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Date:   Sun, 7 Apr 2019 01:55:14 +0200
From:   Daniel Borkmann <>
To:     Alexei Starovoitov <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH bpf-next v4 01/16] bpf: implement lookup-free direct value
 access for maps

On 04/06/2019 06:54 PM, Alexei Starovoitov wrote:
> On Sat, Apr 06, 2019 at 12:58:23PM +0200, Daniel Borkmann wrote:
>> On 04/06/2019 03:56 AM, Alexei Starovoitov wrote:
>>> On Fri, Apr 05, 2019 at 10:59:27PM +0200, Daniel Borkmann wrote:
>>>> -/* when bpf_ldimm64->src_reg == BPF_PSEUDO_MAP_FD, bpf_ldimm64->imm == fd */
>>>> +/* When BPF ldimm64's insn[0].src_reg != 0 then this can have
>>>> + * two extensions:
>>>> + *
>>>> + * insn[0].src_reg:  BPF_PSEUDO_MAP_FD   BPF_PSEUDO_MAP_VALUE
>>>> + * insn[0].imm:      map fd              map fd
>>>> + * insn[1].imm:      0                   offset into value
>>>> + * insn[0].off:      0                   lower 16 bit of map index
>>>> + * insn[1].off:      0                   higher 16 bit of map index
>>>> + * ldimm64 rewrite:  address of map      address of map[index]+offset
>>>> + * verifier type:    CONST_PTR_TO_MAP    PTR_TO_MAP_VALUE
>>> ...
>>>> +	else if (insn->src_reg == BPF_PSEUDO_MAP_VALUE)
>>>> +		snprintf(dd->scratch_buff, sizeof(dd->scratch_buff),
>>>> +			 "map[id:%u][%u]+%u", insn->imm,
>>>> +			 ((__u32)(__u16)insn[0].off) |
>>>> +			 ((__u32)(__u16)insn[1].off) << 16,
>>>> +			 (insn + 1)->imm);
>>> Hopefully one last nit...
>>> Do we really need to allow this odd split index support?
>>> Later patches enforce array of 1 element and libbpf only uses that.
>>> This index feature feels too quirky and not really useful at this moment.
>>> Can we enforce that insn[0|1].off == 0 instead ?
>>> Later we can extend it to mean index without breaking anything.
>> I originally didn't have it in v2 of the series, but I ended up
>> implementing it after feedback from Andrii back then complaining
>> that it's too specific and not generic enough. I agreed with him
>> that the limitation of max_elems = 1 wasn't too nice, so I went
>> to implement that full 32 bit index can be used thus that it has
>> the potential of efficient map lookup replacement for array maps in
>> general which is quite nice since within single insn it allows to
>> select index and offset into value all as simple 64 bit imm load.
> I missed this discussion.
> It sort-of sounds nice from kernel side, but how one can use it
> from bpf program written in C ?
> If it's assembler only feature, I'd rather not do it.
> statc int ar1[N];
> and 
> static struct S { ...} ar2[M];
> will still be normal map of 1 element from llvm side.
> Right now there is no support for variable length access
> into static vars. When it's added in the future the ar[var] will be
> some base offset into map of 1 element plus register addition.
> So no opportunity to use 'index'.
> bpf_map_lookup_elem(map, &key); from program side passes
> a pointer and it's a function call. Even if key is constant
> register spill/fill due to function call caused perf loss,
> so extra 'index' optimization won't buy much.
> We can introduce some special intrinsic/builtin to support
> this 'index' from C, but it's not pretty.
> So far I couldn't come up with C example that can use such 'index' feature.

Wrt 'index' was mostly thinking into llvm-builtin direction for how
it could be consumed from C aside from loaders. One example for complex
networking programs that comes to mind right away would be mib-style error
counters similarly we have in the stack where the counter acts as index for
the direct lookup. Another option [for loaders] could be (given the sections
are for the whole object) to allow an option for some of the programs in
a given object to have private .bss/.data/.rodata sections by allocating
max_elems > 1 and selecting the target buffer via index given nothing
changes in terms of size or vars. I still think it's a useful extension
to carry and keeps the direct value access a generic implementation.


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