Re: [RFC] [PATCH 0/7] UBP, XOL and Uprobes [ Summary of Comments andactions to be taken ]

From: Srikar Dronamraju
Date: Fri Jan 22 2010 - 02:02:50 EST

Here is a summary of the Comments and actions that need to be taken for
the current uprobes patchset. Please let me know if I missed or
misunderstood any of your comments.

1. Uprobes depends on trap signal.
Uprobes depends on trap signal rather than hooking to the global
die notifier. It was suggested that we hook to the global die notifier.

In the next version of patches, Uprobes will use the global die
notifier and look at the per-task count of the probes in use to
see if it has to be consumed.

However this would reduce the ability of uprobe handlers to
sleep. Since we are dealing with userspace, sleeping in handlers
would have been a good feature. We are looking at ways to get
around this limitation.

2. XOL vma vs Emulation vs Single Stepping Inline vs using Protection
XOL VMA is an additional process address vma. This is
opposition to add an additional vma without user actually
requesting for the same.

XOL vma and single stepping inline are the two architecture
independent implementations. While other implementations are
more architecture specific. Single stepping inline wouldnt go
well with multithreaded process.

Even though XOL vma has its own issues, we will go with it since
other implementations seem to have more complications.

we would look forward to implementing boosters later.
Later on, if we come across another techniques with lesser
side-effects than the XOL vma, we would switch to using them.

3. Current Uprobes looks at process life times and not vma lifetimes.
Also it needs threads to quiesce when inserting and removing

Current uprobes was quiesing threads of a process before
insertion and deletion. This resulted in uprobes having to track
process lifetimes. An alternative method to track vma lifetimes
was suggested.

Next version would update the copy of the page and flip the
pagetables as suggested by Peter. Hence it would no more depend on
threads quiescing.

However this would need hooks in munmap/rmap so that uprobes can
remove breakpoints that are placed in that vma.

This would also mean removing the rcu_deference we were using.

4. Move the ftrace plugin to use trace events.

Since ftrace plugins are relegated to obsolescence, it was
suggested we use trace events which would have much wider scope.

Next version will use trace events.

5. rename UBP to user_bkpt

6. updating the authors for all files that are getting added.

I shall work towards v2 of uprobes and send across the patches at the

Thanks and Regards
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