M-VIA is an implementation of Virtual Interface Architecture (VIA) for Linux.

M-VIA 1.1 is available for download. It passes almost all VIA conformance tests and supports several types of Ethernet, as well as loopback.

M-VIA: A High Performance Modular VIA for Linux


M-VIA is an implementation of the Virtual Interface Architecture (VIA) for Linux. VIA is a industry standard that enables high-performance communication on clusters. M-VIA is being developed as part of the NERSC PC Cluster Project

M-VIA features:

  • Modular design that makes is easy to port M-VIA to new hardware.
  • Hardware accelerated or full software implementation, depending on hardware support.
  • High performance, through the use of fast traps and other techniques.
  • Coexistence with traditional networking protocols (e.g. IP/TCP) running on the same network.
  • A robust full-featured implementation of VIA. M-VIA passes the strict Intel conformance tests, ensuring that codes written using M-VIA will be portable.
M-VIA should be a considered a research prototype, in that it is undergoing active development, and the details of the implementation may change considerably. However, because it is based on the VIA standard, and on implementation guidelines from Intel, we expect the user interface to change little, if at all.

MVIA-2 is under development. It will have much better support for high performance networks such as Giganet, Servernet II and Myrinet. For more information, read this short description of M-VIA and M-VIA 2.

M-VIA News

M-VIA Releases

M-VIA 1.1 contains numerous bug fixes, updated ethernet drivers and new contributed Gigabit Ethernet drivers for Intel PRO/1000 and the SysKonnect SK-98xx family.

M-VIA 1.0 supports fast ethernet cards with the DEC Tulip (DC21*4*, including the newer 21143) chipsets or the Intel i8255x (for x=7, 8 or 9) chip, and the Packet Engines GNIC-I and GNIC-II Gigabit Ethernet cards. It also supports a loopback device that does not require a network interface card.

M-VIA 2.0 will feature a complete redesign of the modular structure of M-VIA, making it easier to support VIA-aware hardware. M-VIA 2 will support Giganet, Myrinet, and Servernet II. If you are writing or planning to write an M-VIA module, please let us know at

M-VIA downloading and license

M-VIA is distributed in source form with a BSD-like license. M-VIA can be downloaded for free, for personal or commercial use, and can be modified and redistributed.

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