vale vs bridge

Farhan Khan

Active Member

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Messages: 125

Hi all,

What's the difference between vale and a bridge? The only thing that I gather thus far is that bridge is a simple forwarder, irrespective of the destined mac address, whereas vale will verify based on the mac since its a switch? Is this an over-simplification or accurate or mistaken?


Beastie's Twin

Reaction score: 2,646
Messages: 5,561

Hey good news. I was updating FreeBSD 12.0-BETA2 to BETA4 and saw bridge.8 flash by onscreen.
It piqued my interest and now I see we have a manual for the netmap bridge example.
man /usr/src/tools/tools/netmap/bridge.8

bridge is a simple netmap application that bridges packets between two
netmap ports. If the two netmap ports use the same netmap memory region
bridge forwards packets without copying the packets payload (zero-copy
mode), unless explicitly prevented by the -c flag.

So VALE stands for VirtuAl Local Ethernet. The bridge can be part of a netmap API VALE software switch.

Here is a ipfw for netmap.

Netgate has been working on it too.

Here are some Hackernews comments that seem to give context. Used for high speed sniffing with Suricata.