Rate limiting matchings

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You can ratelimit traffic through limit, you can either do it per-packet or per-byte.

Per packet

The following example shows how to accept a maximum of 10 ICMP echo-request packets per second:

% nft add rule filter input icmp type echo-request limit rate 10/second accept

This rule matches for packets below the 10/second rate. Those packets will be accepted, therefore you will need a rule to drop packets over the ratelimit - which will not match the rule above.

You can also express things the other way around, ie.

% nft add rule filter input icmp type echo-request limit rate over 10/second drop

In the example above, over specifies that the rule is matching packets over the rate limit, and those packets will be dropped.

Per byte

Since Linux kernel 4.3, you can also ratelimit per bytes:

% nft add rule filter input limit rate 10 mbytes/second accept

The rule above accepts traffic below the 10 mbytes/seconds rate.

You can also use the over option to match packets going over the rate limit, eg.

% nft add rule filter input limit rate over 10 mbytes/second drop

The rule above drops packets over the 10 MBytes per second rate.

Burst

You can also use the burst parameter to indicate the number of packets/bytes you can exceed the ratelimit:

% nft add rule filter input limit rate 10 mbytes/second burst 9000 kbytes accept

This indicates that you can exceed the ratelimit in 9000 kbytes.

You can also use it for packets:

% nft add rule filter input icmp type echo-request limit rate 10/second burst 2 packets counter accept

So you can exceed the rate in 2 packets.

You can also use the limit expression for traffic policing in a rule using the ingress hook in the new netdev family (instead of using the tc command).

The over keyword allows you to use limit intuitively in a chain with policy accept:

% nft add rule netdev filter ingress pkttype broadcast limit rate over 10/second drop