Functional Networking Framework for Multi-core Architectures

View the Project on GitHub pfq/PFQ


What is PFQ?

PFQ is a functional networking framework designed for the Linux operating system that allows efficient packets capture/transmission (10g and beyond), in-kernel functional processing and packets steering across sockets/end-points.

PFQ is highly optimized for multi-core architecture, as well as for network devices equipped with multiple hardware queues. It works with any network device driver and provides a script designed to obtain accelerated versions starting from source codes.

The framework enables the development of high-performance networking applications with different programming languages: C, C++ and Haskell. In addition, a pure functional language designed for early stages in-kernel processing is included: pfq-lang.

pfq-lang is inspired by Haskell and allows the creation of small applications that run on top of network device drivers. Through pfq-lang it is possible to build efficient bridges, port mirrors, simple firewalls, network balancers and so forth.

The package provides the source code of the PFQ kernel module, user-space libraries for C, C++11-14 and Haskell language, an implementation of pfq-lang as eDSL for C++11-14 and Haskell, and a set of diagnostic tools.



PFQ performance is highly dependent on the hardware in use.

Running on top of a Xeon processor equipped and the Intel 82599 10G controller, PFQ can process and steer to user-space and transmit the line speed (~14,8 Million packets per second) deploying 2 or 3 kernel threads.

The following link shows the configuration file and the performance measured running PFQ on top of Intel 82599 10/20G NICs.


The current stable release is the master branch (v5.2).

Source code

The package provides the source code of the PFQ kernel module, user-space libraries for the C, C++11 and Haskell language, utilities, scripts a set of diagnostic tools.


Linux kernel headers (3.x/4.x), gcc/g++ 4.7 (or higher), GHC 7.8 (or 7.10), alex, happy, CMake and make tool are required for the compilation.

The guideline covers the principal problems of compilation and installation.


New to PFQ programming? The wiki pages can get you started quickly.


Interested in daily-based tweets about pfq and pfq-lang facts, updates and tricks? Follow me on Twitter.


  • "PFQ: a Novel Engine for Multi-Gigabit Packet Capturing With Multi-Core Commodity Hardware" Best-Paper-Award at PAM2012
  • "A Purely Functional Approach to Packet Processing" ANCS 2014 Conference - Marina del Rey (LA)

  • Licenses

    The PFQ kernel module and user-space libraries are distributed under the GPL license.


    Nicola Bonelli