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From: Petr Mladek <>
To: Josh Poimboeuf <>
Cc: Jiri Kosina <>, Miroslav Benes <>,
	Joe Lawrence <>,
	Kamalesh Babulal <>,,
Subject: Re: [PATCH v2 1/2] livepatch: Remove duplicate warning about missing reliable stacktrace support
Date: Mon, 13 May 2019 12:43:18 +0200	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <20190507212425.7gfqx5e3yc4fbdfy@treble>

On Tue 2019-05-07 16:24:25, Josh Poimboeuf wrote:
> On Tue, May 07, 2019 at 04:28:47PM +0200, Petr Mladek wrote:
> > > > > > Also this check is effectively the same as the klp_have_reliable_stack()
> > > > > > check which is done in kernel/livepatch/core.c.  So I think it would be
> > > > > > clearer and more consistent if the same check is done here:
> > > > > > 
> > > > > > 	if (!klp_have_reliable_stack())
> > > > > > 		return -ENOSYS;
> > > > 
> > > > Huh, it smells with over engineering to me.
> > > 
> > > How so?  It makes the code more readable and the generated code should
> > > be much better because it becomes a build-time check.
> > 
> > save_stack_trace_tsk_reliable() returns various error codes.
> > We catch a specific one because otherwise the message below
> > might be misleading.
> > 
> > I do not see why we should prevent this error by calling
> > a custom hack: klp_have_reliable_stack()?
> I wouldn't call it a hack.  It's a simple build-time check.
> > Regarding reliability. If anyone changes semantic of
> > save_stack_trace_tsk_reliable() error codes, they would likely
> > check if all users (one at the moment) handle it correctly.
> > 
> > On the other hand, the dependency between the -ENOSYS
> > return value and klp_have_reliable_stack() is far from
> > obvious.
> I don't follow your point.

We implement klp_have_reliable_stack() in livepatch subsystem.
It checks config options that defines behavior of the
stacktrace subsystem.

We use the above livepatch-specific function to warn about
that a function from stacktrace subsustem will not work.
You even suggest to use it to ignore result from
the stacktrace subsystem.

OK, using klp_have_reliable_stack() on both locations
would keep it consistent.

My point is that the check itself is not reliable because
it is "hard" to maintain.

Instead, I suggest to remove klp_have_reliable_stack() and use
the following in klp_enable_patch().

	if (stack_trace_save_tsk_reliable(current, NULL, 0) == -ENOSYS) {
		pr_warn("This architecture doesn't have support for the livepatch consistency model.\n");
		pr_warn("The livepatch transition may never complete.\n");

Also I suggest to remove the check in klp_check_stack() completely.
We will always print that the stack is not reliable but only when
the debug message is enabled. It is slightly misleading
message for -ENOSYS. But I doubt that it could cause much
troubles in reality. This situation should be really rare
and easy to debug.

> > If we want to discuss and fix this to the death. We should change
> > the return value from -ENOSYS to -EOPNOTSUPP. The reason
> > is the same as in the commit 375bfca3459db1c5596
> > ("livepatch: core: Return EOPNOTSUPP instead of ENOSYS").
> > 
> > Note that EOPNOTSUPP is the same errno as ENOTSUP, see
> > man 3 errno.
> Sure, but that's a separate issue.

I just wanted to show that we might spend even more time with
making this code briliant.

> > > But I think Miroslav's suggestion to revert 1d98a69e5cef would be even
> > > better.
> > 
> > AFAIK, Miroslav wanted to point out that your opinion was inconsistent.
> How is my opinion inconsistent?

1. You have already acked the removal of WARN_ON() in

   You even suggested it, see

   But you suggest to put it back now.

2. You suggested to remove the warning when klp_check_stack() because
   it was superfluous. There was a discussion about keeping
   the check for -ENOSYS there and you did not react, see

   You even acked the commit 1d98a69e5cef3aeb68bcef ("livepatch:
   Remove reliable stacktrace check in klp_try_switch_task()").

   And you suddenly want to revert it.

> Is there something wrong with the original approach, which was reverted
> with
>   1d98a69e5cef ("livepatch: Remove reliable stacktrace check in klp_try_switch_task()")
> ?
> As I mentioned, that has some advantages:
> - The generated code is simpler/faster because it uses a build-time
>   check.
> - The code is more readable IMO.  Especially if the check is done higher
>   up the call stack by reverting 1d98a69e5cef.  That way the arch
>   support short-circuiting is done in the logical place, before doing
>   any more unnecessary work.  It's faster, but also, more importantly,
>   it's less surprising.
> - It's also more consistent with other code, since the intent of this
>   check is the same as the klp_have_reliable_stack() use in
>   klp_enabled_patch().
> If you disagree with those, please explain why.

As I said. I think that it is less reliable because we check config
options of an unrelated subsystem.

Also I think that it is overengineered.
save_stack_trace_tsk_reliable() is able to tell when it failed.
This particular failure is superfast. IMHO, it is not worth such
an optimization.

In fact, it is a compile time check as well because the inline
from include/linux/stacktrace.h

> > PS: This is my last mail in the thread this week. I will eventually
> > return to it with a clear head next week. It is all nitpicking from
> > my POV and I have better things to do.
> I don't think it's helpful to characterize it as nitpicking.  The
> details of the code are important.

1. You had issues with almost all my printk() messages, comments,
   and commit messages. I know that my English is not perfect.
   And that you might want to highlight another information.
   But was is it really that bad?

2. This entire patchset is about adding and removing messages
   and checks. We have 3rd version and you are still not happy.
   Not to say that you suggest something else each time.

Frankly, I do mind too much about this code path, which and how
many warnings are printed. I am not aware about any complains.
IMHO, only people adding support for new architecture
might go this way.

I just wanted to switch the error to warning because Thomas
Gleixner wondered about unused code on s390 when refactoring
the stacktrace code.

I really did not expect that I would spend hours/days on this.
I do not think that it is worth it.

I consider most of the requests as nitpicking because
they requests extra work just because it looks like
a good idea.

My take is that we should accept changes when they improve
the situation and go in the right direction. Further clean up
might be done later by anyone who does not have anything
more important on the plate or gets annoyed enough.

Yes, you have many great ideas. But I am not a trained
monkey. And I do not know how to stop this when it is
looking endless.

Best Regards,

  parent reply	other threads:[~2019-05-13 10:43 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 20+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2019-04-30  9:10 [PATCH v2 0/2] livepatch: Clean up of reliable stacktrace warnings Petr Mladek
2019-04-30  9:10 ` [PATCH v2 1/2] livepatch: Remove duplicate warning about missing reliable stacktrace support Petr Mladek
2019-04-30 11:30   ` Miroslav Benes
2019-04-30 11:56   ` Kamalesh Babulal
2019-05-07  0:40   ` Josh Poimboeuf
2019-05-07  1:43     ` Josh Poimboeuf
2019-05-07 11:29       ` Petr Mladek
2019-05-07 12:03         ` Josh Poimboeuf
2019-05-07 14:28           ` Petr Mladek
2019-05-07 21:24             ` Josh Poimboeuf
2019-05-09  7:24               ` Miroslav Benes
2019-05-13 10:43               ` Petr Mladek [this message]
2019-05-13 16:46                 ` Josh Poimboeuf
2019-05-07  8:58     ` Miroslav Benes
2019-04-30  9:10 ` [PATCH v2 2/2] livepatch: Use static buffer for debugging messages under rq lock Petr Mladek
2019-04-30 11:32   ` Miroslav Benes
2019-04-30 12:30   ` Kamalesh Babulal
2019-05-07  0:43   ` Josh Poimboeuf
2019-05-07 11:50     ` Petr Mladek
2019-05-07 13:19       ` Josh Poimboeuf

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