Quick Start

If you want to try Polycube, this is a five minutes document that will guide you through the basics.

In order to try Polycube you need to use two components:

There are two modes to try Polycube: using Docker or installing it on the Bare Metal.


Docker is the easiest and fastest way to try Polycube because it only requires a recent kernel (see Updating Linux kernel for more information).

You can use Polycube by pulling the proper Docker image, either the most recent released version (stable) or the most recent snapshot (from GitHub) (note that the above commands may require root privileges, i.e., sudo):

  • Released version (stable):

    docker pull polycubenets/polycube:v0.9.0-rc
  • Most recent snapshot (from GitHub)

    docker pull polycubenets/polycube:latest

Run the Polycube Docker and launch polycubed (the polycube daemon) inside it, as follows:

  • Released version (stable):

    docker run  -it --rm --privileged --network host \
    -v /lib/modules:/lib/modules:ro -v /usr/src:/usr/src:ro -v /etc/localtime:/etc/localtime:ro \
    polycubenets/polycube:v0.9.0-rc /bin/bash -c 'polycubed -d && /bin/bash'
  • Most recent snapshot (from GitHub)

    docker run  -it --rm --privileged --network host \
    -v /lib/modules:/lib/modules:ro -v /usr/src:/usr/src:ro -v /etc/localtime:/etc/localtime:ro \
    polycubenets/polycube:latest /bin/bash -c 'polycubed -d && /bin/bash'

The Docker container is launched in the host networking stack (--network host) and in privileged mode (--privileged), which are required to use eBPF features. The above command starts polycubed (with standard flags) and opens a shell, which can be used to launch polycubectl. Refer to polycubectl CLI for more information about the CLI interface.

polycubectl --help

To stop the daemon just remove the container, e.g. exiting from the shell with the exit command.

Bare Metal

This is a more elaborated way, recommended either for advanced users or for who would like to use Polycube in production (not for testing). Please refer to the installation guide to get detailed information about how to compile and install Polycube and its dependencies.

Once you have Polycube installed in your system, you can start the polycubed service:

# start polycubed service
# (sudo service start polycubed will work in many distros as well)
sudo systemctl start polycubed

# check service status
sudo systemctl status polycubed

Start interacting with the framework by using polycubectl. Refer to polycubectl CLI for more information.

polycubectl --help

To stop the polycubed service use:

sudo systemctl stop polycubed