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SubjectRe: [PATCH 27/53] perf/core: Put size of a sample at the end of it by PERF_SAMPLE_TAILSIZE
On Tue, Jan 12, 2016 at 01:33:28PM +0800, Wangnan (F) wrote:
> On 2016/1/12 2:09, Alexei Starovoitov wrote:
> >On Mon, Jan 11, 2016 at 01:48:18PM +0000, Wang Nan wrote:
> >>This patch introduces a PERF_SAMPLE_TAILSIZE flag which allows a size
> >>field attached at the end of a sample. The idea comes from [1] that,
> >>with tie size at tail of an event, it is possible for user program who
> >>read from the ring buffer parse events backward.
> >>
> >>For example:
> >>
> >> head
> >> |
> >> V
> >> +--+---+-------+----------+------+---+
> >> |E6|...| B 8| C 11| D 7|E..|
> >> +--+---+-------+----------+------+---+
> >>
> >>In this case, from the 'head' pointer provided by kernel, user program
> >>can first see '6' by (*(head - sizeof(u64))), then it can get the start
> >>pointer of record 'E', then it can read size and find start position
> >>of record D, C, B in similar way.
> >adding extra 8 bytes for every sample is quite unfortunate.
> >How about another idea:
> >. update data_tail pointer when head is about to overwrite it
> >
> >Ex:
> > head data_tail
> > | |
> > V V
> > +--+-------+-------+---+----+---+
> > |E | ... | B | C | D | E |
> > +--+-------+-------+---+----+---+
> >
> >if new sample F is about to overwrite B, the kernel would need
> >to read the size of B from B's header and update data_tail to point C.
> >Or even further.
> >Comparing to TAILSIZE approach, now kernel will be doing both reads
> >and writes into ring-buffer and there is a concern that reads may
> >be hitting cold data, but if the records are small they may be
> >actually on the same cache line brought by the previous
> >read A's header, write E record cycle. So I think we shouldn't see
> >cache misses.
> After ring buffer rewind, we need a read before nearly
> every write operations. The performance penalty depends on
> configuration of write allocate. In addition, another data
> dependency is required: we must wait for the size of
> event B is retrived before overwrite it.
> Even in the very first try at 2013 in [1], reading from the ring
> buffer is avoided. I don't think Peter changes his mind now.
> >Another concern is validity of records stored. If user space messes
> >with ring-buffer, kernel won't be able to move data_tail properly
> >and would need to indicate that to userspace somehow.
> >But memory saving of 8 bytes per record could be sizable
> Yes. But I have already discussed with Peter on this in [2].
> Last month I suggested:
> <quote>
> 1. If PERF_SAMPLE_SIZE is selected, we can avoid outputting the event
> size in header. Which eliminate extra space cost;
> </quote>
> However:
> <quote>
> That would mandate you always parse the stream backwards. Which seems
> rather unfortunate. Also, no you cannot recoup the extra space, see the
> alignment and size requirement.

hmm, in this kernel patch I see that you're adding 8 bytes for
every record via this extra TAILSISZE flag and in perf you're
walking the ring buffer backwards by reading this 8 byte
sizes, comparing header sizes and so on until reaching beginning,
where you start dumping it as normal.
So for this 'signal to perf' approach to work the ring buffer
will contain tailsizes everywhere just so that user space can
find the beginning. That's not very pretty. imo if kernel
can do header read to adjust data_tail it would make user
space side clean. May be there are other solutions.
Adding tailsize seems like brute force hack.
There must be some nicer way.

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