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Date:   Tue, 26 Feb 2019 01:46:01 -0500
From:   Kris Van Hees <kris.van.hees@...cle.com>
To:     Alexei Starovoitov <alexei.starovoitov@...il.com>
Cc:     Kris Van Hees <kris.van.hees@...cle.com>, netdev@...r.kernel.org,
        bpf@...r.kernel.org, daniel@...earbox.net
Subject: Re: [PATCH 0/2] bpf: context casting for tail call and gtrace prog
 type

On Mon, Feb 25, 2019 at 10:18:25PM -0800, Alexei Starovoitov wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 25, 2019 at 07:54:13AM -0800, Kris Van Hees wrote:
> > 
> > The goal is to further extend the BPF_PROG_TYPE_GTRACE implementation to
> > support what tracers commonly need, and I am also looking at ways to further
> > extend this model to allow more tracer-specific features as well without the
> > need for adding a BPF program types for every tracer.
> 
> It seems by themselves the patches don't provide any new functionality,
> but instead look like plumbing to call external code.

The patches are definitely not plumbing to call external code, and if I gave
that impression I apologise.  I overlooked the information you quote below on
allowing new functionality through modules when I wrote the comment above but
please note that it was a forward-looking comment in terms of what could be
done - not a reason for the patches that I submitted.

The patches accomplish something that is totally independent from that: they
make it possible for existing events that execute BPF programs when triggered
to transfer control to a BPF program with a more rich context.  The first
patch makes such a transfer possible (using tail-call combined with converting
the context to the new program type), and the second patch provides one such
program type (generic trace).  The new functionality provided by the program
type is direct access to task information that previously could only be
obtained through helper calls.  E.g. the new program type allows programs to
access the task state, prio, ppid, euid, and egid.  None of those pieces of
information can currently be obtained unless you start poking around in
memory using bpf_probe_read() helper calls.

> This is no-go.
> There were several attempts to do so in the past, so we documented it here:
> Documentation/bpf/bpf_design_QA.rst
> Q: New functionality via kernel modules?
> ----------------------------------------
> Q: Can BPF functionality such as new program or map types, new
> helpers, etc be added out of kernel module code?
> 
> A: NO.
> 
> The answer is still the same.

Thanks for pointing this out - but again, my reference to modules was merely
musing about the possibilities.  This information clearly closes the door on
that train of thought, but that is not directly related to what I am doing
with the patches I submitted.

	Kris

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