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Date:   Fri, 21 Aug 2020 15:20:36 -0700
From:   Roman Gushchin <guro@...com>
To:     <bpf@...r.kernel.org>
CC:     <netdev@...r.kernel.org>, Alexei Starovoitov <ast@...nel.org>,
        Daniel Borkmann <daniel@...earbox.net>, <kernel-team@...com>,
        <linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org>,
        Johannes Weiner <hannes@...xchg.org>,
        Shakeel Butt <shakeelb@...gle.com>, <linux-mm@...ck.org>
Subject: Re: [PATCH bpf-next v4 00/30] bpf: switch to memcg-based memory
 accounting

On Fri, Aug 21, 2020 at 08:01:04AM -0700, Roman Gushchin wrote:
> Currently bpf is using the memlock rlimit for the memory accounting.
> This approach has its downsides and over time has created a significant
> amount of problems:
> 
> 1) The limit is per-user, but because most bpf operations are performed
>    as root, the limit has a little value.
> 
> 2) It's hard to come up with a specific maximum value. Especially because
>    the counter is shared with non-bpf users (e.g. memlock() users).
>    Any specific value is either too low and creates false failures
>    or too high and useless.
> 
> 3) Charging is not connected to the actual memory allocation. Bpf code
>    should manually calculate the estimated cost and precharge the counter,
>    and then take care of uncharging, including all fail paths.
>    It adds to the code complexity and makes it easy to leak a charge.
> 
> 4) There is no simple way of getting the current value of the counter.
>    We've used drgn for it, but it's far from being convenient.
> 
> 5) Cryptic -EPERM is returned on exceeding the limit. Libbpf even had
>    a function to "explain" this case for users.
> 
> In order to overcome these problems let's switch to the memcg-based
> memory accounting of bpf objects. With the recent addition of the percpu
> memory accounting, now it's possible to provide a comprehensive accounting
> of the memory used by bpf programs and maps.
> 
> This approach has the following advantages:
> 1) The limit is per-cgroup and hierarchical. It's way more flexible and allows
>    a better control over memory usage by different workloads. Of course, it
>    requires enabled cgroups and kernel memory accounting and properly configured
>    cgroup tree, but it's a default configuration for a modern Linux system.
> 
> 2) The actual memory consumption is taken into account. It happens automatically
>    on the allocation time if __GFP_ACCOUNT flags is passed. Uncharging is also
>    performed automatically on releasing the memory. So the code on the bpf side
>    becomes simpler and safer.
> 
> 3) There is a simple way to get the current value and statistics.
> 
> In general, if a process performs a bpf operation (e.g. creates or updates
> a map), it's memory cgroup is charged. However map updates performed from
> an interrupt context are charged to the memory cgroup which contained
> the process, which created the map.
> 
> Providing a 1:1 replacement for the rlimit-based memory accounting is
> a non-goal of this patchset. Users and memory cgroups are completely
> orthogonal, so it's not possible even in theory.
> Memcg-based memory accounting requires a properly configured cgroup tree
> to be actually useful. However, it's the way how the memory is managed
> on a modern Linux system.
> 
> 
> The patchset consists of the following parts:
> 1) an auxiliary patch by Johanness, which adds an ability to charge
>    a custom memory cgroup from an interrupt context
> 2) memcg-based accounting for various bpf objects: progs and maps
> 3) removal of the rlimit-based accounting
> 4) removal of rlimit adjustments in userspace samples

As a note, I've resent the first patch from the series as a standalone
patch to linux-mm@, because a similar change is required by other non-related
patchset. This should avoid further merge conflicts.

I did some renamings in the patch, so v5 of this patchset is expected.
Please, don't merge v4. Feedback is highly appreciated though.

Thanks!

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