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SubjectRe: [PATCH v2] kernel: add kcov code coverage
On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 2:34 PM, Andrey Ryabinin <> wrote:
> 2016-01-15 17:07 GMT+03:00 Dmitry Vyukov <>:
>>>>> Note that this works only for cache-coherent architectures.
>>>>> For incoherent arches you'll need to flush_dcache_page() somewhere.
>>>>> Perhaps it could be done on exit to userspace, since flushing here is
>>>>> certainly an overkill.
>>>> I can say that I understand the problem. Does it have to do with the
>>>> fact that the buffer is shared between kernel and user-space?
>>>> Current code is OK from the plain multi-threading side, as user must
>>>> not read buffer concurrently with writing (that would not yield
>>>> anything useful).
>>> It's not about SMP.
>>> This problem is about virtually indexed aliasing D-caches and could be
>>> observed on uniprocessor system.
>>> You have 3 virtual addresses (user-space, linear mapping and vmalloc)
>>> mapped to the same physical page.
>>> With aliasing cache it's possible to have multiple cache-lines
>>> representing the same physical page.
>>> So the kernel might not see the update made by userspace and vise
>>> versa because kernel/userspace use different virtual addresses.
>>> And btw, flush_dcache_page() would be a wrong choice, since kcov_area
>>> is a vmalloc address, not a linear address.
>>> So we need something that flushes vmalloc addresses.
>>> Alternatively we could simply mlock that memory and talk to user space
>>> via get/put_user(). No flush will be required.
>>> And we will avoid another potential problem - lack of vmalloc address
>>> space on 32-bits.
>> Do you mean that user-space allocates a buffer and passes this buffer
>> to ioctl(KCOV_INIT); kernel locks this range and then directly writes
>> to it?
> It's one of the ways of doing this. Another possible way is to
> allocate, mmap and pin pages in kcov_mmap().

Which means that we can hide it under the same interface, right?
I preallocate all pages in kcov_mmap() in v4 as suggested by Kirill.
If we can hide it under the current interface, then I would prefer to
do locking later in subsequent patches (probably the ones that port
kcov to an arch that require flush).

>> I afraid it becomes prohibitively expensive with put_user/get_user:
> Right, but it should be better with __get_user/__put_user.
>> Also, won't it require the same flush since the region is mmaped into
>> several processes (and process that reads is not the one that setups
>> the region)?
> But it's only child process that could inherit kcov mapping from
> parent, so it's be the same physical->virtual mapping as in parent.


>> Size of coverage buffer that I currently use is 64K. I hope it is not
>> a problem for 32-bit archs.
> 64K - per process. It's hard to whether this is a real problem or not,
> since it depends
> on how many processes collect coverage, size of vmalloc and vmalloc's
> utilization by the rest of the kernel.

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