Re: HW breakpoints perf_events request

From: Frederic Weisbecker
Date: Tue Jan 19 2010 - 11:21:20 EST

On Tue, Jan 19, 2010 at 10:12:10AM -0500, Frank Ch. Eigler wrote:
> Hi -
> > > > [...]
> > > > What about extending ptrace to support a new type of
> > > > breakpoint debugging interface?
> > >
> > > This is the sort of reason why the utrace-gdbstub prototype was
> > > constructed. It should allow in-kernel implementation of the
> > > multithreaded gdb extensions. (By the way, it can already use uprobes
> > > rather than userspace-managed breakpoints.)
> >
> > Can utrace somehow meet Joshua's needs?
> Not directly, I'm afraid. I jumped in at a late stage of the thread
> that got a bit away from Joshua's original note
> ( OTOH, it could be made to work
> a few different ways.
> One is a systemtap or hand-written module that maps selected
> perf-event hits in the kernel to an application SIGTRAP.

Yeah would work.

But I rather hope we can extend ptrace interface to handle
such new needs instead (ie: having a more scalable breakpoint
interface support by ptrace).

> Another is using the gdbstub, extended with gdb watchpoint support (Z*
> packets), which would tie into the hw-breakpoint system directly.
> Joshua's application would manage the debug registers by means of a
> userspace supervisor process sending the appropriate Z* packets to the
> gdbstub, and otherwise letting the program run. When a watchpoint
> fires, the supervisor process can instruct gdbstub to send a SIGTRAP
> to the application. In this scenario, the perf syscall / subsystem is
> not used at all.

Is this gdbstub an interface to utrace?

This: ?

> > I'm not sure what kind of interface it can offer for that. The fact
> > is I don't know very well utrace :)
> That's ok. utrace is an in-kernel API for process management. ptrace
> and the RFC gdbstub are two possible userspace interfaces tuned for
> third-party debugging.


> > Do you plan a resubmission soon?
> Utrace core has been resubmitted at the end of December
> (, with no further comments
> received.

Hmm, there has been deep review from Peter, IIRC.

> I hope it gets plopped into linux-next ASAP and merged next
> time. The gdbstub was an RFC only at this stage, but if other people
> get excited about it, we're happy to spiff it up for proposed merging.



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