8. Napatech Support

PF_RING has native support for Napatech adapters, the Napatech library needs to be installed under /opt/napatech3 in order to enable the Napatech module at runtime.

8.1. Prerequisite

Napatech drivers and SDK installed. Latest Napatech SDK is available for download at https://www.napatech.com/downloads/.

Note: as of PF_RING 6.6 dynamic linking is used and you are able to use any ntanl driver version.

After installing the Napatech SDK, please make sure the driver is loaded with:


8.2. Installation

In order to get up and running with Napatech when installing from source code, run the following commands:

cd PF_RING/kernel && make && sudo insmod pf_ring.ko
cd ../userland/lib && ./configure && make
cd ../libpcap && ./configure && make
cd ../examples && make
sudo ./pfcount -i nt:0

Please note that:

  • installing from repository, all applications are already compiled with Napatech support
  • in order to open a port from the Napatech adapter you should specify nt:<PORT>, example:
pfcount -i nt:0
  • in order to open a stream you should specify nt:stream<ID>, example:
pfcount -i nt:stream0
  • streams with port aggregation or distribution (similar to RSS) can be created using the ntpl tool (ntpl -e “<command>”)

Note: it is possible to open the same stream from multiple applications at the same time (the slowest consumer will affect the others!). Instead it is not possible to open a port multiple times (as the port is reassigned to a new stream every time you open it).

Command example for ports (2 and 3) aggregation on a single stream (1):

/opt/napatech3/bin/ntpl -e "Delete = All"
/opt/napatech3/bin/ntpl -e "Assign[streamid=1] = port == 2,3"

Command example for load balancing of all ports across 16 streams:

/opt/napatech3/bin/ntpl -e "Delete = All"
/opt/napatech3/bin/ntpl -e "HashMode = Hash2TupleSorted"
/opt/napatech3/bin/ntpl -e "Assign[StreamId=(0..15)] = All"

Command example for load balancing port 0 across 4 streams:

/opt/napatech3/bin/ntpl -e "Delete = All"
/opt/napatech3/bin/ntpl -e "HashMode = Hash2TupleSorted"
/opt/napatech3/bin/ntpl -e "Assign[StreamId=(0..3)] = port == 0"

Command example for merging two ports and load balancing them across 24 streams where the first 12 streams are bond on node 0 and the remaining 12 on numa node 1

/opt/napatech3/bin/ntpl -e "Delete=All"
/opt/napatech3/bin/ntpl -e "HashMode = Hash5TupleSorted"
/opt/napatech3/bin/ntpl -e "Setup[NUMANode=0]=Streamid==(0..11)"
/opt/napatech3/bin/ntpl -e "Setup[NUMANode=1]=Streamid==(12..23)"
/opt/napatech3/bin/ntpl -e "Assign[streamid=(0..23)]=port==0,1"

8.3. Adapter configuration for n2disk

In order to use the Napatech adapter with n2disk the configuration file /opt/napatech3/config/ntservice.ini should contain:

TimestampFormat = PCAP_NS
PacketDescriptor = PCAP
HostBufferSegmentSizeRx = 4

8.4. Napatech and Packet Copy

If you use the PF_RING (non-ZC) API packets are read in zero-copy. Instead if you use PF_RING ZC API, a per-packet copy takes place, which is required to move payload data from Napatech-memory to ZC memory. Keep this in mind!

8.5. Transmission Support

In order to use Napatech in transmission you need to make sure you have configured TX properly. Edit /opt/napatech3/config/ntservice.ini and make sure you have the following sections configured

HostBuffersTx = [4,16,0]

[Debug] RntcTxEnable=1

8.6. Hardware Filtering

Napatech NICs support full-blown hardware filtering out of the box. Thanks to nBPF we convert BPF expressions to hardware filters. This feature is supported transparently, and thus all PF_RING/libpcap-over-PF_RING can benefit from it.


pfcount -i nt:3 -f "tcp and port 80 and src host"

As Napatech hardware filters are very advanced, filtering happens all in hardware.