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Overview of the Latest DPDK Release 24.03

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DPDK’s latest release, 24.03, marks the culmination of months of dedicated work and collaboration. Accessible now for download here, this release showcases the efforts of 154 authors, culminating in 987 commits. The extensive changes include 1,334 files being modified, with 79,260 insertions and 22,824 deletions, highlighting the substantial growth and refinement in the project.

Notably, DPDK 24.03 will not have a separate maintenance branch, and it maintains ABI compatibility with the preceding 23.11 version, ensuring a smooth transition for developers.

New Features and Enhancements

The 24.03 release introduces several significant features and improvements, including:

  • A new argument parsing library to streamline application development.
  • Standardization of dynamic logging for enhanced diagnostics.
  • Introduction of the HiSilicon UACCE bus, expanding hardware support.
  • Enhanced query capabilities for transmission queues.
  • Advanced flow matching capabilities including random and field comparison.
  • NAT64 flow action, offering new network translation options.
  • Flow template table resizing for more efficient resource management.
  • Continued preparations for MSVC build support, indicating a commitment to broader compatibility.
  • An expansion of DTS tests and general cleanups to enhance stability and performance.

For a detailed overview of all updates and improvements, read the release here.

Community Growth and Acknowledgments

This release also celebrates the inclusion of 31 new contributors, ranging from authors to reviewers and testers, showcasing the DPDK community’s continuous growth. Contributions spanned across a diverse group of companies, with significant commits from Marvell, NVIDIA, Intel, and many others, reflecting the wide-ranging industry support for DPDK.

Looking Ahead

The project is now looking towards version, 24.07, expected in July. The community is encouraged to submit new feature proposals in the upcoming weeks, aligning with the project’s roadmap available here.

Additionally, the upcoming webinar Hyperscaling in the cloud offers an excellent opportunity for learning and engagement. Interested participants can register here.

Shout Out

A big thank to all courageous people who reviewed other’s work. Based on Reviewed-by and Acked-by tags, the top non-PMD reviewers are:

         50     Akhil Goyal @Marvel
         44     Ferruh Yigit @AMD
         40     Chengwen Feng @Huawei
         36     Anoob Joseph @Marvel
         32     Morten Brørup @Smartsharesystems
         26     Tyler Retzlaff @Linux_Microsoft
         21     Dariusz Sosnowski @NVIDIA
         18     Ori Kam @NVIDIA
         18     Bruce Richardson @INTEL

Download it here

First Patch Submission to the DPDK Open-Source Project

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Author: Chuanyu Xue – University of Connecticut

Let me first explain why I decided to submit a patch…

Recently, I was working on a research project that utilized the DPDK framework. During the process, I realized that the framework’s driver did not implement all the functionalities specified by the network card. Since one particular functionality, the “launch time feature”, was essential for my work, I spent some time modifying the driver for my project to use this feature.

After that, I decided to invest some time integrating this patch into the DPDK framework, basically for two main reasons. First, I believe this feature is essential for real-time community to use DPDK, and I have seen several discussions online about it, suggesting that its implementation could benefit many others. Secondly, I had never contributed to a large open-source project before and saw this as an opportunity to learn the basic process of submitting patches.

1. Preparation

Before submitting the patch, it’s crucial to understand the project’s development process. DPDK is an open-source project currently managed by Linux Foundation. The development of DPDK happens on the mailing list (like Linux kernel) instead of on GitHub.

This means we can’t simply use git commit to submit patches, then followed by a pull request. Instead, patches are submitted via email to maintainers. Therefore, some extra preparatory steps are needed before submission, including:

  • Registering and subscribing to the DPDK mailing list
  • Configuring email to use git-send-email
  • Identifying the maintainers and the subtree of the module you are modifying

Mailing List: The process of registering and subscribing to the mailing list is relatively straightforward and can be done by following the steps in the DPDK official documentation. I won’t repeat that here. I also recommend registering for Patchwork to easily track the code review process. From my experience, it’s best to disable receiving all the emails from the mailing list or set the digest mode to only receive one summary per day, otherwise the daily generated patches will mix with the regular email and overflow the mailbox…


Email Configuration: Setting up the email is also quite simple. I used a Google email, and configured it following this article to link git send-email. I didn’t encounter any issues during the process.

Finding Maintainers: DPDK is a large, modular open-source project, designed for collaborative work. Each module has a designated maintainer, and some even have specific maintenance branches. Therefore, it’s necessary to find the maintainer and the branch of the module you want to modify, and submit the patch to them for integration into the mainline repository. An important point to note is to use the script devtools/ in the repository to automatically find the maintainers to Cc, just like this:xxxxxxxxxxgit send-email –to –cc-cmd devtools/

The first time, I attempted to find maintainer information in the list provided in the documentation and manually added it to the CC field. However, I later discovered that this information was outdated, which led me to inadvertently send the patch to a previous maintainer…

As for understanding the project’s coding style, I suggest not spending too much time studying the official style guide. This is because you can ensure the consistency of the coding style with the automated review scripts mentioned later.

2. Writing the Patch

The process of writing the patch is essentially modifying the original code to fix bug or add new functionalities, and after formatting it with diff, these modifications become the patch. An important suggestion here is to disable the auto-formatting feature of your IDE. Many projects have unique code formatting styles, and auto-formatting might mess up the format with Tab/Space changes everywhere.

2.1 Testing

Testing is divided into three main parts:

  • Compilation and functional testing
  • Code style check
  • ABI Policy

Compilation and Functional Testing: Since my modifications were minor, I only compiled it on my local machine. The specific process is largely similar to installing DPDK, except the first step involves using meson setup --wipe build to clear the previous build directory. For functional testing, I recommend testing all DPDK built-in apps that might be affected, such as dpdk-testpmd.

Code Style Check: This part can be done following the Section 5.7 Checking the Patches in the DPDK official tutorial. It’s important to note that you need to download yourself (You can get the source code by Google searching, just a simple script). After generating codespell-dpdk.txt as instructed, run devtools/ patch_name.patch in the same directory. The output log shows the results, where both errors and warnings need to be corrected, but some checks may not need changes if they are unreasonable.

ABI Policy: ABI Policy refers to the requirements for variable and function naming. It is recommended to self-check against the official ABI Guideline. But personally, I feel if no new file is created, there shouldn’t be many issues, just compare with the surrounding code to get a sense of the appropriate naming conventions.

2.2 Submitting the Patch

After testing, it is good to generate the patch. Before doing so, it’s recommended to double-check your git username and email, using git config --global & git config --global

My method of generating patches might not be the best practice. I initially used git add & git commit for a simple commit, then git commit --amend to modify the commit message. Finally, I generated the patch with git format-patch -1 -o ~/patch/. Here -1 indicates the patch-set includes the last few commits, but I only needed to generate one patch.

Before submission, check if the patch contains the Signed-off-by: xxxxx <xxxxxx@xxx> line. Mine wasn’t generated automatically, so I added it manually.

Finally, the patch can be submitted via git send-email, typically --to the mailing list, and --cc to maintainers.xxxxxxxxxxgit send-email \–to \–cc-cmd devtools/ \ ./patch_name.patch

Before sending, it is best to first send it to yourself to check if the email format is correct with git send-email --to=[your email] patch_name.patch.

If you have registered for Patchwork, you’ll receive the patch submission notification after a few hours.

3. Code Review

Compared to smaller open-source projects, code review in DPDK is quite stringent, involving both automated reviews from the system and manual reviews from maintainers.

The results of the automated review are received via email within a few hours of submission. Fortunately, despite this being my first patch submission, no errors were detected with beginner luck.


In the subsequent manual review phase, maintainers pose questions about the content of the patch, which feels similar to the rebuttal phase of a research paper submission process. The main issues raised in my case focused on:

  • Explaining the functionality of different lines of code
  • Justifying the chosen solution
  • Providing test results

Responding directly to these questions is usually sufficient. A few minor details to note:

  1. When replying, use the --in-reply-to parameter to specify which email you are responding to.

xxxxxxxxxxgit send-email \ – \ – \ – \ –subject=”RE: [PATCH] net/e1000: support launchtime feature” \./reply.txt

  1. Pay attention to formatting. Indicate references to previous emails by adding >.
  2. In the subject, add RE: before the title of the patch. Remember, no matter how many times you reply, there should only be one RE:, not a chain like RE: RE: RE:

4. Lessons

Although the process seemed somewhat complicated to me initially, the friendly atmosphere made it smoother. From submission to the final review, it took me over ten days, which included three replies and one code update. Along the way, I encountered some technical issues and uncertainties. However, these were resolved with the help of the maintainers and other developers, who provided guidance and support throughout the process.

The biggest takeaway for me from this experience is that contributing to a large open-source project is not as daunting as it might seem. It’s often the intricate rules and the stereotypes about open-source communities that dissuade people from getting involved. However, I found that the community was welcoming, and the process, while detailed, was manageable when you are willing to spend some time on it.

Although contributing to the open-source community is not my focus, attempting to submit a patch was definitely a valuable experience.

Follow Chuanyu Xue on Medium here

Get started with DPDK here

New DPDK Release Candidate 24.03 Ready for Testing

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1. New Features

1.1. HiSilicon UACCE Bus Support

DPDK now supports the HiSilicon UACCE (Unified/User-space-access-intended Accelerator Framework) bus driver, enabling accelerator devices like compressors, cryptos, DMA, and ethernet devices to be seamlessly integrated and registered within DPDK applications.

1.2. Argument Parsing Library

The addition of the argparse library simplifies the development of user-friendly applications by replacing the usage of getopt(), enhancing usability and flexibility in application design.

1.3. Improved RSS Hash Algorithm Support

Enhancements to the RSS hash algorithm support include the addition of rte_eth_find_rss_algo function, allowing for easier retrieval of RSS hash algorithms by name.

1.4. Flow Matching Items

New flow matching items such as RTE_FLOW_ITEM_TYPE_COMPARE and RTE_FLOW_ITEM_TYPE_RANDOM have been introduced, enabling more granular packet field comparison and random value matching in flow processing.

1.5. Flow Template Table Resizing

The ability to resize flow template tables dynamically has been added, providing greater flexibility in managing flow capacities and configurations.

1.6. Updated Drivers

Several DPDK drivers have been updated to include support for new devices and optimize performance. For example, the Marvell cnxk net driver now supports additional flow items like RTE_FLOW_ITEM_TYPE_PPPOES and RTE_FLOW_ACTION_TYPE_SAMPLE, enhancing its capabilities.

2. Removed Items

Certain items, like statically defined logtypes, have been removed from DPDK, emphasizing the shift towards dynamic logtype registration and improved code organization.

3. API Changes

Several API changes have been implemented to align with intended design and improve code robustness, including the removal of typeof(type) from RTE_DEFINE_PER_LCORE macros and the use of C11 static_assert in RTE_BUILD_BUG_ON.

4. ABI Changes

No ABI changes have been made in this release that would break compatibility with the previous version, ensuring seamless migration and backward compatibility.

In summary, DPDK Release 24.03 delivers a significant boost to network acceleration and development efficiency, making it a crucial update for developers and network engineers alike.

🌐 Sources

  1. DPDK Release 24.03 – Documentation