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Date:   Wed, 21 Jul 2021 16:38:08 +0100
From:   Quentin Monnet <>
To:     Alexei Starovoitov <>,
        Daniel Borkmann <>,
        Andrii Nakryiko <>
        Quentin Monnet <>,
        John Fastabend <>
Subject: [PATCH bpf-next v2 5/5] tools: bpftool: support dumping split BTF by id

Split BTF objects are typically BTF objects for kernel modules, which
are incrementally built on top of kernel BTF instead of redefining all
kernel symbols they need. We can use bpftool with its -B command-line
option to dump split BTF objects. It works well when the handle provided
for the BTF object to dump is a "path" to the BTF object, typically
under /sys/kernel/btf, because bpftool internally calls
btf__parse_split() which can take a "base_btf" pointer and resolve the
BTF reconstruction (although in that case, the "-B" option is
unnecessary because bpftool performs autodetection).

However, it did not work so far when passing the BTF object through its
id, because bpftool would call btf__get_from_id() which did not provide
a way to pass a "base_btf" pointer.

In other words, the following works:

    # bpftool btf dump file /sys/kernel/btf/i2c_smbus -B /sys/kernel/btf/vmlinux

But this was not possible:

    # bpftool btf dump id 6 -B /sys/kernel/btf/vmlinux

The libbpf API has recently changed, and btf__get_from_id() has been
replaced with btf__load_from_kernel_by_id() and its version with support
for split BTF, btf__load_from_kernel_by_id_split(). Let's update bpftool
to make it able to dump the BTF object in the second case as well.

Signed-off-by: Quentin Monnet <>
Acked-by: John Fastabend <>
 tools/bpf/bpftool/btf.c | 2 +-
 1 file changed, 1 insertion(+), 1 deletion(-)

diff --git a/tools/bpf/bpftool/btf.c b/tools/bpf/bpftool/btf.c
index 9162a18e84c0..0ce3643278d4 100644
--- a/tools/bpf/bpftool/btf.c
+++ b/tools/bpf/bpftool/btf.c
@@ -580,7 +580,7 @@ static int do_dump(int argc, char **argv)
 	if (!btf) {
-		btf = btf__load_from_kernel_by_id(btf_id);
+		btf = btf__load_from_kernel_by_id_split(btf_id, base_btf);
 		err = libbpf_get_error(btf);
 		if (err) {
 			p_err("get btf by id (%u): %s", btf_id, strerror(err));

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