Re: HW breakpoints perf_events request

From: Frederic Weisbecker
Date: Tue Jan 19 2010 - 09:40:18 EST

On Mon, Jan 18, 2010 at 12:35:59PM +0100, Andi Kleen wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 18, 2010 at 12:04:07PM +0100, Frederic Weisbecker wrote:
> > I don't quite understand what signals are masked here,
> ptrace reports all signals to the tracer and only
> delivers them on PTRACE_CONT. "Masking" is probably
> not the right term for it.

Ah, ok.

> > actually I'm not sure what is the true problem with ptrace.
> > Is it because a breakpoint in a thread is going to stop
> > all thread in the process until the parent handles the
> > signal?
> I didn't think ptrace stopped all threads by its own,
> it just stops the current one and also only until
> the problem is reported. And for a break point you
> typically want (in fact need to) to stop until it is handled.

Yeah, ok.

> > Anyway, although I first suggested extending perf, with
> > more thoughts I now agree that perf should keep doing what
> > it does currently (profiling) and not trying to become an
> > messy mix of a profiler, debugger, etc...
> I find it surprising that you say that -- my
> impression is that whatever gets proposed recently:
> error injection, testing, error handling, any other event
> someone proposed perf as the answer.

Event injection is not off boundaries. This is still
in the topic of profiling/tracing.

Not sure what you mean. My point was that perf should
keep being an event performance observation tool, and
that controlling the execution flow of a process is not
the role of perf.

> > What about extending ptrace to support a new type of
> > breakpoint debugging interface?
> There's this utrace interface, but it seems to be more
> a in kernel layer with some "we can't make up our mind what
> the interface to the user looks like" and a lot of
> overengineering in interfaces thrown in.
> ptrace in its current form is somewhat messy, but for
> me it seems there isn't anything better. So yes extending
> it would seem like a good idea.
> A good starting point might be the debug store interfaces
> that got recently added to ptrace.

I need to look at this then. Thanks.

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