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SubjectRe: [PATCH 2/3] bpf powerpc: implement support for tail calls
On 09/23/2016 10:35 PM, Naveen N. Rao wrote:
> Tail calls allow JIT'ed eBPF programs to call into other JIT'ed eBPF
> programs. This can be achieved either by:
> (1) retaining the stack setup by the first eBPF program and having all
> subsequent eBPF programs re-using it, or,
> (2) by unwinding/tearing down the stack and having each eBPF program
> deal with its own stack as it sees fit.
> To ensure that this does not create loops, there is a limit to how many
> tail calls can be done (currently 32). This requires the JIT'ed code to
> maintain a count of the number of tail calls done so far.
> Approach (1) is simple, but requires every eBPF program to have (almost)
> the same prologue/epilogue, regardless of whether they need it. This is
> inefficient for small eBPF programs which may not sometimes need a
> prologue at all. As such, to minimize impact of tail call
> implementation, we use approach (2) here which needs each eBPF program
> in the chain to use its own prologue/epilogue. This is not ideal when
> many tail calls are involved and when all the eBPF programs in the chain
> have similar prologue/epilogue. However, the impact is restricted to
> programs that do tail calls. Individual eBPF programs are not affected.
> We maintain the tail call count in a fixed location on the stack and
> updated tail call count values are passed in through this. The very
> first eBPF program in a chain sets this up to 0 (the first 2
> instructions). Subsequent tail calls skip the first two eBPF JIT
> instructions to maintain the count. For programs that don't do tail
> calls themselves, the first two instructions are NOPs.
> Signed-off-by: Naveen N. Rao <>

Thanks for adding support, Naveen, that's really great! I think 2) seems
fine as well in this context as prologue size can vary quite a bit here,
and depending on program types likelihood of tail call usage as well (but
I wouldn't expect deep nesting). Thanks a lot!

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