4. Running DPDK Applications

4.1. Grant Lock pages in memory Privilege

Use of hugepages (“large pages” in Windows terminology) requires SeLockMemoryPrivilege for the user running an application.

  1. Open Local Security Policy snap-in, either:
    • Control Panel / Computer Management / Local Security Policy;
    • or Win+R, type secpol, press Enter.
  2. Open Local Policies / User Rights Assignment / Lock pages in memory.
  3. Add desired users or groups to the list of grantees.
  4. Privilege is applied upon next logon. In particular, if privilege has been granted to current user, a logoff is required before it is available.

See Large-Page Support in MSDN for details.

4.2. Install Drivers

Certain kernel-mode drivers are required to run DPDK applications. Refer to Windows documentation in dpdk-kmods repository for common instructions on system setup, driver build and installation. The drivers are not signed, so signature enforcement has to be disabled.


Disabling driver signature enforcement weakens OS security. It is discouraged in production environments.

4.2.1. virt2phys

Access to physical addresses is provided by a kernel-mode driver, virt2phys. It is mandatory for allocating physically-contiguous memory which is required by hardware PMDs.

When loaded successfully, the driver is shown in Device Manager as Virtual to physical address translator device under Kernel bypass category. Installed driver persists across reboots.

If DPDK is unable to communicate with the driver, a warning is printed on initialization (debug-level logs provide more details):

EAL: Cannot open virt2phys driver interface

4.2.2. NetUIO

NetUIO kernel-mode driver provides access to the device hardware resources. It is mandatory for all hardware PMDs, except for mlx5 PMD.

Refer to NetUIO documentation in dpdk-kmods repository for instructions to build and set up the driver. Devices supported by NetUIO are listed in netuio.inf. The list can be extended in order to try running DPDK with new devices.

4.3. Run the helloworld Example

Navigate to the examples in the build directory and run dpdk-helloworld.exe.

cd C:\Users\me\dpdk\build\examples
dpdk-helloworld.exe -l 0-3
hello from core 1
hello from core 3
hello from core 0
hello from core 2