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From: ahmadkhorrami <>
To: Michel Dagenais <>
Cc: Steven Rostedt <>,,
	linux-trace-users <>,
	lttng-dev <>,
	Namhyung Kim <>
Subject: Re: [lttng-dev] Capturing User-Level Function Calls/Returns
Date: Thu, 16 Jul 2020 21:04:22 +0430
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

Hi Michel,

Thanks for the detailed answer! DBI tools are really interesting but I 
want to do this during normal execution and on multiple programs running 
simultaneously. I mean this is not supposed to be conventional tracing 
with multiple re-executions. I want to extract some information about 
the execution-state at runtime and inform the lower levels in the 
software stack to make smarter choices. Fortunately, there are only a 
few functions that need to be traced. But any reduction in the wasted 
cycles is helpful, specially if it is caused by privilege level 


On 2020-07-16 05:36, Michel Dagenais wrote:

>> Without recompiling, how would that be implemented?
> As you mentioned, this is possible when "jump patching" 5 bytes 
> instructions. Fast tracepoints in GDB and in kprobe do it. Kprobe goes 
> further and patches sequences of instructions (because the target 
> instruction is less than 5 bytes) if there is no incoming branch into 
> the middle of the sequence. You can go even further, for instance using 
> 3 bytes jumps to a trampoline installed in alignment nops. If you 
> combine different strategies like this, you can eventually reach almost 
> 100% success rate for "jump patching" tracepoints. This gets quite 
> hairy though. However, the short story is that there is currently no 
> tool as far as I know that does that easily and reliably in user space.
> If you can afford a more invasive tool, that requires a lot of memory 
> and stops your application for quite some time, you can look at 
> approaches like dyninst that decompile the binary, insert 
> instrumentation code and reassemble the code.
>> You would need to insert a jump on top of code, and still be able to
>> preserve that code. What a trap does, is to insert a int3, that will
>> trap into the kernel, it would then emulate the code that the int3 was
>> on, and also call some code that can trace the current state.
>> To do it in user land, you would need to find way to replace the code
>> at the location you want to trace, with a jump to the tracing
>> infrastructure, that will also be able to emulate the code that the
>> jump was inserted on top of. As on x86, that jump will need to be 5
>> bytes long (covering 5 bytes of text to emulate), where as a int3 is a
>> single byte.
>> Thus, you either recompile and insert nops where you want to place 
>> your
>> jumps, or you trap using int3 that can do the work from within the
>> kernel.
>> -- Steve
>> _______________________________________________
>> lttng-dev mailing list

  parent reply index

Thread overview: 13+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2020-07-15 16:07 ahmadkhorrami
2020-07-15 18:28 ` Steven Rostedt
2020-07-15 18:45   ` Mathieu Desnoyers
2020-07-15 21:39     ` ahmadkhorrami
2020-07-15 21:48       ` Steven Rostedt
2020-07-15 22:25         ` ahmadkhorrami
2020-07-16  1:06         ` [lttng-dev] " Michel Dagenais
2020-07-16  1:49           ` Frank Ch. Eigler
2020-07-16 16:26             ` ahmadkhorrami
2020-07-16 16:20           ` ahmadkhorrami
2020-07-16 16:34           ` ahmadkhorrami [this message]
2020-07-16  1:04   ` Namhyung Kim
2020-07-16 16:07     ` ahmadkhorrami

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