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BPF/eBPF (bpf)

Acronym bpf
Area Internet Area (int)
State Active
Charter charter-ietf-bpf-01 Approved
Document dependencies
Additional resources GitHub Organization
Personnel Chairs David Vernet, Suresh Krishnan
Area Director Erik Kline
Tech Advisors Alexei Starovoitov, Christoph Hellwig, Dave Thaler
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Charter for Working Group

eBPF (which is no longer an acronym for anything), also commonly
referred to as BPF, is a technology with origins in the Linux kernel
that can run untrusted programs in a privileged context such as the
operating system kernel.

BPF is increasingly being used beyond just the Linux kernel, with
implementations in network interface cards, Microsoft Windows, etc.

The BPF working group is initially tasked with documenting the existing
state of the BPF ecosystem, and creating a clear process for extensions,
including initial extensions that are widely useful and showcase the
process. The working group will not adopt work focused on new versions
or extensions until all documents required to capture the existing
goals, particularly those in the bullets below, have completed IESG

The working group will produce one or more documents on the following
work item topics (with intended document status annotations, e.g.
[PS] Proposed Standard and [I] Informational):

  • [PS] the BPF instruction set architecture (ISA) that defines the
    instructions and low-level virtual machine for BPF programs,

  • [I] verifier expectations and building blocks for allowing safe
    execution of untrusted BPF programs,

  • [PS] the BPF Type Format (BTF) that defines debug information and
    introspection capabilities for BPF programs,

  • [I] one or more documents that recommend conventions and guidelines
    for producing portable BPF program binaries,

  • [PS] cross-platform map types allowing native data structure access
    from BPF programs,

  • [PS] cross-platform helper functions, e.g., for manipulation of maps,

  • [PS] cross-platform BPF program types that define the higher level
    execution environment for BPF programs, and

  • [I] an architecture and framework document.

The BPF working group shall actively engage the BPF Foundation steering
committee and the broader implementation community to ensure inclusion
in the IETF's consensus-driven process.

The working group is intended to only work on cross-platform aspects of
BPF that are useful to the wider internet community and are not
otherwise operating system or platform specific.


Date Milestone Associated documents
Mar 2024 eBPF Instruction Set Specification [wg adoption]