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Date:   Wed, 19 Aug 2020 09:07:56 +0200
From:   Jesper Dangaard Brouer <>
To:     "Jason A. Donenfeld" <>
        Thomas Ptacek <>,
        Adhipati Blambangan <>,
        David Ahern <>,
        Toke Høiland-Jørgensen <>,
        Jakub Kicinski <>,
        Alexei Starovoitov <>,
        John Fastabend <>,
        Daniel Borkmann <>,
        "David S . Miller" <>,
Subject: Re: [PATCH net v6] net: xdp: account for layer 3 packets in generic
 skb handler

On Sat, 15 Aug 2020 09:41:02 +0200
"Jason A. Donenfeld" <> wrote:

> A user reported that packets from wireguard were possibly ignored by XDP
> [1]. Another user reported that modifying packets from layer 3
> interfaces results in impossible to diagnose drops.
> Apparently, the generic skb xdp handler path seems to assume that
> packets will always have an ethernet header, which really isn't always
> the case for layer 3 packets, which are produced by multiple drivers.
> This patch fixes the oversight. If the mac_len is 0 and so is
> hard_header_len, then we know that the skb is a layer 3 packet, and in
> that case prepend a pseudo ethhdr to the packet whose h_proto is copied
> from skb->protocol, which will have the appropriate v4 or v6 ethertype.
> This allows us to keep XDP programs' assumption correct about packets
> always having that ethernet header, so that existing code doesn't break,
> while still allowing layer 3 devices to use the generic XDP handler.
> We push on the ethernet header and then pull it right off and set
> mac_len to the ethernet header size, so that the rest of the XDP code
> does not need any changes. That is, it makes it so that the skb has its
> ethernet header just before the data pointer, of size ETH_HLEN.
> Previous discussions have included the point that maybe XDP should just
> be intentionally broken on layer 3 interfaces, by design, and that layer
> 3 people should be using cls_bpf. However, I think there are good
> grounds to reconsider this perspective:
> - Complicated deployments wind up applying XDP modifications to a
>   variety of different devices on a given host, some of which are using
>   specialized ethernet cards and other ones using virtual layer 3
>   interfaces, such as WireGuard. Being able to apply one codebase to
>   each of these winds up being essential.
> - cls_bpf does not support the same feature set as XDP, and operates at
>   a slightly different stage in the networking stack. You may reply,
>   "then add all the features you want to cls_bpf", but that seems to be
>   missing the point, and would still result in there being two ways to
>   do everything, which is not desirable for anyone actually _using_ this
>   code.
> - While XDP was originally made for hardware offloading, and while many
>   look disdainfully upon the generic mode, it nevertheless remains a
>   highly useful and popular way of adding bespoke packet
>   transformations, and from that perspective, a difference between layer
>   2 and layer 3 packets is immaterial if the user is primarily concerned
>   with transformations to layer 3 and beyond.
> - It's not impossible to imagine layer 3 hardware (e.g. a WireGuard PCIe
>   card) including eBPF/XDP functionality built-in. In that case, why
>   limit XDP as a technology to only layer 2? Then, having generic XDP
>   work for layer 3 would naturally fit as well.
> [1]
> Reported-by: Thomas Ptacek <>
> Reported-by: Adhipati Blambangan <>
> Cc: David Ahern <>
> Cc: Toke Høiland-Jørgensen <>
> Cc: Jakub Kicinski <>
> Cc: Alexei Starovoitov <>
> Cc: Jesper Dangaard Brouer <>
> Cc: John Fastabend <>
> Cc: Daniel Borkmann <>
> Cc: David S. Miller <>
> Signed-off-by: Jason A. Donenfeld <>
> ---
> I had originally dropped this patch, but the issue kept coming up in
> user reports, so here's a v4 of it. Testing of it is still rather slim,
> but hopefully that will change in the coming days.
> Changes v5->v6:
> - The fix to the skb->protocol changing case is now in a separate
>   stand-alone patch, and removed from this one, so that it can be
>   evaluated separately.
> Changes v4->v5:
> - Rather than tracking in a messy manner whether the skb is l3, we just
>   do the check once, and then adjust the skb geometry to be identical to
>   the l2 case. This simplifies the code quite a bit.
> - Fix a preexisting bug where the l2 header remained attached if
>   skb->protocol was updated.
> Changes v3->v4:
> - We now preserve the same logic for XDP_TX/XDP_REDIRECT as before.
> - hard_header_len is checked in addition to mac_len.
>  net/core/dev.c | 12 ++++++++++++
>  1 file changed, 12 insertions(+)
> diff --git a/net/core/dev.c b/net/core/dev.c
> index 151f1651439f..79c15f4244e6 100644
> --- a/net/core/dev.c
> +++ b/net/core/dev.c
> @@ -4630,6 +4630,18 @@ static u32 netif_receive_generic_xdp(struct sk_buff *skb,
>  	 * header.
>  	 */
>  	mac_len = skb->data - skb_mac_header(skb);
> +	if (!mac_len && !skb->dev->hard_header_len) {
> +		/* For l3 packets, we push on a fake mac header, and then
> +		 * pull it off again, so that it has the same skb geometry
> +		 * as for the l2 case.
> +		 */
> +		eth = skb_push(skb, ETH_HLEN);
> +		eth_zero_addr(eth->h_source);
> +		eth_zero_addr(eth->h_dest);
> +		eth->h_proto = skb->protocol;
> +		__skb_pull(skb, ETH_HLEN);
> +		mac_len = ETH_HLEN;
> +	}

You are consuming a little bit of the headroom here.

>  	hlen = skb_headlen(skb) + mac_len;
>  	xdp->data = skb->data - mac_len;
>  	xdp->data_meta = xdp->data;

The XDP-prog is allowed to change eth->h_proto.  Later (in code) we
detect this and update skb->protocol with the new protocol.

What will happen if my XDP-prog adds a VLAN header?

The selftest tools/testing/selftests/bpf/ test these
situations.  You can use it as an example, and write/construct a test
that does the same for your Wireguard devices.  As minimum you need to
provide such a selftest together with this patch.

Generally speaking, IMHO generic-XDP was a mistake, because it is hard
to maintain and slows down the development of XDP.  (I have a number of
fixes in my TODO backlog for generic-XDP).  Adding this will just give
us more corner-cases that need to be maintained.

Best regards,
  Jesper Dangaard Brouer
  MSc.CS, Principal Kernel Engineer at Red Hat

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