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Date:   Thu, 18 Jun 2020 00:53:47 -0700
From:   Hao Luo <haoluo@...gle.com>
To:     Andrii Nakryiko <andrii.nakryiko@...il.com>
Cc:     Andrii Nakryiko <andriin@...com>, bpf <bpf@...r.kernel.org>,
        Networking <netdev@...r.kernel.org>,
        Alexei Starovoitov <ast@...com>,
        Daniel Borkmann <daniel@...earbox.net>,
        Kernel Team <kernel-team@...com>,
        Arnaldo Carvalho de Melo <acme@...nel.org>,
        Song Liu <songliubraving@...com>,
        Quentin Monnet <quentin@...valent.com>
Subject: Re: [RFC PATCH bpf-next 2/8] libbpf: add support for extracting
 kernel symbol addresses

Sounds good. Thanks.

On Tue, Jun 16, 2020 at 6:37 PM Andrii Nakryiko
<andrii.nakryiko@...il.com> wrote:
>
> On Tue, Jun 16, 2020 at 6:24 PM Hao Luo <haoluo@...gle.com> wrote:
> >
> > Andrii,
> >
> > Do you think we need to put the kernel's variables in one single
> > DATASEC in vmlinux BTF? It looks like all the ksyms in the program
> > will be under one ".ksyms" section, so we are not able to tell whether
> > a ksym is from a percpu section or a .rodata section. Without this
> > information, if the vmlinux has multiple DATASECs, the loader may need
> > to traverse all of them. If vmlinux BTF has only one DATASEC, it
> > matches the object's BTF better.
> >
> > Right now, the percpu vars are in a ".data..percpu" DATASEC in my
> > patch and the plan seems that we will introduce more DATASECs to hold
> > other data.
> >
> > Please let me know your insights here. Thanks.
>
> I think we should keep original DATASECs in vmlinux's BTF, so that
> they match ELF sections. Otherwise BTF is going to lie and will cause
> confusion down the road in the longer term.
>
> On the BPF program side, though, I think we'll limit it to just two
> special sections: .ksyms and .ksyms.percpu. libbpf will have to
> traverse all vmlinux DATASECs to find corresponding variables, but
> that's ok, it has to do the linear scan either way.
>
> >
> > Hao
> >
> > On Tue, Jun 16, 2020 at 1:05 AM Hao Luo <haoluo@...gle.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > On Mon, Jun 15, 2020 at 12:08 PM Andrii Nakryiko
> > > <andrii.nakryiko@...il.com> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > On Mon, Jun 15, 2020 at 9:44 AM Hao Luo <haoluo@...gle.com> wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > Thanks, Andrii,
> > > > >
> > > > > This change looks nice! A couple of comments:
> > > > >
> > > > > 1. A 'void' type variable looks slightly odd from a user's perspective. How about using 'u64' or 'void *'? Or at least, a named type, which aliases to 'void'?
> > > >
> > > > That choice is very deliberate one. `extern const void` is the right
> > > > way in C language to access linker-generated symbols, for instance,
> > > > which is quite similar to what the intent is her. Having void type is
> > > > very explicit that you don't know/care about that value pointed to by
> > > > extern address, the only operation you can perform is to get it's
> > > > address.
> > > >
> > > > Once we add kernel variables support, that's when types will start to
> > > > be specified and libbpf will do extra checks (type matching) and extra
> > > > work (generating ldimm64 with BTF ID, for instance), to allow C code
> > > > to access data pointed to by extern address.
> > > >
> > > > Switching type to u64 would be misleading in allowing C code to
> > > > implicitly dereference value of extern. E.g., there is a big
> > > > difference between:
> > > >
> > > > extern u64 bla;
> > > >
> > > > printf("%lld\n", bla); /* de-reference happens here, we get contents
> > > > of memory pointed to by "bla" symbol */
> > > >
> > > > printf("%p\n", &bla); /* here we get value of linker symbol/address of
> > > > extern variable */
> > > >
> > > > Currently I explicitly support only the latter and want to prevent the
> > > > former, until we have kernel variables in BTF. Using `extern void`
> > > > makes compiler enforce that only the &bla form is allowed. Everything
> > > > else is compilation error.
> > > >
> > >
> > > Ah, I see. I've been taking the extern variable as an actual variable
> > > that contains the symbol's address, which is the first case. Your
> > > approach makes sense. Thanks for explaining.
> > >
> > > > > 2. About the type size of ksym, IIUC, it looks strange that the values read from kallsyms have 8 bytes but their corresponding vs->size is 4 bytes and vs->type points to 4-byte int. Can we make them of the same size?
> > > >
> > > > That's a bit of a hack on my part. Variable needs to point to some
> > > > type, which size will match the size of datasec's varinfo entry. This
> > > > is checked and enforced by kernel. I'm looking for 4-byte int, because
> > > > it's almost guaranteed that it will be present in program's BTF and I
> > > > won't have to explicitly add it (it's because all BPF programs return
> > > > int, so it must be in program's BTF already). While 8-byte long is
> > > > less likely to be there.
> > > >
> > > > In the future, if we have a nicer way to extend BTF (and we will
> > > > soon), we can do this a bit better, but either way that .ksyms DATASEC
> > > > type isn't used for anything (there is no map with that DATASEC as a
> > > > value type), so it doesn't matter.
> > > >
> > >
> > > Thanks for explaining, Andrii.
> > >
> > > These explanations as comments in the code would be quite helpful, IMHO.

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