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Documentation for /proc/sys/net/*
(c) 1999 Terrehon Bowden <>
Bodo Bauer <>
(c) 2000 Jorge Nerin <>
(c) 2009 Shen Feng <>
For general info and legal blurb, please look in README.
This file contains the documentation for the sysctl files in
The interface to the networking parts of the kernel is located in
/proc/sys/net. The following table shows all possible subdirectories. You may
see only some of them, depending on your kernel's configuration.
Table : Subdirectories in /proc/sys/net
Directory Content Directory Content
core General parameter appletalk Appletalk protocol
unix Unix domain sockets netrom NET/ROM
802 E802 protocol ax25 AX25
ethernet Ethernet protocol rose X.25 PLP layer
ipv4 IP version 4 x25 X.25 protocol
ipx IPX token-ring IBM token ring
bridge Bridging decnet DEC net
ipv6 IP version 6 tipc TIPC
1. /proc/sys/net/core - Network core options
This enables the BPF Just in Time (JIT) compiler. BPF is a flexible
and efficient infrastructure allowing to execute bytecode at various
hook points. It is used in a number of Linux kernel subsystems such
as networking (e.g. XDP, tc), tracing (e.g. kprobes, uprobes, tracepoints)
and security (e.g. seccomp). LLVM has a BPF back end that can compile
restricted C into a sequence of BPF instructions. After program load
through bpf(2) and passing a verifier in the kernel, a JIT will then
translate these BPF proglets into native CPU instructions. There are
two flavors of JITs, the newer eBPF JIT currently supported on:
- x86_64
- x86_32
- arm64
- arm32
- ppc64
- sparc64
- mips64
- s390x
- riscv
And the older cBPF JIT supported on the following archs:
- mips
- ppc
- sparc
eBPF JITs are a superset of cBPF JITs, meaning the kernel will
migrate cBPF instructions into eBPF instructions and then JIT
compile them transparently. Older cBPF JITs can only translate
tcpdump filters, seccomp rules, etc, but not mentioned eBPF
programs loaded through bpf(2).
Values :
0 - disable the JIT (default value)
1 - enable the JIT
2 - enable the JIT and ask the compiler to emit traces on kernel log.
This enables hardening for the BPF JIT compiler. Supported are eBPF
JIT backends. Enabling hardening trades off performance, but can
mitigate JIT spraying.
Values :
0 - disable JIT hardening (default value)
1 - enable JIT hardening for unprivileged users only
2 - enable JIT hardening for all users
When BPF JIT compiler is enabled, then compiled images are unknown
addresses to the kernel, meaning they neither show up in traces nor
in /proc/kallsyms. This enables export of these addresses, which can
be used for debugging/tracing. If bpf_jit_harden is enabled, this
feature is disabled.
Values :
0 - disable JIT kallsyms export (default value)
1 - enable JIT kallsyms export for privileged users only
This enforces a global limit for memory allocations to the BPF JIT
compiler in order to reject unprivileged JIT requests once it has
been surpassed. bpf_jit_limit contains the value of the global limit
in bytes.
The maximum number of packets that kernel can handle on a NAPI interrupt,
it's a Per-CPU variable. For drivers that support LRO or GRO_HW, a hardware
aggregated packet is counted as one packet in this context.
Default: 64
RPS (e.g. RFS, aRFS) processing is competing with the registered NAPI poll function
of the driver for the per softirq cycle netdev_budget. This parameter influences
the proportion of the configured netdev_budget that is spent on RPS based packet
processing during RX softirq cycles. It is further meant for making current
dev_weight adaptable for asymmetric CPU needs on RX/TX side of the network stack.
(see dev_weight_tx_bias) It is effective on a per CPU basis. Determination is based
on dev_weight and is calculated multiplicative (dev_weight * dev_weight_rx_bias).
Default: 1
Scales the maximum number of packets that can be processed during a TX softirq cycle.
Effective on a per CPU basis. Allows scaling of current dev_weight for asymmetric
net stack processing needs. Be careful to avoid making TX softirq processing a CPU hog.
Calculation is based on dev_weight (dev_weight * dev_weight_tx_bias).
Default: 1
The default queuing discipline to use for network devices. This allows
overriding the default of pfifo_fast with an alternative. Since the default
queuing discipline is created without additional parameters so is best suited
to queuing disciplines that work well without configuration like stochastic
fair queue (sfq), CoDel (codel) or fair queue CoDel (fq_codel). Don't use
queuing disciplines like Hierarchical Token Bucket or Deficit Round Robin
which require setting up classes and bandwidths. Note that physical multiqueue
interfaces still use mq as root qdisc, which in turn uses this default for its
leaves. Virtual devices (like e.g. lo or veth) ignore this setting and instead
default to noqueue.
Default: pfifo_fast
Low latency busy poll timeout for socket reads. (needs CONFIG_NET_RX_BUSY_POLL)
Approximate time in us to busy loop waiting for packets on the device queue.
This sets the default value of the SO_BUSY_POLL socket option.
Can be set or overridden per socket by setting socket option SO_BUSY_POLL,
which is the preferred method of enabling. If you need to enable the feature
globally via sysctl, a value of 50 is recommended.
Will increase power usage.
Default: 0 (off)
Low latency busy poll timeout for poll and select. (needs CONFIG_NET_RX_BUSY_POLL)
Approximate time in us to busy loop waiting for events.
Recommended value depends on the number of sockets you poll on.
For several sockets 50, for several hundreds 100.
For more than that you probably want to use epoll.
Note that only sockets with SO_BUSY_POLL set will be busy polled,
so you want to either selectively set SO_BUSY_POLL on those sockets or set globally.
Will increase power usage.
Default: 0 (off)
The default setting of the socket receive buffer in bytes.
The maximum receive socket buffer size in bytes.
Allow processes to receive tx timestamps looped together with the original
packet contents. If disabled, transmit timestamp requests from unprivileged
processes are dropped unless socket option SOF_TIMESTAMPING_OPT_TSONLY is set.
Default: 1 (on)
The default setting (in bytes) of the socket send buffer.
The maximum send socket buffer size in bytes.
message_burst and message_cost
These parameters are used to limit the warning messages written to the kernel
log from the networking code. They enforce a rate limit to make a
denial-of-service attack impossible. A higher message_cost factor, results in
fewer messages that will be written. Message_burst controls when messages will
be dropped. The default settings limit warning messages to one every five
This sysctl is now unused.
This was used to control console messages from the networking stack that
occur because of problems on the network like duplicate address or bad
These messages are now emitted at KERN_DEBUG and can generally be enabled
and controlled by the dynamic_debug facility.
Maximum number of packets taken from all interfaces in one polling cycle (NAPI
poll). In one polling cycle interfaces which are registered to polling are
probed in a round-robin manner. Also, a polling cycle may not exceed
netdev_budget_usecs microseconds, even if netdev_budget has not been
Maximum number of microseconds in one NAPI polling cycle. Polling
will exit when either netdev_budget_usecs have elapsed during the
poll cycle or the number of packets processed reaches netdev_budget.
Maximum number of packets, queued on the INPUT side, when the interface
receives packets faster than kernel can process them.
RSS (Receive Side Scaling) enabled drivers use a 40 bytes host key that is
randomly generated.
Some user space might need to gather its content even if drivers do not
provide ethtool -x support yet.
myhost:~# cat /proc/sys/net/core/netdev_rss_key
84:50:f4:00:a8:15:d1:a7:e9:7f:1d:60:35:c7:47:25:42:97:74:ca:56:bb:b6:a1:d8: ... (52 bytes total)
File contains nul bytes if no driver ever called netdev_rss_key_fill() function.
/proc/sys/net/core/netdev_rss_key contains 52 bytes of key,
but most drivers only use 40 bytes of it.
myhost:~# ethtool -x eth0
RX flow hash indirection table for eth0 with 8 RX ring(s):
0: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
RSS hash key:
If set to 0, RX packet timestamps can be sampled after RPS processing, when
the target CPU processes packets. It might give some delay on timestamps, but
permit to distribute the load on several cpus.
If set to 1 (default), timestamps are sampled as soon as possible, before
Maximum ancillary buffer size allowed per socket. Ancillary data is a sequence
of struct cmsghdr structures with appended data.
Controls if fallback tunnels (like tunl0, gre0, gretap0, erspan0,
sit0, ip6tnl0, ip6gre0) are automatically created when a new
network namespace is created, if corresponding tunnel is present
in initial network namespace.
If set to 1, these devices are not automatically created, and
user space is responsible for creating them if needed.
Default : 0 (for compatibility reasons)
Controls if a new network namespace should inherit all current
settings under /proc/sys/net/{ipv4,ipv6}/conf/{all,default}/. By
default, we keep the current behavior: for IPv4 we inherit all current
settings from init_net and for IPv6 we reset all settings to default.
If set to 1, both IPv4 and IPv6 settings are forced to inherit from
current ones in init_net. If set to 2, both IPv4 and IPv6 settings are
forced to reset to their default values.
Default : 0 (for compatibility reasons)
2. /proc/sys/net/unix - Parameters for Unix domain sockets
There is only one file in this directory.
unix_dgram_qlen limits the max number of datagrams queued in Unix domain
socket's buffer. It will not take effect unless PF_UNIX flag is specified.
3. /proc/sys/net/ipv4 - IPV4 settings
Please see: Documentation/networking/ip-sysctl.txt and ipvs-sysctl.txt for
descriptions of these entries.
4. Appletalk
The /proc/sys/net/appletalk directory holds the Appletalk configuration data
when Appletalk is loaded. The configurable parameters are:
The amount of time we keep an ARP entry before expiring it. Used to age out
old hosts.
The amount of time we will spend trying to resolve an Appletalk address.
The number of times we will retransmit a query before giving up.
Controls the rate at which expires are checked.
The directory /proc/net/appletalk holds the list of active Appletalk sockets
on a machine.
The fields indicate the DDP type, the local address (in network:node format)
the remote address, the size of the transmit pending queue, the size of the
received queue (bytes waiting for applications to read) the state and the uid
owning the socket.
/proc/net/atalk_iface lists all the interfaces configured for appletalk.It
shows the name of the interface, its Appletalk address, the network range on
that address (or network number for phase 1 networks), and the status of the
/proc/net/atalk_route lists each known network route. It lists the target
(network) that the route leads to, the router (may be directly connected), the
route flags, and the device the route is using.
5. IPX
The IPX protocol has no tunable values in proc/sys/net.
The IPX protocol does, however, provide proc/net/ipx. This lists each IPX
socket giving the local and remote addresses in Novell format (that is
network:node:port). In accordance with the strange Novell tradition,
everything but the port is in hex. Not_Connected is displayed for sockets that
are not tied to a specific remote address. The Tx and Rx queue sizes indicate
the number of bytes pending for transmission and reception. The state
indicates the state the socket is in and the uid is the owning uid of the
The /proc/net/ipx_interface file lists all IPX interfaces. For each interface
it gives the network number, the node number, and indicates if the network is
the primary network. It also indicates which device it is bound to (or
Internal for internal networks) and the Frame Type if appropriate. Linux
supports 802.3, 802.2, 802.2 SNAP and DIX (Blue Book) ethernet framing for
The /proc/net/ipx_route table holds a list of IPX routes. For each route it
gives the destination network, the router node (or Directly) and the network
address of the router (or Connected) for internal networks.
The TIPC protocol now has a tunable for the receive memory, similar to the
tcp_rmem - i.e. a vector of 3 INTEGERs: (min, default, max)
# cat /proc/sys/net/tipc/tipc_rmem
4252725 34021800 68043600
The max value is set to CONN_OVERLOAD_LIMIT, and the default and min values
are scaled (shifted) versions of that same value. Note that the min value
is not at this point in time used in any meaningful way, but the triplet is
preserved in order to be consistent with things like tcp_rmem.
TIPC name table updates are distributed asynchronously in a cluster, without
any form of transaction handling. This means that different race scenarios are
possible. One such is that a name withdrawal sent out by one node and received
by another node may arrive after a second, overlapping name publication already
has been accepted from a third node, although the conflicting updates
originally may have been issued in the correct sequential order.
If named_timeout is nonzero, failed topology updates will be placed on a defer
queue until another event arrives that clears the error, or until the timeout
expires. Value is in milliseconds.