Comparative packet-forwarding measurement of three popular operating systems

K. Salah, M. Hamawi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This papers measures and compares the network performance (with respect to packet forwarding) of three popular operating systems when used in today's Gigabit Ethernet networks. Specifically, the paper compares the performance in terms of packet forwarding of Linux, Windows Server and Windows XP. We measure both kernel- and user-level packet forwarding when subjecting hosts to different traffic load conditions. The performance is compared and analyzed in terms of throughput, packet loss, delay, and CPU availability. Our evaluation methodology is based on packet-forwarding measurement which is a standard and popular benchmark and evaluation methodology to assess the performance of network elements such as servers, gateways, routers, and switches. Our evaluation methodology considers different configuration setups and utilizes open-source software tools to generate relatively high traffic rates. We consider today's typical network hosts of modern processors and Gigabit network cards. Our measurements show that in general Linux exhibits superior overall performance in the case of kernel (or IP) packet forwarding, whereas Windows Server exhibits superior performance in the case of user-level packet forwarding.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)1039-1048
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Network and Computer Applications
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • Gigabit ethernet
  • Linux
  • Operating systems
  • Packet forwarding
  • Performance
  • Windows


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