Ipaugenblick Save

Linux TCP/IP stack port for DPDK

Project README

News Intro

At the end of April 2014, I started the poring of Linux TCP/IP into the user space and integrating it with DPDK, after I had done the same with FreeBSD for the company I worked for. Today, almost 5 months (or 20 weekends) later, I decided to publish it. Please feel free to contact me for any question you may have. In case you have questions/difficulties to wirk with the package, you can also ask me to schedule a skype session, if you wish. Contact me to schedule. I'll be glad to help

Architecture overview

IPAugenblick runs as a backgroung process. It is composed of ported to user space Linux TCP/IP stack, which interfaces using some glue logic the PMD at the bottom and user applications at the top. To communicate user applications, a number (equal to max supported sockets number) rings are created. A user application runs as EAL secondary process which means it shares the memory and no memory is copied. Since the rte_rings are used, neither receive nor transmit are blocking. A user application does not interfaces the ring directly but using posix-like API (stack_and_service/service/ipaugenblick_app/ipaugenblick_app_api.h) which appears as a library. Once a buffer is placed in the ring by the application, it is then read by the IPAugenblick service, passed to the TCP/IP stack. Upon leaving the TCP/IP stack, the packet is placed in PMD ring for transmission. In opposite direction, IPaugenblick service pools the PMD for incoming packets. Once received, it is passed upper to the stack. When the TCP/IP stack decides the data is ready to be read by user, it calls a callback function, which checks if there is a space in the ring (between the IPaugenblick service and user application). If there is some space, the packet is read from the socket and is placed in the ring. The application is then kicked to notify there are data to read. The receive path is also non-blocking and no memory copying

Using API The API is posix-like, however some extensions are introduced:

  • to avoid memory copying, buffer descriptor is passed as well as the pointer to the buffer's memory
  • bulk API for sending bulks of buffers
  • FD sets are designed to allow two approaches for handling:
    • socket descriptor (integer, returned when opening socket) may be used to query whether a socket is readable or writable
    • upon returning from select, one can iterate all readable/writable descriptors Please consult the examples about how to use it

Porting detailed info:

Linux kernel version IPAugenblick is based on: 3.14.2
Resolving header files conflicts:

   since DPDK itself uses header files in /usr/include/,
   all Linux TCP/IP stack headers are placed in special_includes to avoid conflicts. In source files the paths are fixed correspondigly.

Kernel subsystems porting:

kmem_cache is ported to rte_mempool
kmalloc/kfree (and other heap memory allocation functions) are ported to rte_malloc/rte_free
timer is ported to rte_timer
workqueue & tasklets are ported to direct calls
delayed workqueue is ported to rte_timer
list_rcu is just list
all rcu code is removed
all bindings to file systems is removed
user credentials, access check etc is removed
jiffies are incremented with DPDK rte_timer
struct iovec is ported to hold a list of rte_mbufs
struct page wrapps the rte_mbuf
mmap functions (protocol specific) are dummy
sendmsg functions (protocol specific) are dummy
all spinlocks, mutexes are removed (empty macros),
  there are also two assumptions about the socket: it is now owned by user (which prevents pre-queueingthe packets), on other hand, it assumes the code is executing in the process's context so the received data can be directly queued)
inter-core communication where needed, is done using rte_ring

Getting struct skbuff work with rte_mbuf, skbuff.c & skbuff.h changes:

struct skbuff:

instead of porting complex struct skbuff into rte_mbuf, skbuff is made to hold pointers to rte_mbuf.

header_mbuf field is added. This is a pointer to DPDK's rte_mbuf.

The memory the data field points to is not allocated from the heap with kmalloc. It rather points to the same memory header_mbuf->pkt.data points to.

shinfo is allocated at the moment skbuff it self is allocated. This will save few cycles

On the transmit path (when skb comes from either tcp_sendpage, udp_sendmsg or raw_sendmsg), the headers are placed in the memory data/header_mbuf points to while user's data is hold in the fragment's array (struct page wraps the struct rte_mbuf).

On the receive path, currently the data is hold together with headers in header_mbuf.

Across all the stack rte_mbuf->pkt.data, rte_mbuf->pkt.data_len & rte_mbuf->pkt.pkt_len are not modified, stack moves skbuff's data/len with regular skb_put, skb_push etc. There is however a limited nuber of places the rte_mbuf's fields are adjusted:

  • In the functions which copy to/from iovec

  • In the driver - before transmitting and upon packet arrival, when skb is initialized.

  • skb_copy_bits is modified in such a way it copies the pointers to the rte_mbufs rather than data the point to

  • skb_copy_bits2 - is exactly the original skb_copy_bits

    Sending optimizations for TCP

  • Controlled by OPTIMIZE_SENDPAGES build switch (main Makefile)

  • If defined, tcp_sendpage will:

    ignore the page argument while size (passed as argument) and size_gloal (calculated at the beginning of the function) are greater than zero, for each calculated mss user_get_buffer function will be called to get filled by user rte_mbuf. This function receives a maximal size of the buffer and updates it. user_get_buffer is called only when mss & size_goal are calculated and skb is alllocated, and all the data written to rte_mbuf (up to the max size passed to user_get_buffer) is placed in socket's write queue. Therefore, no dealing with partial writes

  • Otherwise,if not defined, tcp_sendpage will retrieve from struct page (wrapper structure for rte_mbuf) a filled rte_mbuf attach to skb and send, if size_goal and mss allow.

    Receiving optimizations for TCP

  • Controlled by OPTIMIZE_TCP_RECEIVE build switch (main Makefile)

Since all the processing is done in one single context, backlog queue becomes unnecessary. This switch helps to ensure the received (if not out of order) data is queued directly into ucopy's iovec (in tcp control block)

ip_ouput changes

__ip_append_append_data calls does_protocol_use_flat_buf to determine whether the data is in array of frags or in buffer (rte_mbuf), pointed by skb->header_buf. Currently all protocols except ICMP are expected to hold data in frags.

skb_copy_datagram_iovec and similar functions:

These functions are adapted to operate the modified struct iovec


Initialization flow:

  • DPDK subsystems and IP stack are initialized (dpdk_linux_tcpip_init is called)
    • dpdk_ip_stack_config.txt must be present in the executable's directory
    • The file format is:
    • Example: 0
  • API functions are called to open sockets. Socket's structure corresponding fields sk_data_ready, sk_write_space, sk_state_change are assigned in app_glue functions which open the sockets.

Transmit flow:

  • User calls app_glue_periodic function. This calls driver's function which correspondingly calls the PMD driver function.
  • As a result, IP stack may receive a packet and decide the socket became writable.
  • If socket is writable, app_glue_write_space is called by the stack and the socket is placed in writable queue. Then user defined function is called to transmit.
  • User allocates an rte_mbuf and copies there the data to be sent
  • Corresponding APi function is called (kernel_sendmsg/kernel_sendpage) and the pointer to rte_mbuf is passed.
  • The rte_mbuf is placed in fragments array, the headers are setup in another mbuf, pointed by skbuff's header_mbuf.
  • Finally, driver's xmit is called. This is the point where the fields in rte_mbuf structure are adjusted, mbufs are chained, detached from the skbuff and passed to PMD Receive flow:
  • User calls app_glue_periodic function. This calls driver's function which correspondingly calls the PMD driver function.
  • If there are mbufs received, an skbuff is allocated and setup, the header_mbuf is set to point the received mbuf (currently no scattered receive) and netif_receive_skb is called.
  • Inside of the stack, when it is determined the data is ready, app_glue_data_ready is called.
  • These functions place socket to corresponding list which is later called (when app_glue_periodic is called).
  • In case of received data, no copying is performed, the user receives pointers to rte_mbufs (which are adjusted accordingly no strip headers) Accept flow:
  • User calls app_glue_periodic function.
  • This calls driver's function which correspondingly calls the PMD driver function.
  • As a result, IP stack may receive a packet resulting in establishing a new connection.
  • app_glue_wakeup if a new connection is accepted is called. This places socket to corresponding list which is later called (when app_glue_periodic is called).

Please do not hesitate to report any bug you may find.

To get IP Augenblick source code:

git clone https://github.com/vadimsu/ipaugenblick.git

there are two branches: master (single core) and multicore


I've built the project under Ubuntu 12.04 and Fedora 20

To build, run ./buildall.sh

The output (relatively to project's root):

build/libnetinet.a - Linux TCP/IP ported to user land
dpdk_libs/libdpdk.a - all DPDK libs packed into one library
Executalbles (benchmark_app*/bm*)

Test programs and scripts:

git clone https://github.com/vadimsu/tests

To build test programs, invoke corresponding build_* script in under tests

Running examples:

Please don't forget to setup the huge pages (I use about 1600-1700 2M pages, as many as was possible to allocate, I used tools/setup.py script, you can do it with grub)

Before the first run, do:

sudo ifconfig down

load uio & igb_uio (run load_modules.sh from the project's root directory) - this mustbe done before the step below

Then invoke tools/setup script under DPDK root directory and bind the port(s) to IGB_UIO

The following examples are provided:

TCP listener with select TCP connecting socket TCP & UDP with select UDP There is an option to use bulk send API

IPAugenblick interfaces IP addresses and masks are configured in dpdk_ip_stack.txt (in the same directory as the executable)

Pre-build customization:

  • Customize pool sizes in pool.h

  • Customize burst size in Makefile

  • Customize PMD driver settings in libinit.c


  • call dpdk_linux_tcpip_init (prototype changed in multicore branch) This function must be called prior any other in this package. It initializes all the DPDK libs, reads the configuration, initializes the stack's subsystems, allocates mbuf pools, creates netdev and attaches it to the stack.


PMD is currently configured in libinit.c, I've just copied the configuration from DPDK provided examples. IP address configuration comes from dpdk_ip_stack_config.txt. I've not tried to work with more than 1 NIC at time, probably there are places in app_glue.c where the port number is hardcoded to 0. Benchmark apps's IP addresses and ports to connect/bind are hardcoded in bm_app*.c Opening sockets:

  • call create_raw_socket/create_udp_socket/create_client_socket/create_server_socket

Initialize polling:

  • call app_glue_init_poll_intervals

Run time:

  • call app_glue_periodic periodically

This is the heart of the system, it performs all the driver/IP stack work and timers You can tell it whether to call user callbacks on socket events automatically or not (in that case you have to call app_glue_get_next_* functions)

You can attach your applicative data to socket:

  • call app_glue_set_user_data to set

  • call app_glue_get_user_data to get

The following set of functions are provided in case you want to process socket events outside periodic function

  • app_glue_get_next_closed

  • app_glue_get_next_writer

  • app_glue_get_next_reader

  • app_glue_get_next_listener

  • app_glue_close_socket

This functions helps to estimate how much data could be sent on socket (however, since the stack performs one more test for overall protocol's memory allocation, attempt to send may fail even if a greater than 0 is returned)

  • app_glue_calc_size_of_data_to_send(void *sock);

This function allocates an rte_mbuf from pool, allocated at the time of initialization in dpdk_linux_tcpip_init

  • app_glue_get_buffer


I'm looking for motivated developers to work together on this project. Any suggestion/bug report/bug fix is welcome. Please feel free to contact me for any question you may have

My name is Vadim Suraev, I am a software engineer with over 16 years of experience in networking, embedded and Linux kernel areas:

Routing: OSPF, BGP. ISIS
Developed a proprietary wireless stack with MAC, transport and routing capabilities for security forces of one of Asian countries
Contributed to open source projects:  Quagga (former Zebra) OSPF, DPDK
Device drivers

contact e-mail: [email protected]

Open Source Agenda is not affiliated with "Ipaugenblick" Project. README Source: vadimsu/ipaugenblick
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