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Date:   Wed, 11 Dec 2019 22:50:56 +0000
From:   Martin Lau <kafai@...com>
To:     Andrii Nakryiko <andriin@...com>
CC:     "bpf@...r.kernel.org" <bpf@...r.kernel.org>,
        "netdev@...r.kernel.org" <netdev@...r.kernel.org>,
        Alexei Starovoitov <ast@...com>,
        "daniel@...earbox.net" <daniel@...earbox.net>,
        "andrii.nakryiko@...il.com" <andrii.nakryiko@...il.com>,
        Kernel Team <Kernel-team@...com>
Subject: Re: [Potential Spoof] [PATCH bpf-next 11/15] bpftool: add skeleton
 codegen command

On Mon, Dec 09, 2019 at 05:14:34PM -0800, Andrii Nakryiko wrote:
> Add `bpftool gen skeleton` command, which takes in compiled BPF .o object file
> and dumps a BPF skeleton struct and related code to work with that skeleton.
> Skeleton itself is tailored to a specific structure of provided BPF object
> file, containing accessors (just plain struct fields) for every map and
> program, as well as dedicated space for bpf_links. If BPF program is using
> global variables, corresponding structure definitions of compatible memory
> layout are emitted as well, making it possible to initialize and subsequently
> read/update global variables values using simple and clear C syntax for
> accessing fields. This skeleton majorly improves usability of
> opening/loading/attaching of BPF object, as well as interacting with it
> throughout the lifetime of loaded BPF object.
> 
> Generated skeleton struct has the following structure:
> 
> struct <object-name> {
> 	/* used by libbpf's skeleton API */
> 	struct bpf_object_skeleton *skeleton;
> 	/* bpf_object for libbpf APIs */
> 	struct bpf_object *obj;
> 	struct {
> 		/* for every defined map in BPF object: */
> 		struct bpf_map *<map-name>;
> 	} maps;
> 	struct {
> 		/* for every program in BPF object: */
> 		struct bpf_program *<program-name>;
> 	} progs;
> 	struct {
> 		/* for every program in BPF object: */
> 		struct bpf_link *<program-name>;
> 	} links;
> 	/* for every present global data section: */
> 	struct <object-name>__<one of bss, data, or rodata> {
> 		/* memory layout of corresponding data section,
> 		 * with every defined variable represented as a struct field
> 		 * with exactly the same type, but without const/volatile
> 		 * modifiers, e.g.:
> 		 */
> 		 int *my_var_1;
> 		 ...
> 	} *<one of bss, data, or rodata>;
> };
> 
> This provides great usability improvements:
> - no need to look up maps and programs by name, instead just
>   my_obj->maps.my_map or my_obj->progs.my_prog would give necessary
>   bpf_map/bpf_program pointers, which user can pass to existing libbpf APIs;
> - pre-defined places for bpf_links, which will be automatically populated for
>   program types that libbpf knows how to attach automatically (currently
>   tracepoints, kprobe/kretprobe, raw tracepoint and tracing programs). On
>   tearing down skeleton, all active bpf_links will be destroyed (meaning BPF
>   programs will be detached, if they are attached). For cases in which libbpf
>   doesn't know how to auto-attach BPF program, user can manually create link
>   after loading skeleton and they will be auto-detached on skeleton
>   destruction:
> 
> 	my_obj->links.my_fancy_prog = bpf_program__attach_cgroup_whatever(
> 		my_obj->progs.my_fancy_prog, <whatever extra param);
> 
> - it's extremely easy and convenient to work with global data from userspace
>   now. Both for read-only and read/write variables, it's possible to
>   pre-initialize them before skeleton is loaded:
> 
> 	skel = my_obj__open(raw_embed_data);
> 	my_obj->rodata->my_var = 123;
This will be very useful.  I can think of one immediate use on this
for my current TCP work.

> 	my_obj__load(skel); /* 123 will be initialization value for my_var */
> 

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