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Date:	Mon, 19 Oct 2009 09:20:33 +0100
To:	Maciej Żenczykowski <>
Cc:	David Miller <>,,,,,
Subject: Re: [PATCH] Add sk_mark route lookup support for IPv4 listening
	sockets, and for IPv4 multicast forwarding


On Wed, Oct 14, 2009 at 11:33:39AM -0700, Maciej Żenczykowski wrote:
> > I don't agree. There are two route lookups with a tunnel, the
> > internal one and the tunnel one. Here is an example of what I'm
> > thinking:
> >
> > 1. Look up a route which points at a remote ip addres via a tunnel device.
> >   The "setmark" on this route sets the skb mark
> imho, this is much better done by having the mark setting performed
> explicitly by the tunnel device itself.
> That's also were we set ttl and qos (or inherit) on the outgoing packet).
Yes, I think (having looked at the code a bit more in the mean time)
that there is an argument for doing that. Although I still think that
setting the mark via the routing table would be a useful feature too.

> > 2. Look up a route on the tunnel itself (i.e. the tunnel endpoint not
> >   the socket endpoint) using the mark from the initial lookup. This
> >   route can depend on the previous lookup (if there are multiple
> >   routes for multiple marks) and also set the mark to use.
> we would get the mark set by the tunneling module here.
> > The default would be to inherit the mark over a route lookup, in
> > case that no "setmark" had been specified for that route. In
> > other words, it would be the same as it is now.
> I'm not saying your solution wouldn't work, but I think it's less
> clean.  I don't think marking should be inherited (in the general
> case) in case of packet wrapping (whether via gre, ipip, sit, or other
> methods).
I guess we could say that inheriting the mark would not be the default
if the packet has gone through a device (whether virtual or physical)
then. That still seems ok to me since its basically what happens currently
I think.
> > The mark is supposed to be a generic thing, not just for routing
> > lookups, it can be used for classification, etc as well. I would
> > expect to see such a thing used for maybe specifying a VLAN or
> > a reference to an MPLS label stack, or something similar too,
> Right, the mark can currently (as far as I know) be set in one of two
> ways - either from the mangle table (and it can also be matched on in
> netfilter) or by using setsockopt(SO_MARK).
> Imagine a situation where you have a machine with routing already
> configured (pretty complex setup, tunnels, firewalls, etc) and you
> want to run a user space application that verifies (health-checks)
> some remote host (or something).  As part of the health check you want
> to verify a particular route to the destination.  This requires
> per-socket routing, which can (almost) be achieved by having proper
> routing (on fwmark) setup and using setsockopt(SO_MARK) on the health
> check socket in order to force specific routing.  These health checks
> may then of course be feedback into the routing system (ie. if they
> fail the routing rules get modified).  Note, that in particular we may
> want to be healthchecking routes that aren't even available in the
> default routing table (because they've currently been removed from the
> default table, because previous health checks failed).
> Maciej

Yes, thats a good use case. I think there are a lot of other potential
use cases too though. A while back when I was looking into MPLS I wondered
about using the mark to index into a set of outgoing label stacks. That
was the original reason that I thought setting the mark via the routing
table would be useful. I've not really had the time to continue my
MPLS investigations recently though :(

Another potential use case would be to segregate traffic into different
routing domains (and thus being able to change the mark when moving from
one routing domain to another might be useful).


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