Re: X15 alpha release: as fast as TUX but in user space (fwd)

From: Andrea Arcangeli (
Date: Sun Apr 29 2001 - 19:13:45 EST

On Sun, Apr 29, 2001 at 04:18:27PM -0400, Gregory Maxwell wrote:
> having both the code and a comprehensive jump-table might become tough in a

In the x86-64 implementation there's no jump table. The original design
had a jump table but Peter raised the issue that indirect jumps are very
costly and he suggested to jump to a fixed virtual address instead, I
agreed with his suggestion. So this is what I implemented for x86-64
with regard to the userspace vsyscall API (which will be used by glibc):

        enum vsyscall_num {
        #define VSYSCALL_ADDR(vsyscall_nr) (VSYSCALL_START+VSYSCALL_SIZE*(vsyscall_nr))

the linker can prelink the vsyscall virtual address into the binary as a
weak symbol and the dynamic linker will need to patch it only if
somebody is overriding the weak symbol with a LD_PRELOAD.

Virtual address space is relatively cheap. Currently the 64bit
vgettimeofday bytecode + data is nearly 200 bytes, and the first two
slots are large 512bytes each. So with 1024 bytes we do the whole thing,
and we still have space for further 6 vsyscalls without paying any
additional tlb entry.

(the implementation of the above #define will change shortly but the
VSYSCALL_ADDR() API for glibc will remain the same)

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