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Launching bpfman

The most basic way to deploy bpfman is to run it directly on a host system. First bpfman needs to be built and then started.

Build bpfman

Perform the following steps to build bpfman. If this is your first time using bpfman, follow the instructions in Setup and Building bpfman to setup the prerequisites for building. To avoid installing the dependencies and having to build bpfman, consider running bpfman from a packaged release (see Run bpfman From Release Image) or installing the bpfman RPM (see Run bpfman From RPM).

cd bpfman/
cargo build

Start bpfman-rpc

When running bpfman, the RPC Server bpfman-rpc can be run as a long running process or a systemd service. Examples run the same, independent of how bpfman is deployed.

Run as a Long Lived Process

While learning and experimenting with bpfman, it may be useful to run bpfman in the foreground (which requires a second terminal to run the bpfman CLI commands). When run in this fashion, logs are dumped directly to the terminal. For more details on how logging is handled in bpfman, see Logging.

sudo RUST_LOG=info ./target/debug/bpfman-rpc --timeout=0
[INFO  bpfman::utils] Has CAP_BPF: true
[INFO  bpfman::utils] Has CAP_SYS_ADMIN: true
[INFO  bpfman_rpc::serve] Using no inactivity timer
[INFO  bpfman_rpc::serve] Using default Unix socket
[INFO  bpfman_rpc::serve] Listening on /run/bpfman-sock/bpfman.sock

When a build is run for bpfman, built binaries can be found in ./target/debug/. So when launching bpfman-rpc and calling bpfman CLI commands, the binary must be in the $PATH or referenced directly:

sudo ./target/debug/bpfman list

For readability, the remaining sample commands will assume the bpfman CLI binary is in the $PATH, so ./target/debug/ will be dropped.

Run as a systemd Service

Run the following command to copy the bpfman CLI and bpfman-rpc binaries to /usr/sbin/ and copy bpfman.socket and bpfman.service files to /usr/lib/systemd/system/. This option will also enable and start the systemd services:

sudo ./scripts/ install

bpfman CLI is now in $PATH, so ./targer/debug/ is not needed:

sudo bpfman list

To view logs, use journalctl:

sudo journalctl -f -u bpfman.service -u bpfman.socket
Mar 27 09:13:54 server-calvin systemd[1]: Listening on bpfman.socket - bpfman API Socket.
  <RUN "sudo ./go-kprobe-counter">
Mar 27 09:15:43 server-calvin systemd[1]: Started bpfman.service - Run bpfman as a service.
Mar 27 09:15:43 server-calvin bpfman-rpc[2548091]: Has CAP_BPF: true
Mar 27 09:15:43 server-calvin bpfman-rpc[2548091]: Has CAP_SYS_ADMIN: true
Mar 27 09:15:43 server-calvin bpfman-rpc[2548091]: Using a Unix socket from systemd
Mar 27 09:15:43 server-calvin bpfman-rpc[2548091]: Using inactivity timer of 15 seconds
Mar 27 09:15:43 server-calvin bpfman-rpc[2548091]: Listening on /run/bpfman-sock/bpfman.sock
Mar 27 09:15:43 server-calvin bpfman-rpc[2548091]: Starting Cosign Verifier, downloading data from Sigstore TUF repository
Mar 27 09:15:45 server-calvin bpfman-rpc[2548091]: Loading program bytecode from file: /home/<USER>/src/bpfman/examples/go-kprobe-counter/bpf_bpfel.o
Mar 27 09:15:45 server-calvin bpfman-rpc[2548091]: Added probe program with name: kprobe_counter and id: 7568
Mar 27 09:15:48 server-calvin bpfman-rpc[2548091]: Removing program with id: 7568
Mar 27 09:15:58 server-calvin bpfman-rpc[2548091]: Shutdown Unix Handler /run/bpfman-sock/bpfman.sock
Mar 27 09:15:58 server-calvin systemd[1]: bpfman.service: Deactivated successfully.

Additional Notes

To update the configuration settings associated with running bpfman as a service, edit the service configuration files:

sudo vi /usr/lib/systemd/system/bpfman.socket
sudo vi /usr/lib/systemd/system/bpfman.service
sudo systemctl daemon-reload

If bpfman CLI or bpfman-rpc is rebuilt, the following command can be run to install the update binaries without tearing down bpfman. The services are automatically restarted.

sudo ./scripts/ reinstall

To unwind all the changes, stop bpfman and remove all related files from the system, run the following script:

sudo ./scripts/ uninstall

Preferred Method to Start bpfman

In order to call into the bpfman Library, the calling process must be privileged. In order to load and unload eBPF, the kernel requires a set of powerful capabilities. Long lived privileged processes are more vulnerable to attack than short lived processes. When bpfman-rpc is run as a systemd service, it is leveraging socket activation. This means that it loads a bpfman.socket and bpfman.service file. The socket service is the long lived process, which doesn't have any special permissions. The service that runs bpfman-rpc is only started when there is a request on the socket, and then bpfman-rpc stops itself after an inactivity timeout.

For security reasons, it is recommended to run bpfman-rpc as a systemd service when running on a local host. For local development, some may find it useful to run bpfman-rpc as a long lived process.

When run as a systemd service, the set of linux capabilities are limited to only the required set. If permission errors are encountered, see Linux Capabilities for help debugging.