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Re: [RFC 0/7] Support for Linux kernel debugging

Hi Philipp,

On Thu, 12 Jan 2017, Philipp Rudo wrote:

> Hi Peter
> Hi everybody else
> This series implements a new Linux kernel target very similar to Peters
> patch sent shortly before Christmas [1]. In contrast to Peter, i
> concentrated on core dumps on S390. Thus there are some differences and we
> can benefit from each other.
> The series's structure is the following. Patch 1 and 2 contain small,
> general changes independent of the actual target which are a pre-req for the
> rest. Patch 3 contains the basic target with the same functionality of
> Peters patch. Patch 4 contains the implementation for module handling and
> kernel virtual addresses. Patch 5 contains some commands as a byproduct of
> development. Its main purpose is to start a discussion how (C++/Python) and
> where (GDB/kernel) commands for the target schould be implemented. Finally
> patch 6 and 7 contain the S390 specific code with patch 7 containing the logic
> needed for the target.  The patches apply to and compile with the current
> master. You need --enable-targets=all
> to compile.
> While the basic structure is very similar i made some different design
> decisions compared to Peter. Most notably i store the needed private data in
> a libiberty/htab (shouldn't be much of a problem to move to
> std::unordered_map) with the variables name as key and its address/struct
> type/struct field as value. Thus it is closer to the approach using
> std::array Yao suggested [2].
> In addition i also have a implementation to handle kernel modules. Together
> with this goes the handling of kernel virtual addresses which i quite like.
> Unfortunately generalizing this handling to any kind of virtual address
> would need a mechanism to pass the address space to target_xfer_partial.
> The biggest drawback of my design currently is the mapping between the CPUs
> and the task_strucs of the running tasks. Currently the mapping is static,
> i.e. it is generated once at initialization and cannot be updated.

Live debug of a target is the main use case we are trying to support with the
linux-kthread patches. So for us on-going thread synchronisation between
GDB and the Linux target is a key feature we need.

> Knowing
> this weakness i discussed quite long with Andreas how to improve it. In this
> context we also discussed the reavenscar-approach Peter is using. In the end
> we decided against this approach. In particular we discussed a scenario when
> you also stack a userspace target on top of the kernel target.

How do you stack a userspace target on top with a coredump?

> In this case
> you would have three different views on threads (hardware, kernel,
> userspace). With the ravenscar-approach this scenario is impossible to
> implement as the private_thread_info is already occupied by the kernel
> target and the userspace would have no chance to use it. Furthermore you
> would like to have the possibility to switch between different views, i.e.
> see what the kernel and userspace view on a given process is.

Is this a feature you are actively using today with the coredump
(stacking userspace)?

IMO we will need to converge on one 'Linux Kernel thread' layer for
both core dumps and live debug use cases and as you point out with the
current GDB threads using private_thread_info is mandatory to keep the GDB
thread list synchronised with the target Linux kernel over time.

So my preference would be until the changes you talk about below (each
target_ops being responsible for its own thread list) are implemented. If
a user wants to see a userspace view of the system, they should launch a
separate GDB session. Then the 'Linux kernel' threading layer can use
private_thread_info like linux-kthreead and ravenscar do today, and it can
be used for both core dumps and live debug use case.

As an aside, what the original ST patches on which linux-kthread is very
heavily based would do, is if halting the target and it was executing
in userspace it would: -

1) Switch MMU to kernel mapping
2) Read task_struct->mm
3) Pull in the user symbols from the root filesystem
4) Do the VM address translation.

This would then allow the backtrace to work right through from user space across
the user/kernel boundary and into the kernel.

> The idea to
> solve this is to move the global thread_list to the target and allow mapping
> between the threads of the different list. Thus every target can manage its
> own threads. Furthermore there needs to be a way to allow several targets at
> the same time and a way for the user to switch between them. Of course this
> idea would need some work to implement ...

Having each target_ops have its own thread list seems like a very neat solution.
However my preference would be to gate the 'stacking userspace' feature on
implementing this functionality, rather than the other way around.

> Unfortunately there is no way to test the code unless you have access to an
> S390 machine. But if you like and give me some time i can try to make an
> dump available to you. Cross debugging shouldn't be a problem.

A s390 dump could be useful for testing. Also how are you making the dumps (via
kdump)?. As it could be useful to make an ARM dump for testing a ARM arch
layer for your patch series.



> Any kind of feedback is welcome.
> Kind regards
> Philipp
> [1]
> [2]
> Philipp Rudo (7):
>   Convert substitute_path_component to C++
>   Add libiberty/concat styled concat_path function
>   Add basic Linux kernel support
>   Add kernel module support for linux-kernel target
>   Add commands for linux-kernel target
>   Add privileged registers for s390x
>   Add S390 support for linux-kernel target
>  gdb/                       |  16 +
>  gdb/auto-load.c                       |  18 +-
>  gdb/common/common-utils.h             |  16 +-
>  gdb/features/Makefile                 |  11 +-
>  gdb/features/s390-cr.xml              |  26 +
>  gdb/features/s390x-cr-linux64.c       |  99 ++++
>  gdb/features/s390x-cr-linux64.xml     |  24 +
>  gdb/features/s390x-vxcr-linux64.c     | 169 ++++++
>  gdb/features/s390x-vxcr-linux64.xml   |  25 +
>  gdb/gdbarch.c                         |  31 ++
>  gdb/gdbarch.h                         |   8 +
>  gdb/                        |   4 +
>  gdb/lk-cmds.c                         | 248 +++++++++
>  gdb/lk-cmds.h                         |  25 +
>  gdb/lk-lists.c                        |  47 ++
>  gdb/lk-lists.h                        |  56 ++
>  gdb/lk-low.c                          | 964 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
>  gdb/lk-low.h                          | 330 ++++++++++++
>  gdb/lk-modules.c                      | 412 +++++++++++++++
>  gdb/lk-modules.h                      |  29 +
>  gdb/regformats/s390x-cr-linux64.dat   |  76 +++
>  gdb/regformats/s390x-vxcr-linux64.dat | 108 ++++
>  gdb/s390-linux-tdep.c                 | 390 +++++++++++++-
>  gdb/s390-linux-tdep.h                 |  86 ++-
>  gdb/solib.c                           |   8 +
>  gdb/solib.h                           |   5 +
>  gdb/typeprint.c                       |   8 +-
>  gdb/typeprint.h                       |   2 +
>  gdb/utils.c                           |  88 ++--
>  gdb/utils.h                           |  26 +-
>  30 files changed, 3294 insertions(+), 61 deletions(-)
>  create mode 100644 gdb/features/s390-cr.xml
>  create mode 100644 gdb/features/s390x-cr-linux64.c
>  create mode 100644 gdb/features/s390x-cr-linux64.xml
>  create mode 100644 gdb/features/s390x-vxcr-linux64.c
>  create mode 100644 gdb/features/s390x-vxcr-linux64.xml
>  create mode 100644 gdb/lk-cmds.c
>  create mode 100644 gdb/lk-cmds.h
>  create mode 100644 gdb/lk-lists.c
>  create mode 100644 gdb/lk-lists.h
>  create mode 100644 gdb/lk-low.c
>  create mode 100644 gdb/lk-low.h
>  create mode 100644 gdb/lk-modules.c
>  create mode 100644 gdb/lk-modules.h
>  create mode 100644 gdb/regformats/s390x-cr-linux64.dat
>  create mode 100644 gdb/regformats/s390x-vxcr-linux64.dat

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