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IX a protected dataplane operating system project from Stanford and EPFL. It provides event-driven applications with:

  • low-latency (including at the tail)
  • high-throughput
  • efficient use of resources (to support workload consolidation and energy proportionality)

IX is licensed under an MIT-style license. See LICENSE.


IX requires Intel DPDK and a supported Intel NIC:

  • Intel 82599
  • Intel X520
  • Intel X540

For more details, check the requirements page

Setup Instructions

There is currently no binary distribution of IX. You will therefore have to compile it from source. Additionally, you will need to fetch and compile the source dependencies:

  1. fetch the dependencies:

    git submodule update --init
  2. build the dependecies:

    sudo chmod +r /boot/`uname -r`
    make -sj64 -C deps/dune
    make -sj64 -C deps/pcidma
    make -sj64 -C deps/dpdk config T=x86_64-native-linuxapp-gcc
    make -sj64 -C deps/dpdk
  3. build IX:

    sudo apt-get install libconfig-dev libnuma-dev
    make -sj64

The resulting executable files are cp/ for the IX control plane and dp/ix for the IX dataplane kernel.

  1. Set up the environment:

    cp ix.conf.sample ix.conf
    # modify at least host_addr, gateway_addr, devices, and cpu
    sudo sh -c 'for i in /sys/devices/system/node/node*/hugepages/hugepages-2048kB/nr_hugepages; do echo 4096 > $i; done'
    sudo insmod deps/dune/kern/dune.ko
    sudo insmod deps/pcidma/pcidma.ko
    sudo modprobe uio
    sudo insmod deps/dpdk/build/kmod/igb_uio.ko
    sudo ifdown INTERFACE
    sudo deps/dpdk/tools/ -b igb_uio PCI_ADDRESS
  2. run the IX TCP echo server and check that it works. Make sure that at least the "Device" field in ix.conf matches your network card PCI bus address (try lspci | grep -i eth and look for the virtual adapter):

sudo ./dp/ix -- ./apps/echoserver 4

Then, try from another Linux host:

echo 123 | nc -vv <IP> <PORT>

You should see the following output:

Connection to <IP> <PORT> port [tcp/*] succeeded!