Service (CoS) (IEEE 802.1p) or DSCP (queuing, scheduling (DWRR and Strict Priority), buffer allocation)*.

Ingress ACL-based classification/policing.

Priority flow control and Explicit Congestion Notification

View Docs

Linux is the API — Any language supported in Linux today, including scripting with Bash, Perl, Python, Ruby.

Hardware Management

The switch hardware abstraction layer accelerates Linux kernel networking constructs in hardware including the routing table, ARP table, bridge FDB, IP/EBtables, bonds, VLANs, VXLAN bridges.

Hardware management also includes jumbo frames support and environmental management.

Forwarding Table Profiles on the ASIC allows flexible partitioning of resources.

Extended Support

Extended support available for Cumulus Linux 2.5

*Check the appropriate hardware guide for platform-specific support.