Chapter 31. Monitoring and tuning the RX ring buffer

Receive (RX) ring buffers are shared buffers between the device driver and network interface card (NIC), and store incoming packets until the device driver can process them.

You can increase the size of the Ethernet device RX ring buffer if the packet drop rate causes applications to report:

  • a loss of data,
  • cluster fence,
  • slow performance,
  • timeouts, and
  • failed backups.

This section describes how to identify the number of dropped packets and increase the RX ring buffer to reduce a high packet drop rate.

31.1. Displaying the number of dropped packets

The ethtool utility enables administrators to query, configure, or control network driver settings.

The exhaustion of the RX ring buffer causes an increment in the counters, such as "discard" or "drop" in the output of ethtool -S interface_name. The discarded packets indicate that the available buffer is filling up faster than the kernel can process the packets.

This procedure describes how to display drop counters using ethtool.


  • To view drop counters for the enp1s0 interface, enter:

    $ ethtool -S enp1s0

31.2. Increasing the RX ring buffer to reduce a high packet drop rate

The ethtool utility helps to increase the RX buffer to reduce a high packet drop rate.


  1. To view the maximum RX ring buffer size:

    # ethtool -g enp1s0
     Ring parameters for enp1s0:
     Pre-set maximums:
     RX:             4080
     RX Mini:        0
     RX Jumbo:       16320
     TX:             255
     Current hardware settings:
     RX:             255
     RX Mini:        0
     RX Jumbo:       0
     TX:             255
  2. If the values in the Pre-set maximums section are higher than in the Current hardware settings section, increase RX ring buffer:


Depending on the driver your network interface card uses, changing in the ring buffer can shortly interrupt the network connection.