Bundle Protocol (BP)

The Bundle Protocol provides datagram transport over a high-delay or disrupted network using a variety of convergence layers (TCPCL, LTPCL, etc.) to give per-hop bundle transport between BP nodes.


BPv6 was standardized in RFC 5050. BPv7 was standardized in RFC 9171.

Protocol dependencies

  • UDPCL: The BPv6 has a trivial convergence layer which uses a bundle PDU as a UDP datagram payload. This unreliable CL has no additional framing, metadata, or flow control.
  • TCPCL: The BPv6 had defined a corresponding TCPCL version 3 and BPv7 has defined a TCPCL version 4 to provide reliable transfer over low-delay (e.g. local or terresterial) data links.
  • LTPCL: The BPv6 has an experimental Licklider Transmission Protocol to provide reliable transfer over high-delay and lossy data links. There is currently no disambiguation between BPv6 and v6 over LTP; only one client service ID has been allocated for "Bundle Protocol".
  • BPSec: The BP uses extension Block Integrity Block (BIB) and Block Confidentiality Block (BCB) to provide block-level security.


The BP dissector supports extension block dissecting using sub-dissector tables and payload dissection as an administrative record or based on destination EID service identification. The dissection hierarchy looks like:

  1. If the bundle flag indicates Administrative payload, the "bpv7.admin" dissector is used.
  2. Otherwise, the destination EID is used to determine how to dissect the payload.
    • For the "dtn" scheme, with a well-known scheme specific part (e.g. "dtn:none") the SSP is used with the "bpv7.payload.dtn_wkssp" dissector table.
    • For the "dtn" scheme, the DTN service demux is used with the "bpv7.payload.dtn_serv" dissector table.
    • For the "ipn" scheme, the IPN service number is used with the "bpv7.payload.ipn_serv" dissector table.
  3. Otherwise, the heuristic dissector "bpv7.btsd".

Preference Settings

The BPv7 dissector contains a heuristic dissector for block-type-specific data (BTSD) which currently uses CBOR as a fallback. This heuristic dissector applies to all BTSD, including the payload bloack data.

Example capture file

The unit test tree contains a BPv6 and BPv7 test file using separate CLs.



Display Filter

Show only BPv6 traffic with filter bundle and BPv7 traffic with filter bpv7.

Show TCPCL traffic with filter tcpcl, LTP traffic with filter ltp.

External links

  • RFC 5050 Bundle Protocol Specification
  • RFC 5326 Licklider Transmission Protocol - Specification
  • RFC 7122 Datagram Convergence Layers
  • RFC 7242 TCP Convergence Layer Version 3
  • RFC 9171 Bundle Protocol Version 7
  • RFC 9172 Bundle Protocol Security
  • RFC 9174 TCP Convergence Layer Version 4