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From: "Toke Høiland-Jørgensen" <toke@redhat.com>
To: Daniel Borkmann <daniel@iogearbox.net>
Cc: netdev@vger.kernel.org, bpf@vger.kernel.org
Subject: Re: Are BPF tail calls only supposed to work with pinned maps?
Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2019 09:27:48 +0200	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <87blv619mz.fsf@toke.dk> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <20190926181457.GA6818@pc-63.home>

Daniel Borkmann <daniel@iogearbox.net> writes:

> On Thu, Sep 26, 2019 at 03:12:30PM +0200, Toke Høiland-Jørgensen wrote:
>> Daniel Borkmann <daniel@iogearbox.net> writes:
>> > On Thu, Sep 26, 2019 at 01:23:38PM +0200, Toke Høiland-Jørgensen wrote:
>> > [...]
>> >> While working on a prototype of the XDP chain call feature, I ran into
>> >> some strange behaviour with tail calls: If I create a userspace program
>> >> that loads two XDP programs, one of which tail calls the other, the tail
>> >> call map would appear to be empty even though the userspace program
>> >> populates it as part of the program loading.
>> >> 
>> >> I eventually tracked this down to this commit:
>> >> c9da161c6517 ("bpf: fix clearing on persistent program array maps")
>> >
>> > Correct.
>> >
>> >> Which clears PROG_ARRAY maps whenever the last uref to it disappears
>> >> (which it does when my loader exits after attaching the XDP program).
>> >> 
>> >> This effectively means that tail calls only work if the PROG_ARRAY map
>> >> is pinned (or the process creating it keeps running). And as far as I
>> >> can tell, the inner_map reference in bpf_map_fd_get_ptr() doesn't bump
>> >> the uref either, so presumably if one were to create a map-in-map
>> >> construct with tail call pointer in the inner map(s), each inner map
>> >> would also need to be pinned (haven't tested this case)?
>> >
>> > There is no map in map support for tail calls today.
>> Not directly, but can't a program do:
>> tail_call_map = bpf_map_lookup(outer_map, key);
>> bpf_tail_call(tail_call_map, idx);
> Nope, that is what I meant, bpf_map_meta_alloc() will bail out in that
> case.

Oohhh, right. Seems I reversed that if statement in my head. Silly me,
thanks for clarifying!

>> >> Is this really how things are supposed to work? From an XDP use case PoV
>> >> this seems somewhat surprising...
>> >> 
>> >> Or am I missing something obvious here?
>> >
>> > The way it was done like this back then was in order to break up cyclic
>> > dependencies as otherwise the programs and maps involved would never get
>> > freed as they reference themselves and live on in the kernel forever
>> > consuming potentially large amount of resources, so orchestration tools
>> > like Cilium typically just pin the maps in bpf fs (like most other maps
>> > it uses and accesses from agent side) in order to up/downgrade the agent
>> > while keeping BPF datapath intact.
>> Right. I can see how the cyclic reference thing gets thorny otherwise.
>> However, the behaviour was somewhat surprising to me; is it documented
>> anywhere?
> Haven't updated the BPF guide in a while [0], I don't think I
> documented this detail back then, so right now only in the git log.
> Improvements to the reference guide definitely welcome.

Gotcha. I guess we should add something about tail calls (and chain
calls once we get them) to the XDP tutorial as well...


      reply	other threads:[~2019-09-27  7:27 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 5+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2019-09-26 11:23 Are BPF tail calls only supposed to work with pinned maps? Toke Høiland-Jørgensen
2019-09-26 12:53 ` Daniel Borkmann
2019-09-26 13:12   ` Toke Høiland-Jørgensen
2019-09-26 18:14     ` Daniel Borkmann
2019-09-27  7:27       ` Toke Høiland-Jørgensen [this message]

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