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Software/Hardware fastpath with nftables flowtable
Closed, ResolvedPublicFEATURE REQUEST


Firewalld (which is a software that creates nftables rulesets similar to VyOS config-mode) have recently added support for acceleration through software fastpath based on flowtables in nftables.

So far the results looks promising (+58.5% increase in throughput for the usecase shown in the below blogpost (from 12.47Gbps to 19.77Gbps with 2048 concurrent connections)) however I am currently not aware of any particular drawbacks with this feature:

From the looks of it this should be fairly easy to implement into VyOS.

A suggestion would be that this is by default disabled but can be enabled by adding the interfaces that should operate through flowtables either by software or hardware acceleration:

set interface ethernet ethX offload_firewall <value>

Where accepted values are "none" (default), "flowtable_software" or "flowtable_hardware").

In the Firewalld case they enable flowtable by adding one flowtable object and one rule to the nftables ruleset:

table inet firewalld {
        flowtable fastpath {
                hook ingress priority filter + 10
                devices = { eth0, eth1 }
	chain filter_FORWARD {
		type filter hook forward priority filter + 10; policy accept;
		ct state { established, related } meta l4proto { tcp, udp } flow add @fastpath  <--- new rule
		ct state { established, related } accept

To enable hardware offloading "flags offload;" is added to the "flowtable fastpath" object.

For more information:


Difficulty level
Unknown (require assessment)
Why the issue appeared?
Will be filled on close
Is it a breaking change?
Unspecified (possibly destroys the router)
Issue type
Performance optimization