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SubjectRe: [PATCH v3 bpf-next 1/3] bpf: Add bpf_perf_prog_read_branches() helper
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On Fri Jan 24, 2020 at 8:25 AM, Martin Lau wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 23, 2020 at 06:02:58PM -0800, Daniel Xu wrote:
> > On Thu Jan 23, 2020 at 4:49 PM, John Fastabend wrote:
> > [...]
> > > > * function eBPF program intends to call
> > > > diff --git a/kernel/trace/bpf_trace.c b/kernel/trace/bpf_trace.c
> > > > index 19e793aa441a..24c51272a1f7 100644
> > > > --- a/kernel/trace/bpf_trace.c
> > > > +++ b/kernel/trace/bpf_trace.c
> > > > @@ -1028,6 +1028,35 @@ static const struct bpf_func_proto bpf_perf_prog_read_value_proto = {
> > > > .arg3_type = ARG_CONST_SIZE,
> > > > };
> > > >
> > > > +BPF_CALL_3(bpf_perf_prog_read_branches, struct bpf_perf_event_data_kern *, ctx,
> > > > + void *, buf, u32, size)
> > > > +{
> > > > + struct perf_branch_stack *br_stack = ctx->data->br_stack;
> > > > + u32 to_copy = 0, to_clear = size;
> > > > + int err = -EINVAL;
> > > > +
> > > > + if (unlikely(!br_stack))
> > > > + goto clear;
> > > > +
> > > > + to_copy = min_t(u32, br_stack->nr * sizeof(struct perf_branch_entry), size);
> > > > + to_clear -= to_copy;
> > > > +
> > > > + memcpy(buf, br_stack->entries, to_copy);
> > > > + err = to_copy;
> > > > +clear:
> > >
> > >
> > > There appears to be agreement to clear the extra buffer on error but
> > > what about
> > > in the non-error case? I expect one usage pattern is to submit a fairly
> > > large
> > > buffer, large enough to handle worse case nr, in this case we end up
> > > zero'ing
> > > memory even in the succesful case. Can we skip the clear in this case?
> > > Maybe
> > > its not too important either way but seems unnecessary.
> After some thoughts, I also think clearing for non-error case
> is not ideal. DanielXu, is it the common use case to always
> have a large enough buf size to capture the interested data?

Yeah, ideally you want all of the data. But since branch data is already
sampled, it's not too bad to lose some events as long as they're
consistently lost (eg only keep 4 branch entries).

I personally don't have strong opinions about clearing unused buffer on
success. However the internal documentation does say the helper must
fill all the buffer, regardless of success. It seems like from this
conversation there's no functional difference.

>
>
> > >
> > >
> > > > + memset(buf + to_copy, 0, to_clear);
> > > > + return err;
> > > > +}
> > >
> >
> > Given Yonghong's suggestion of a flag argument, we need to allow users
> > to pass in a null ptr while getting buffer size. So I'll change the `buf`
> > argument to be ARG_PTR_TO_MEM_OR_NULL, which requires the buffer be
> > initialized. We can skip zero'ing out altogether.
> >
> > Although I think the end result is the same -- now the user has to zero it
> > out. Unfortunately ARG_PTR_TO_UNINITIALIZED_MEM_OR_NULL is not
> > implemented yet.
> A "flags" arg can be added but not used to keep our option open in the
> future. Not sure it has to be implemented now though.
> I would think whether there is an immediate usecase to learn
> br_stack->nr through an extra bpf helper call in every event.
>
>
> When there is a use case for learning br_stack->nr,
> there may have multiple ways to do it also,
> this "flags" arg, or another helper,
> or br_stack->nr may be read directly with the help of BTF.

I thought about this more and I think one use case could be to figure
out how many branch entries you failed to collect and report it to
userspace for aggregation later. I agree there are multiple ways to do
it, but they would all require another helper call.

Since right now you have to statically define your buffer size, it's
quite easy to lose entries. So for completeness of the API, it would be
good to know how much data you lost.

Doing it via a flag seems fairly natural to me. Another helper seems a
little overkill. BTF could work but it's a less strong API guarantee
than the helper (ie field name changes).

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