eBPF is “Linux’s newest superpower,” said SAP Labs’ developer Gaurav Gupta, during a talk that he gave about using the technology for low-overhead tracing at KubeCon in Copenhagen earlier this year.
A virtual machine for the Linux kernel, eBPF could set the stage for advanced, low-overhead tracing inside the kernel itself, offering insight into I/O and file system latency, CPU usage by process, stack tracing and other metrics useful for debugging. It could also play a role in system security, potentially offering a way to thwart DDOS attacks, to monitor for intrusion detection, and even replace IPtables. It also offers a cleaner alternative to installing drivers.
“In the future, you will see a lot more eBPF programs instead of kernel modules,” said Netflix Kernel and Performance Engineer Brendan Gregg, at the All Things Open conference held in Raleigh, North Carolina in October.