Re: [RFC] systemtap: begin the process of using proper kernel APIs(part1: use kprobe symbol_name/offset instead of address)

From: Peter Zijlstra
Date: Fri Jul 18 2008 - 09:10:17 EST

On Fri, 2008-07-18 at 09:02 -0400, Frank Ch. Eigler wrote:
> Peter Zijlstra <peterz@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> writes:
> > [...]
> >> Right now x86 doesn't really have a good reliable unwinder that
> >> works without frame pointer. I think systemtap
> >> recently switched to Jan Beulich's dwarf2 unwinder. Before
> >> switching to the in kernel unwinder that one would need to be
> >> re-merged again.
> >
> > Those are two separate issues.
> >
> > 1) stap ought to use the kernel's infrastructure and not re-implement
> > its own.
> > 2) if the kernel's infrastructure doesn't meet requirements, improve
> > it.
> They are related to the extent that readers may not realize some
> implications of systemtap being/becoming a *kernel-resident* but not
> *kernel-focused* tool.
> For example, we're about to do unwinding/stack-traces of userspace
> programs. To what extent do you think the kernel unwinder (should one
> reappear in git) would welcome patches that provide zero benefit to
> the kernel, but only enable a peculiar (nonintrusive) sort of
> unwinding we would need for complex userspace stacks?

I think sysprof (kernel/trace/trace_sysprof.c) already does user-space
stack unwinding. So pushing that capability further up the chain when a
second user (stap) comes along makes perfect sense.

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