1. PCI Passthrough with PF_RING ZC

In order to capture traffic from an Intel/ZC interface using PF_RING ZC drivers on a VM, you need to assign the network device to the VM in your hypervisor configuring the PCI Passthrough. This is available both on QEMU/KVM and VMWare (aka DirectPath I/O).

After following the steps below to configure the passthrough, you should be able to see the device on the VM using lspci, and load the native ZC driver according to the card model.

1.1. PCI Passthrough on QEMU/KVM

In order to assign a network device to a VM with virsh, to be used with native PF_RING ZC drivers, follow the following steps:

Edit /etc/default/grub as below:


Update grub:


Shutdown the VM (in this example ubuntu16):

virsh shutdown ubuntu16

Identify the network device to assign:

lspci -D | grep Ethernet
0000:02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation 82599ES 10-Gigabit SFI/SFP+ Network Connection (rev 01)
0000:02:00.1 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation 82599ES 10-Gigabit SFI/SFP+ Network Connection (rev 01)

Find the device identifier in virsh (assuming that we want to use 0000:02:00.1):

virsh nodedev-list | grep pci_0000_02_00_1

Detach the device from the host system:

virsh nodedev-detach pci_0000_02_00_1

Check that no driver on the host system is using the device:

readlink /sys/bus/pci/devices/0000\:02\:00.1

Edit the VM configuration adding the hostdev entry:

virsh edit ubuntu16

 <hostdev mode='subsystem' type='pci' managed='no'>
     <address domain='0x0000' bus='0x02' slot='0x00' function='0x1'/>

Start the VM:

virsh start ubuntu16

1.2. Possible Errors

1. if virsh start ubuntu16 fails with vfio: error, group 1 is not viable, please ensure all devices within the iommu_group are bound to their vfio bus driver you probably need to detach all pci devices in the same IOMMU group. List all the devices in the same group:

dmesg | grep "group 1$"
[    0.711256] iommu: Adding device 0000:01:00.0 to group 1
[    0.711261] iommu: Adding device 0000:02:00.0 to group 1
[    0.711266] iommu: Adding device 0000:02:00.1 to group 1

Detach all the devices in the group:

virsh nodedev-detach pci_0000_01_00_0
virsh nodedev-detach pci_0000_02_00_0

1.3. PCI Passthrough on VMWare

In order to configure the PCI Passthrough on VMWare, please refer to the VMWare documentation according to your VMWare version looking for DirectPath I/O.