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Date:   Fri, 5 Aug 2022 12:15:13 -0700
From:   Randy Dunlap <>
        Edward Cree <>,
Subject: Re: [RFC PATCH net-next] docs: net: add an explanation of VF (and
 other) Representors


On 8/5/22 09:58, wrote:
> From: Edward Cree <>
> There's no clear explanation of what VF Representors are for, their
>  semantics, etc., outside of vendor docs and random conference slides.
> Add a document explaining Representors and defining what drivers that
>  implement them are expected to do.
> Signed-off-by: Edward Cree <>
> ---
> diff --git a/Documentation/networking/representors.rst b/Documentation/networking/representors.rst
> new file mode 100644
> index 000000000000..4d28731a5b5b
> --- /dev/null
> +++ b/Documentation/networking/representors.rst
> @@ -0,0 +1,219 @@
> +.. SPDX-License-Identifier: GPL-2.0
> +
> +=============================
> +Network Function Representors
> +=============================
> +
> +This document describes the semantics and usage of representor netdevices, as
> +used to control internal switching on SmartNICs.  For the closely-related port
> +representors on physical (multi-port) switches, see
> +:ref:`Documentation/networking/switchdev.rst <switchdev>`.
> +
> +Motivation
> +----------
> +
> +Since the mid-2010s, network cards have started offering more complex
> +virtualisation capabilities than the legacy SR-IOV approach (with its simple
> +MAC/VLAN-based switching model) can support.  This led to a desire to offload
> +software-defined networks (such as OpenVSwitch) to these NICs to specify the
> +network connectivity of each function.  The resulting designs are variously
> +called SmartNICs or DPUs.
> +
> +Network function representors provide the mechanism by which network functions
> +on an internal switch are managed.  They are used both to configure the
> +corresponding function ('representee') and to handle slow-path traffic to and
> +from the representee for which no fast-path switching rule is matched.
> +
> +That is, a representor is both a control plane object (representing the function
> +in administrative commands) and a data plane object (one end of a virtual pipe).
> +As a virtual link endpoint, the representor can be configured like any other
> +netdevice; in some cases (e.g. link state) the representee will follow the
> +representor's configuration, while in others there are separate APIs to
> +configure the representee.
> +
> +What does a representor do?
> +---------------------------
> +
> +A representor has three main rôles.

Just use "roles". and are happy with that. says for "role":
  variants: or less commonly rôle


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