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Date:   Fri, 28 Oct 2022 11:46:11 -0700
From:   Stanislav Fomichev <sdf@...gle.com>
To:     Jakub Kicinski <kuba@...nel.org>
Cc:     John Fastabend <john.fastabend@...il.com>, bpf@...r.kernel.org,
        ast@...nel.org, daniel@...earbox.net, andrii@...nel.org,
        martin.lau@...ux.dev, song@...nel.org, yhs@...com,
        kpsingh@...nel.org, haoluo@...gle.com, jolsa@...nel.org,
        Willem de Bruijn <willemb@...gle.com>,
        Jesper Dangaard Brouer <brouer@...hat.com>,
        Anatoly Burakov <anatoly.burakov@...el.com>,
        Alexander Lobakin <alexandr.lobakin@...el.com>,
        Magnus Karlsson <magnus.karlsson@...il.com>,
        Maryam Tahhan <mtahhan@...hat.com>, xdp-hints@...-project.net,
        netdev@...r.kernel.org
Subject: Re: [RFC bpf-next 0/5] xdp: hints via kfuncs

On Fri, Oct 28, 2022 at 11:05 AM Jakub Kicinski <kuba@...nel.org> wrote:
>
> On Fri, 28 Oct 2022 08:58:18 -0700 John Fastabend wrote:
> > A bit of extra commentary. By exposing the raw kptr to the rx
> > descriptor we don't need driver writers to do anything.
> > And can easily support all the drivers out the gate with simple
> > one or two line changes. This pushes the interesting parts
> > into userspace and then BPF writers get to do the work without
> > bother driver folks and also if its not done today it doesn't
> > matter because user space can come along and make it work
> > later. So no scattered kernel dependencies which I really
> > would like to avoid here. Its actually very painful to have
> > to support clusters with N kernels and M devices if they
> > have different features. Doable but annoying and much nicer
> > if we just say 6.2 has support for kptr rx descriptor reading
> > and all XDP drivers support it. So timestamp, rxhash work
> > across the board.
>
> IMHO that's a bit of wishful thinking. Driver support is just a small
> piece, you'll have different HW and FW versions, feature conflicts etc.
> In the end kernel version is just one variable and there are many others
> you'll already have to track.
>
> And it's actually harder to abstract away inter HW generation
> differences if the user space code has to handle all of it.

I've had the same concern:

Until we have some userspace library that abstracts all these details,
it's not really convenient to use. IIUC, with a kptr, I'd get a blob
of data and I need to go through the code and see what particular type
it represents for my particular device and how the data I need is
represented there. There are also these "if this is device v1 -> use
v1 descriptor format; if it's a v2->use this another struct; etc"
complexities that we'll be pushing onto the users. With kfuncs, we put
this burden on the driver developers, but I agree that the drawback
here is that we actually have to wait for the implementations to catch
up.

Jakub mentions FW and I haven't even thought about that; so yeah, bpf
programs might have to take a lot of other state into consideration
when parsing the descriptors; all those details do seem like they
belong to the driver code.

Feel free to send it early with just a handful of drivers implemented;
I'm more interested about bpf/af_xdp/user api story; if we have some
nice sample/test case that shows how the metadata can be used, that
might push us closer to the agreement on the best way to proceed.



> > To find the offset of fields (rxhash, timestamp) you can use
> > standard BTF relocations we have all this machinery built up
> > already for all the other structs we read, net_devices, task
> > structs, inodes, ... so its not a big hurdle at all IMO. We
> > can add userspace libs if folks really care, but its just a read so
> > I'm not even sure that is helpful.
> >
> > I think its nicer than having kfuncs that need to be written
> > everywhere. My $.02 although I'll poke around with below
> > some as well. Feel free to just hang tight until I have some
> > code at the moment I have intel, mellanox drivers that I
> > would want to support.
>
> I'd prefer if we left the door open for new vendors. Punting descriptor
> parsing to user space will indeed result in what you just said - major
> vendors are supported and that's it.

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