ber_bvfree - Linux


ber_bvfree liberates the Berkeley Packet Filter (BPF) virtual machine bytecode interpreter. This tool is particularly valuable when debugging BPF scripts, as it can decode the interpreted BPF bytecode, providing a more comprehensive understanding of the script’s execution flow.


ber_bvfree [-hv] [-n bytes] [-p port] [-s] <device|socket>


  • -h, –help: Display help information and exit.
  • -n bytes: Set the maximum number of bytes to display from the device or socket.
  • -p port: Specify the port number to use when connecting to a socket.
  • -s: Suppress printing the BPF bytecode and only display the decoded instructions.
  • -v: Increase verbosity, displaying additional information during execution.


Decode BPF bytecode from a device:

ber_bvfree /dev/bpf0

Decode BPF bytecode from a socket:

ber_bvfree -p 9999 /tmp/socket

Limit the displayed bytes:

ber_bvfree -n 100 /dev/bpf1

Suppress BPF bytecode printing:

ber_bvfree -s /dev/bpf2

Common Issues

  • Insufficient permissions: Ensure you have sufficient permissions to access the specified device or socket.
  • Invalid device or socket: Verify that the provided device name or socket path is correct.
  • Malformed BPF bytecode: If the BPF bytecode is malformed, ber_bvfree may not be able to decode it correctly.


Combining with tcpdump: Pipe the output of tcpdump to ber_bvfree to decode the BPF filter used for capturing packets.

tcpdump -i eth0 'udp port 53' | ber_bvfree -s

Related Commands

  • tcpdump: Capture and analyze network traffic using BPF filters.
  • bpftool: Manage BPF bytecode and BPF programs.
  • BPF Documentation: Comprehensive documentation on BPF and its usage.