This setup page is specific to the Multipath TCP support in the Linux kernel.

Kernel version

MPTCP support debuted with version 5.6 of the Linux kernel. It has continued to evolve, and is still evolving today. See the ChangeLog for more details.

For this reason, we do recommend you to use a recent kernel, ideally the last stable version, or the last “long term support” (LTS) one.

Note that the RedHat/CentOS kernels have a good support for MPTCP, where new features and bug fixes are regularly backported.

Enable MPTCP

Most recent GNU/Linux distributions support MPTCP by default. It is very likely MPTCP is already enabled, and you can skip this section.

Linux kernel build configuration

The Linux kernel being used has to be compiled with CONFIG_MPTCP=y and CONFIG_MPTCP_IPV6=y options, and ideally CONFIG_INET_MPTCP_DIAG=y/m. If not, please report this to your GNU/Linux distribution: MPTCP in the kernel doesn’t add much overhead, and is enabled in most main Linux distributions (Debian, Ubuntu, RedHat, Fedora, etc.), and other specific ones like Raspbian.

Note that CONFIG_MPTCP_IPV6=y requires IPV6 to be inlined (=y), and not built as a module (=m). Having IPV6 inlined is recommended by NetDev maintainers anyway: today, it is very likely that IPv6 will be used, e.g. for the loopback address.

Enable the creation of MPTCP sockets

If available, MPTCP should be enabled by default. If not, change this sysctl knob:

sysctl net.mptcp.enabled=1

Note that MPTCP can also be blocked by SELinux, eBPF, etc. Please check with your system administrators if it is the case.

Force applications to use MPTCP

By default, applications will only use MPTCP if it has been explicitly requested when creating a stream network socket to communicate with the outside work. In other words, you likely have to enable an option in the app you want to use with MPTCP, or to force MPTCP by changing the behaviour of an app. The best is to have MPTCP supported natively by applications, so they know where MPTCP is being used, and they can act accordingly, e.g. force a fallback to TCP if MPTCP is not supported by the kernel, etc.

Apps can be forced to use MPTCP with one of the following methods:

  • mptcpize: internally, it uses the LD_PRELOAD technique to force creating MPTCP sockets, instead of a TCP ones. Only MPTCP sockets will then be created, instead of TCP.

    mptcpize run <command>
    mptcpize enable <systemd unit>
  • GODEBUG: For applications written in GO, the libC is not used, so mptcpize does not work. Since GoLang 1.21, it is possible to force MPTCP by setting the environment variable GODEBUG=multipathtcp=1:

    GODEBUG=multipathtcp=1 <command>
  • eBPF: since kernel v6.6, it is possible to change the socket being created per cGroup. A small eBPF program – e.g. mptcpify – can be used, see this example.

  • SystemTap can also be used to modify the socket system call. See this documentation for more details about that.

Using multiple IP addresses

To be able to use multiple IP addresses on a host to create multiple subflows (paths), the MPTCP path-manager needs to know which IP addresses can be used.

A server having only one network interface does not need to configure anything else: the client will create additional subflows as needed.

It might be interesting to announce additional IPv4/6 addresses. Some clients might be connected to networks having only an IPv4 or an IPv6 address. Also consider that IPv4 and IPv6 packets are often routed differently through some networks, resulting in different latencies.

Path-Manager configuration

With the default in-kernel MPTCP path-manager, additional IP addresses need to be specified.

This configuration can be automated with tools like Network Manager – in command lines, look for mptcp-flags in the settings – and mptcpd. Here, the focus is on manual configuration, using the ip mptcp command.

With the userspace MPTCP path-manager – sysctl net.mptcp.pm_type=0 – the configuration has to be done on the userspace daemon side.


MPTCP endpoints can be configured with

ip mptcp endpoint add <IP address> dev <interface> [ signal | subflow ] [ backup ] [ fullmesh ]

It is important to specify the network interface linked to the address by adding dev <interface>. If not, the routing will probably not be done properly, and will require manual configuration, see below: Manual Routing Configuration.

One of the following flags needs to be set:

  • signal: The endpoint will be announced to each peer via an MPTCP ADD_ADDR sub-option. Typically, a server would be responsible for this.
  • subflow: The endpoint will be used to create an additional subflow using the given source IP address. A client would typically do this.

Optionally, the following flags can be set:

  • backup: Subflows created from this endpoint instruct the peers to only send data on it when all non-backup subflows are unavailable.
  • fullmesh: The MPTCP path manager will try to create an additional subflow for each known peer address, using this endpoint as the source IP address.

The IP address is an IPv4 or IPv6 address.


It is also important to make sure the limits are high enough:

ip mptcp limits set [ subflows NR ] [ add_addr_accepted NR ]

subflows is the limit of created and accepted subflows (paths), and add_addr_accepted is the limit of accepted ADD_ADDR – IP address notification from the other peer – that will result in the creation of subflows.


  • Servers can announce extra IP addresses:
    ip mptcp endpoint add signal
  • Clients can create additional subflows from a cellular interface, and flag this subflow as “backup”, to be used to carry data only if the main path is unavailable:
    ip mptcp endpoint add subflow backup

Manual routing configuration

Only if MPTCP endpoints have not been configured with a network interface

The system needs to know how to route packets from a specific IP address to the correct network interface.

This manual routing configuration should not be required if the MPTCP endpoints have been configured with a network interface dev <interface>, and if the GNU/Linux distribution has automatically configured default route attached to each network interface. To verify the latter, please check if the following command ip route show default lists all the IPs you want to use with a dev and a src.

To be able to use multiple paths from different local IP addresses at the same time, it is then required to configure the system to route the traffic from a specific local IP address (e.g. the one of the Wi-Fi) through the correct interface, and not the default one. Such configuration can be automated with tools like Network Manager, but here, we will focus on the manual configuration, using ip route and ip rule commands.

For each (additional) interface that will be used with MPTCP, run the following commands with the correct IP address and a different table number:

ip rule add from <local interface IP address> table <table number>
ip route add default via <default gateway IP> dev <interface name> table <table number>

This configuration might need to be done with both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses.


On a system with 3 network interfaces:

  • Ethernet:
    • IP Address:
    • Gateway (next hop):
  • Wi-Fi:
    • IP Address:
    • Gateway (next hop):
  • Cellular:
    • IP Address:
    • Gateway (next hop):

Where the Ethernet interface is the default one:

$ ip route show default
default via dev eth0 (...) metric 100
default via dev wlan0 (...) metric 600
default via dev usb0 (...) metric 1000

It is then required to configure the routing for the Wi-Fi and the cellular interface, not to have the traffic routed only through the Ethernet interface:

ip rule add from table 42
ip route add default via dev wlan0 table 42

ip rule add from table 43
ip route add default via dev wlan0 table 43