Re: [dpdk-dev] Please stop using iopl() in DPDK

From: David Marchand
Date: Fri Oct 25 2019 - 03:22:41 EST

Hello Andy,

On Fri, Oct 25, 2019 at 6:46 AM Andy Lutomirski <luto@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Supporting iopl() in the Linux kernel is becoming a maintainability
> problem. As far as I know, DPDK is the only major modern user of
> iopl().

Thanks for reaching out.
Copying our virtio maintainers (Maxime and Tiwei), since they are the
first impacted by such a change.

> After doing some research, DPDK uses direct io port access for only a
> single purpose: accessing legacy virtio configuration structures.
> These structures are mapped in IO space in BAR 0 on legacy virtio
> devices.
> There are at least three ways you could avoid using iopl(). Here they
> are in rough order of quality in my opinion:
> 1. Change pci_uio_ioport_read() and pci_uio_ioport_write() to use
> read() and write() on resource0 in sysfs.
> 2. Use the alternative access mechanism in the virtio legacy spec:
> there is a way to access all of these structures via configuration
> space.
> 3. Use ioperm() instead of iopl().

And you come with potential solutions, thanks :-)
We need to look at them and evaluate what is best from our point of view.
See how it impacts our ABI too (we decided on a freeze until 20.11).

> We are considering changes to the kernel that will potentially harm
> the performance of any program that uses iopl(3) -- in particular,
> context switches will become more expensive, and the scheduler might
> need to explicitly penalize such programs to ensure fairness. Using
> ioperm() already hurts performance, and the proposed changes to iopl()
> will make it even worse. Alternatively, the kernel could drop iopl()
> support entirely. I will certainly make a change to allow
> distributions to remove iopl() support entirely from their kernels,
> and I expect that distributions will do this.
> Please fix DPDK.

Unfortunately, we are currently closing our rc1 for the 19.11 release.
Not sure who is available, but I suppose we can work on this subject
in the 20.02 release timeframe.


David Marchand