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Date:	Wed, 28 Feb 2007 20:05:10 -0800
From:	Ben Greear <>
To:	Stephen Hemminger <>
CC:	David Miller <>,,
Subject: Re: [PATCH] bridge: avoid ptype_all packet handling

Stephen Hemminger wrote:
> On Wed, 28 Feb 2007 17:28:09 -0800
> Ben Greear <> wrote:
>> Stephen Hemminger wrote:
>>> I was measuring bridging/routing performance and noticed this.
>>> The current code runs the "all packet" type handlers before calling
>>> the bridge hook.  If an application (like some DHCP clients) is
>>> using AF_PACKET, this means that each received packet gets run
>>> through the Berkeley Packet Filter code in sk_run_filter (slow).
>>> By moving the bridging hook to run first, the packets flowing
>>> through the bridge get filtered out there. This results in a 14%
>>> improvement in performance, but it does mean that some snooping
>>> applications would miss packets if being used on a bridge.  The
>>> correct way to see all packets on a bridge is to set the bridge
>>> pseudo-device to promiscuous mode.
>> Seems it would be better to fix these clients to be more selective as
>> to where they bind.
> The problem is any use of BPF is a lose, if it has to be done to all
> traffic.
Right, but couldn't you have the dhcp client bind to eth0, eth7, and br0 
(ie, skipping the eth1-6 that comprise the bridge group?)

The only difficulty I see is having the client know when new devices 
come and go, but there are probably
ways to know that without keeping a whole lot of state or probing the 
/proc/net/dev (like my own bloated app does :))

I envision the client args to be something like --skip-devices "eth1 
eth2 eth3 ..."

I know you can bind raw packet sockets to individual devices, though I 
don't know much about BPF, so it's
possible I'm wrong...

>> This breaks the case where you want to see packets on a particular
>> interface, not just the entire bridge, right?
> It might be possible to use promisc counter to handle this.
Not really, it's perfectly valid to sniff a port in non-promiscuous mode...


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Ben Greear <> 
Candela Technologies Inc

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