Re: [PATCH] eventfd: implementation of EFD_MASK flag

From: Martin Sustrik
Date: Mon Aug 10 2015 - 17:17:59 EST

On 2015-08-10 10:57, Damian Hobson-Garcia wrote:
Hi Martin,

Thanks for your comments.

On 2015-08-10 3:39 PM, Martin Sustrik wrote:
On 2015-08-10 08:23, Damian Hobson-Garcia wrote:
Replying to my own post, but I had the following comments/questions.
Martin, if you have any response to my comments I would be very happy to
hear them.

On 2015-08-10 2:51 PM, Damian Hobson-Garcia wrote:
From: Martin Sustrik <sustrik@xxxxxxxxxx>



User is allowed to write only buffers containing the following

struct efd_mask {
__u32 events;
__u64 data;

The value of 'events' should be any combination of event flags as
defined by
poll(2) function (POLLIN, POLLOUT, POLLERR, POLLHUP etc.) Specified
events will
be signaled when polling (select, poll, epoll) on the eventfd is done
later on.
'data' is opaque data that are not interpreted by eventfd object.

I'm not fully clear on the purpose that the 'data' member serves. Does
this opaque handle need to be tied together with this event
synchronization construct?

It's a convenience thing. Imagine you are implementing your own file
descriptor type in user space. You create an EFD_MASK socket and a
structure that will hold any state that you need for the socket (tx/rx
buffers and such).

Now you have two things to pass around. If you want to pass the fd to a
function, it must have two parameters (fd and pointer to the structure).

To fix it you can put the fd into the structure. That way there's only
one thing to pass around (the structure).

The problem with that approach is when you have generic code that deals
with file descriptors. For example, a simple poller which accepts a list
of (fd, callback) pairs and invokes the callback when one of the fds
signals POLLIN. You can't send a pointer to a structure to such
function. All you can send is the fd, but then, when the callback is
invoked, fd is all you have. You have no idea where your state is.

'data' member allows you to put the pointer to the state to the socket
itself. Thus, if you have a fd, you can always find out where the
associated data is by reading the mask structure from the fd.

Ok, I see what you're saying. I guess that keeping track of the mapping
between the fd and the struct in user space could be non-trivial if
there are a large number of active fds that are polling very frequently.
Wouldn't it be sufficient to just use epoll() in this case though? It
already seems to support this kind of thing.

My use case was like this:

int s = mysocket();
// myrecv() can get the pointer to the structure
// without user having to pass it as an argument
myrecv(s, buf, sizeof(buf));

However, same behaviour can be accomplished by simply keeping
a static array of pointers in the user space.

So let's cut this part out of the patch.


@@ -55,6 +69,9 @@ __u64 eventfd_signal(struct eventfd_ctx *ctx, __u64 n)
+ /* This function should never be used with eventfd in the mask
mode. */
+ BUG_ON(ctx->flags & EFD_MASK);
@@ -158,6 +180,9 @@ int eventfd_ctx_remove_wait_queue(struct
eventfd_ctx *ctx, wait_queue_t *wait,
+ /* This function should never be used with eventfd in the mask
mode. */
+ BUG_ON(ctx->flags & EFD_MASK);
@@ -188,6 +213,9 @@ ssize_t eventfd_ctx_read(struct eventfd_ctx *ctx,
int no_wait, __u64 *cnt)
+ /* This function should never be used with eventfd in the mask
mode. */
+ BUG_ON(ctx->flags & EFD_MASK);

If eventfd_ctx_fileget() returns EINVAL when EFD_MASK is set, I don't
think that there will be a way to call these functions in the mask mode,
so it should be possible to get rid of the BUG_ON checks.

Sure. Feel free to do so.

@@ -230,6 +258,19 @@ static ssize_t eventfd_read(struct file *file,
char __user *buf, size_t count,
ssize_t res;
__u64 cnt;

+ if (ctx->flags & EFD_MASK) {
+ struct efd_mask mask;
+ if (count < sizeof(mask))
+ return -EINVAL;
+ spin_lock_irq(&ctx->wqh.lock);
+ mask = ctx->mask;
+ spin_unlock_irq(&ctx->wqh.lock);
+ if (copy_to_user(buf, &mask, sizeof(mask)))
+ return -EFAULT;
+ return sizeof(mask);
+ }

For the other eventfd modes, reading the value will update the internal
state of the eventfd (either clearing or decrementing the counter).
Should something similar be done here? I'm thinking of a case where a
process is polling on this fd in a loop. Clearing the efd_mask data on
read should provide an easy way for the polling process to know if it is
seeing new poll events.

No. In this case reading the value has no effect on the state of the fd.
How it should work is rather:

// fd is in POLLIN state
// function exits with POLLIN but fd remains in POLLIN state
my_recv(fd, buf, size);
// my_recv function have found out that there's no more data to recv and
switched off the POLLIN flag
poll(fd); // we block here waiting for more data to arrive from the network

How exactly doe the receiver switch off the POLLIN flag? Does the
receiver also write to the eventfd? or do you mean that it just doesn't
set POLLIN in the events mask? It seems cleaner to have the sender only
write the eventfd and the receiver only read it. Your example would be
exactly the same, except that my_recv(fd, buf, size) would read to clear
instead of write.

Keep in mind that the user of your mysocket is not supposed to do
recv() or send() on the raw underlying fd. It's the implementation,
myrecv() and mysend(), that does that.

That being the case and also assuming that we cut the pointer out, there seems
to be little use for recv() any more. The implementation of socket knows
what state it is in and so it doesn't have to retrieve it using recv().

All it has to do is perform whatever business logic is needed and then set new
state of the socket via send().

And the fact there's no clear use case, the logic of recv() is not obvious.
We can very well return ENOTIMPL.

@@ -292,8 +351,13 @@ static void eventfd_show_fdinfo(struct seq_file
*m, struct file *f)
struct eventfd_ctx *ctx = f->private_data;

- seq_printf(m, "eventfd-count: %16llx\n",
- (unsigned long long)ctx->count);
+ if (ctx->flags & EFD_MASK) {
+ seq_printf(m, "eventfd-mask: %x\n",
+ (unsigned)ctx->;
+ } else {
+ seq_printf(m, "eventfd-count: %16llx\n",
+ (unsigned long long)ctx->count);
+ }
I think that putting the EFD_MASK functionality into a different fops
structure might be useful for reducing the number of if statements.

Sure. No objections.

Thanks for re-submitting the patch!

My pleasure.



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