Storage Performance Development Kit

Clone this repo:
  1. 00a6c49 configure: try harder to parse nasm version by Darek Stojaczyk · 3 years, 7 months ago master
  2. 7685a48 test/nvmf: fix host/ test by Jim Harris · 3 years, 7 months ago
  3. b118729 test: add helper function to wait until file is created by Jim Harris · 3 years, 7 months ago
  4. f5fbac9 test/nvme: add file touch option to aer test by Jim Harris · 3 years, 7 months ago
  5. 3d9f193 test/nvme: add g_ prefix to aer global variables by Jim Harris · 3 years, 7 months ago

Storage Performance Development Kit

Build Status

The Storage Performance Development Kit (SPDK) provides a set of tools and libraries for writing high performance, scalable, user-mode storage applications. It achieves high performance by moving all of the necessary drivers into userspace and operating in a polled mode instead of relying on interrupts, which avoids kernel context switches and eliminates interrupt handling overhead.

The development kit currently includes:

In this readme:


Doxygen API documentation is available, as well as a Porting Guide for porting SPDK to different frameworks and operating systems.

Source Code

git clone
cd spdk
git submodule update --init


The dependencies can be installed automatically by scripts/





FreeBSD: Note: Make sure you have the matching kernel source in /usr/src/ and also note that CONFIG_COVERAGE option is not available right now for FreeBSD builds.


Unit Tests


You will see several error messages when running the unit tests, but they are part of the test suite. The final message at the end of the script indicates success or failure.


A Vagrant setup is also provided to create a Linux VM with a virtual NVMe controller to get up and running quickly. Currently this has only been tested on MacOS and Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS with the VirtualBox provider. The VirtualBox Extension Pack must also be installed in order to get the required NVMe support.

Details on the Vagrant setup can be found in the SPDK Vagrant documentation.

Advanced Build Options

Optional components and other build-time configuration are controlled by settings in the Makefile configuration file in the root of the repository. CONFIG contains the base settings for the configure script. This script generates a new file, mk/, that contains final build settings. For advanced configuration, there are a number of additional options to configure that may be used, or mk/ can simply be created and edited by hand. A description of all possible options is located in CONFIG.

Boolean (on/off) options are configured with a 'y' (yes) or 'n' (no). For example, this line of CONFIG controls whether the optional RDMA (libibverbs) support is enabled:


To enable RDMA, this line may be added to mk/ with a 'y' instead of 'n'. For the majority of options this can be done using the configure script. For example:

./configure --with-rdma

Additionally, CONFIG options may also be overridden on the make command line:


Users may wish to use a version of DPDK different from the submodule included in the SPDK repository. Note, this includes the ability to build not only from DPDK sources, but also just with the includes and libraries installed via the dpdk and dpdk-devel packages. To specify an alternate DPDK installation, run configure with the --with-dpdk option. For example:


./configure --with-dpdk=/path/to/dpdk/x86_64-native-linuxapp-gcc


./configure --with-dpdk=/path/to/dpdk/x86_64-native-bsdapp-clang

The options specified on the make command line take precedence over the values in mk/ This can be useful if you, for example, generate a mk/ using the configure script and then have one or two options (i.e. debug builds) that you wish to turn on and off frequently.

Shared libraries

By default, the build of the SPDK yields static libraries against which the SPDK applications and examples are linked. Configure option --with-shared provides the ability to produce SPDK shared libraries, in addition to the default static ones. Use of this flag also results in the SPDK executables linked to the shared versions of libraries. SPDK shared libraries by default, are located in ./build/lib. This includes the single SPDK shared lib encompassing all of the SPDK static libs ( as well as individual SPDK shared libs corresponding to each of the SPDK static ones.

In order to start a SPDK app linked with SPDK shared libraries, make sure to do the following steps:

  • run ldconfig specifying the directory containing SPDK shared libraries
  • provide proper LD_LIBRARY_PATH


./configure --with-shared
ldconfig -v -n ./build/lib
LD_LIBRARY_PATH=./build/lib/ ./app/spdk_tgt/spdk_tgt

Hugepages and Device Binding

Before running an SPDK application, some hugepages must be allocated and any NVMe and I/OAT devices must be unbound from the native kernel drivers. SPDK includes a script to automate this process on both Linux and FreeBSD. This script should be run as root.

sudo scripts/

Users may wish to configure a specific memory size. Below is an example of configuring 8192MB memory.

sudo HUGEMEM=8192 scripts/

Example Code

Example code is located in the examples directory. The examples are compiled automatically as part of the build process. Simply call any of the examples with no arguments to see the help output. You'll likely need to run the examples as a privileged user (root) unless you've done additional configuration to grant your user permission to allocate huge pages and map devices through vfio.


For additional details on how to get more involved in the community, including contributing code and participating in discussions and other activities, please refer to