I can be a bit of a stickler for correct terminology at work.

Recently we have been dealing with the effects of Large Receive Offload on our application. To quote wikipedia

It works by aggregating multiple incoming packets from a single stream into a larger buffer before they are passed higher up the networking stack, thus reducing the number of packets that have to be processed.

I have heard people at work refer to these as Jumbo packets. I am aware of Jumbo Frames in Ethernet. I think there could be confusion because Jumbo Frames are about what flows on the physical network - they affect the MTU, whereas LRO is only in the software layer and the MTU hasn't changed.

Is it correct to refer to any packet over 1500 bytes as a Jumbo packet, regardless of whether it was flowing on the physical network or not?

1 Answer 1


"Jumbo" should only refer to data on the wire. Once the NIC has collected the packets it does not pass something that looks like a Jumbo Frame up the stack, it only passes a buffer to a kernel driver. It generally only works on TCP steams, and requires the NIC to work at OSI level 3 to process the packets.

  • This sounds correct to me. It would be nice to have some references to back that up. I wonder if there is a standards document, an RFC or equivalent for Ethernet that makes use of the term Jumbo.
    – Sam Elstob
    Feb 15, 2013 at 13:39

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