Re: [PATCH] perf/core: generate overflow signal when samples are dropped (WAS: Re: [REGRESSION] perf/core: PMU interrupts dropped if we entered the kernel in the "skid" region)

From: Peter Zijlstra
Date: Tue Jul 04 2017 - 05:07:23 EST

On Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 10:12:33AM +0200, Ingo Molnar wrote:
> * Mark Rutland <mark.rutland@xxxxxxx> wrote:
> > It still seems wrong to make up data, though.
> So what we have here is a hardware quirk: we asked for user-space samples, but
> didn't get them and we cannot expose the kernel-internal address.
> The question is, how do we handle the hardware quirk. Since we cannot fix the
> hardware on existing systems there's really just two choices:
> - Lose the sample (and signal it as a lost sample)
> - Keep the sample but change the sensitive kernel-internal address to something
> that is not sensitive: 0 or -1 works, but we could perhaps also return a
> well-known user-space address such as the vDSO syscall trampoline or such?
> there's no other option really.
> I'd lean towards Vince's take: losing samples is more surprising than getting the
> occasional sample with some sanitized data in it.
> If we make the artificial data still a meaningful user-space address, related to
> kernel entries, then it might even be a bonus, as users would learn to recognize
> it as: 'oh, skid artifact, I know about that'.

So while we could easily fake SAMPLE_IP to do as you suggest, other
entries might be much harder to fake. That said, I have no problems with
just 0 stuffing them.

The only real problem is determining how much to stuff I suppose.