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       tbf - Token Bucket Filter


       tc  qdisc ... tbf rate rate burst bytes/cell ( latency ms | limit bytes
       ) [ mpu bytes [ peakrate rate mtu bytes/cell ] ]

       burst is also known as buffer  and  maxburst.  mtu  is  also  known  as


       The  Token  Bucket  Filter is a classless queueing discipline available
       for traffic control with the tc(8) command.

       TBF is a pure shaper and  never  schedules  traffic.  It  is  non-work-
       conserving  and may throttle itself, although packets are available, to
       ensure that the configured rate is  not  exceeded.   On  all  platforms
       except  for  Alpha, it is able to shape up to 1mbit/s of normal traffic
       with ideal  minimal  burstiness,  sending  out   data  exactly  at  the
       configured rates.

       Much  higher  rates  are possible but at the cost of losing the minimal
       burstiness. In that case, data is on average dequeued at the configured
       rate  but may be sent much faster at millisecond timescales. Because of
       further queues living in network adaptors, this is often not a problem.

       Kernels  with  a  higher  ’HZ’  can  achieve  higher rates with perfect
       burstiness. On Alpha, HZ is ten times higher,  leading  to  a  10mbit/s
       limit  to perfection. These calculations hold for packets of on average
       1000 bytes.


       As the name implies, traffic is filtered based on  the  expenditure  of
       tokens.   Tokens  roughly  correspond  to  bytes,  with  the additional
       constraint that each packet consumes some tokens, no matter  how  small
       it  is.  This  reflects the fact that even a zero-sized packet occupies
       the link for some time.

       On creation, the TBF is stocked with tokens  which  correspond  to  the
       amount  of  traffic  that  can  be  burst in one go. Tokens arrive at a
       steady rate, until the bucket is full.

       If no tokens are available, packets are  queued,  up  to  a  configured
       limit.  The  TBF  now calculates the token deficit, and throttles until
       the first packet in the queue can be sent.

       If it is not acceptable to  burst  out  packets  at  maximum  speed,  a
       peakrate  can  be  configured  to  limit  the speed at which the bucket
       empties. This peakrate is implemented as a second TBF with a very small
       bucket, so that it doesn’t burst.

       To  achieve  perfection,  the  second  bucket may contain only a single
       packet, which leads to the earlier mentioned 1mbit/s limit.

       This limit is caused by the fact that the kernel can only throttle  for
       at minimum 1 ’jiffy’, which depends on HZ as 1/HZ. For perfect shaping,
       only a single packet can get sent per jiffy - for  HZ=100,  this  means
       100 packets of on average 1000 bytes each, which roughly corresponds to


       See tc(8) for how to specify the units of these values.

       limit or latency
              Limit is the number of bytes that  can  be  queued  waiting  for
              tokens  to become available. You can also specify this the other
              way around by setting the latency parameter, which specifies the
              maximum  amount  of time a packet can sit in the TBF. The latter
              calculation takes into account the size of the bucket, the  rate
              and  possibly  the  peakrate  (if set). These two parameters are
              mutually exclusive.

       burst  Also known as buffer or maxburst.  Size of the bucket, in bytes.
              This is the maximum amount of bytes that tokens can be available
              for instantaneously.  In general, larger shaping rates require a
              larger  buffer. For 10mbit/s on Intel, you need at least 10kbyte
              buffer if you want to reach your configured rate!

              If your buffer is too small, packets may be dropped because more
              tokens  arrive  per  timer  tick  than  fit in your bucket.  The
              minimum buffer size can be calculated by dividing  the  rate  by

              Token  usage  calculations  are performed using a table which by
              default has a resolution of 8 packets.  This resolution  can  be
              changed by specifying the cell size with the burst. For example,
              to specify a 6000 byte buffer with a 16 byte cell  size,  set  a
              burst of 6000/16. You will probably never have to set this. Must
              be an integral power of 2.

       mpu    A zero-sized packet does not use zero bandwidth.  For  ethernet,
              no  packet  uses  less  than  64  bytes. The Minimum Packet Unit
              determines the minimal token usage (specified in  bytes)  for  a
              packet. Defaults to zero.

       rate   The  speed  knob.  See remarks above about limits! See tc(8) for

       Furthermore, if a peakrate is desired,  the  following  parameters  are

              Maximum  depletion  rate  of  the  bucket. Limited to 1mbit/s on
              Intel, 10mbit/s on Alpha. The peakrate does not need to be  set,
              it is only necessary if perfect millisecond timescale shaping is

              Specifies the size of the peakrate bucket. For perfect accuracy,
              should  be  set  to  the MTU of the interface.  If a peakrate is
              needed, but some burstiness is  acceptable,  this  size  can  be
              raised.  A 3000 byte minburst allows around 3mbit/s of peakrate,
              given 1000 byte packets.

              Like the regular burstsize you can also specify a cell size.


       To attach a TBF with a sustained maximum rate of 0.5mbit/s, a  peakrate
       of  1.0mbit/s,  a  5kilobyte buffer, with a pre-bucket queue size limit
       calculated so the TBF causes at most  70ms  of  latency,  with  perfect
       peakrate behaviour, issue:

       # tc qdisc add dev eth0 root tbf rate 0.5mbit \
         burst 5kb latency 70ms peakrate 1mbit       \
         minburst 1540




       Alexey N. Kuznetsov, <>. This manpage maintained by
       bert hubert <>