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Definition: eBPF

Educative Answers Team

eBPF, Extended Berkeley Packet Filter, is said to be the extension of BPF. The idea of BPF was to access useful network packets from the kernel directly to avoid directing the network packets to the user space first and then using a network tap to access them.

Working of BPF
Working of BPF

BPF uses a kernel to run the code to inculcate which packets will be kept and which will not. The filtering in BPF makes sure that only those packets that are monitored are kept. Unnecessary traffic and packets are dropped altogether. Seems like BPF is doing a great job, ​so why do we need eBPF?

Why eBPF

Technology is improving with every passing day. In this regard, eBPF offers a variety of programs that can easily be run by several events. eBPF events provide monitoring so you can actually see what has been happening in your system. eBPF systems are more accurate and secure than average, sampling-based programs. The filtering in eBPF makes sure that only those packets that are monitored are kept. Unnecessary traffic and packets are dropped altogether.

One of the key features of eBPF is that it determines​ anomalies in an application. For example, file events can be tested against directories to ensure that the expected files are kept.

Previously, BPF mainly covered stateless packet filtering. As compared to BPF, eBPF ensured that stateful filtering and dynamic processes have become a reality that has expanded the range of packet interaction and further increased system flexibility. Moreover, eBPF widened the application of BPF through various features such as key/value stores, maps, use of advanced registers, and complex instructions. Many helper functions can be called from within the programs itself.

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