What Is eBPF? The Ultimate Guide
eBPF stands for extended Berkeley Packet Filters, which are a way of running programs on network interfaces. There are two types of BPF: classic and extended. Classic BPFs were introduced in Linux 2.6.25, while extended BPFs were introduced with Linux 4.0 (2010), allowing for more functionality than classic BPFs.
eBPF's ability to improve computing efficiency and enhance the computing ability for numerous tools and platforms, particularly for security, observability, and networking, has become clearly evident.
So how do eBPFs work at a technical level? In simple terms, they have their own memory spaces and can be manipulated by new system calls called BPF_MAP_TYPE_XXX functions. They can also attach to any network interface to capture packets or communicate with other processes via shared memory.
There are several notable uses for eBPFs, including tracing network traffic, collecting statistics about processes, detecting malicious behavior, optimizing network packet delivery, implementing firewalls, automating security controls, and managing kernel resources.
Want to learn more about eBPF technology? Check out our Linux Container Security Primer - you won't be disappointed!
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