Manual browser: xvif(4)

XVIF(4) Kernel Interfaces Manual (Xen) XVIF(4)


xvifXen backend paravirtualized network interface


pseudo-device xvif


The xvif interface forms the backend part of the paravirtualized drivers used by Xen domains to offer network connectivity.

When the guest domain is NetBSD, the endpoint of the xvif interface is a xennet(4) interface. In the XenStore, xvif and xennet are identified by “vif” (virtual interface) entries.

All xvif interfaces follow the “xvifXiY” naming convention, where ‘X’ represents the guest domain identifier, and ‘Y’ an arbitrary identifier; most of the time, it is the frontend interface identifier, e.g. “xennetY”.

For convenience, the MAC address of an xvif interface is chosen by incrementing the third byte of the MAC address of the frontend device.

Conceptually, frontends and backends drivers are similar to two Ethernet cards connected via a crossover cable.


xvif%di%d: can't read %s/mac: %d
The MAC address for this interface could not be read from XenStore.
xvif%di%d: %s is not a valid mac address
The MAC address specified in the configuration file of the newly created guest domain is invalid.
xvif%di%d: Ethernet address %s
MAC address of the xvif interface.


The xvif driver first appeared in NetBSD 4.0.


The xvif driver was written by Manuel Bouyer <>.
April 7, 2011 NetBSD 7.0