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Date:   Thu, 05 Mar 2020 11:50:32 +0100
From:   Toke Høiland-Jørgensen <>
To:     Daniel Borkmann <>,
        Andrii Nakryiko <>
Cc:     Andrii Nakryiko <>, bpf <>,
        Networking <>,
        Alexei Starovoitov <>,
        Kernel Team <>, Yonghong Song <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH v3 bpf-next 1/3] bpf: switch BPF UAPI #define constants used from BPF program side to enums

Daniel Borkmann <> writes:

> On 3/4/20 4:38 PM, Daniel Borkmann wrote:
>> On 3/4/20 10:37 AM, Toke Høiland-Jørgensen wrote:
>>> Andrii Nakryiko <> writes:
>>>> On Tue, Mar 3, 2020 at 3:01 PM Daniel Borkmann <> wrote:
>>>>> On 3/3/20 1:32 AM, Andrii Nakryiko wrote:
>>>>>> Switch BPF UAPI constants, previously defined as #define macro, to anonymous
>>>>>> enum values. This preserves constants values and behavior in expressions, but
>>>>>> has added advantaged of being captured as part of DWARF and, subsequently, BTF
>>>>>> type info. Which, in turn, greatly improves usefulness of generated vmlinux.h
>>>>>> for BPF applications, as it will not require BPF users to copy/paste various
>>>>>> flags and constants, which are frequently used with BPF helpers. Only those
>>>>>> constants that are used/useful from BPF program side are converted.
>>>>>> Signed-off-by: Andrii Nakryiko <>
>>>>> Just thinking out loud, is there some way this could be resolved generically
>>>>> either from compiler side or via additional tooling where this ends up as BTF
>>>>> data and thus inside vmlinux.h as anon enum eventually? bpf.h is one single
>>>>> header and worst case libbpf could also ship a copy of it (?), but what about
>>>>> all the other things one would need to redefine e.g. for tracing? Small example
>>>>> that comes to mind are all these TASK_* defines in sched.h etc, and there's
>>>>> probably dozens of other similar stuff needed too depending on the particular
>>>>> case; would be nice to have some generic catch-all, hmm.
>>>> Enum convertion seems to be the simplest and cleanest way,
>>>> unfortunately (as far as I know). DWARF has some extensions capturing
>>>> #defines, but values are strings (and need to be parsed, which is pain
>>>> already for "1 << 1ULL"), and it's some obscure extension, not a
>>>> standard thing. I agree would be nice not to have and change all UAPI
>>>> headers for this, but I'm not aware of the solution like that.
>>> Since this is a UAPI header, are we sure that no userspace programs are
>>> using these defines in #ifdefs or something like that?
>> Hm, yes, anyone doing #ifdefs on them would get build issues. Simple example:
>> enum {
>>          FOO = 42,
>> //#define FOO   FOO
>> };
>> #ifndef FOO
>> # warning "bar"
>> #endif
>> int main(int argc, char **argv)
>> {
>>          return FOO;
>> }
>> $ gcc -Wall -O2 foo.c
>> foo.c:7:3: warning: #warning "bar" [-Wcpp]
>>      7 | # warning "bar"
>>        |   ^~~~~~~
>> Commenting #define FOO FOO back in fixes it as we discussed in v2:
>> $ gcc -Wall -O2 foo.c
>> $
>> There's also a flag_enum attribute, but with the experiments I tried yesterday
>> night I couldn't get a warning to trigger for anonymous enums at least, so that
>> part should be ok.
>> I was about to push the series out, but agree that there may be a risk for #ifndefs
>> in the BPF C code. If we want to be on safe side, #define FOO FOO would be needed.
> I checked Cilium, LLVM, bcc, bpftrace code, and various others at least there it
> seems okay with the current approach, meaning no such if{,n}def seen that would
> cause a build warning. Also suricata seems to ship the BPF header itself. But
> iproute2 had the following in include/bpf_util.h:
> # define BPF_PSEUDO_MAP_FD      1
> #endif
> It's still not what was converted though. I would expect risk might be
> rather low.

OK, fair enough; thank you for checking :)

> Toke, is there anything on your side affected?

Nope, we're not #if-testing for any of the variables changed in this
patch in either xdp-tutorial or xdp-tools.


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