1. Introduction

This document contains instructions for installing and configuring the Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK) software. It is designed to get customers up and running quickly and describes how to compile and run a DPDK application in a FreeBSD application (bsdapp) environment, without going deeply into detail.

For a comprehensive guide to installing and using FreeBSD, the following handbook is available from the FreeBSD Documentation Project: FreeBSD Handbook.


The DPDK is now available as part of the FreeBSD ports collection. Installing via the ports collection infrastructure is now the recommended way to install the DPDK on FreeBSD, and is documented in the next chapter, Installing DPDK from the Ports Collection.

1.1. Documentation Roadmap

The following is a list of DPDK documents in the suggested reading order:

  • Release Notes : Provides release-specific information, including supported features, limitations, fixed issues, known issues and so on. Also, provides the answers to frequently asked questions in FAQ format.

  • Getting Started Guide (this document): Describes how to install and configure the DPDK; designed to get users up and running quickly with the software.

  • Programmer’s Guide: Describes:

    • The software architecture and how to use it (through examples), specifically in a Linux* application (linuxapp) environment
    • The content of the DPDK, the build system (including the commands that can be used in the root DPDK Makefile to build the development kit and an application) and guidelines for porting an application
    • Optimizations used in the software and those that should be considered for new development

    A glossary of terms is also provided.

  • API Reference: Provides detailed information about DPDK functions, data structures and other programming constructs.

  • Sample Applications User Guide: Describes a set of sample applications. Each chapter describes a sample application that showcases specific functionality and provides instructions on how to compile, run and use the sample application.