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SubjectRe: [PATCH v2 0/8] x86: undwarf unwinder

* Josh Poimboeuf <> wrote:

> Undwarf vs frame pointers
> -------------------------
> With frame pointers enabled, GCC adds instrumentation code to every
> function in the kernel. The kernel's .text size increases by about
> 3.2%, resulting in a broad kernel-wide slowdown. Measurements by Mel
> Gorman [1] have shown a slowdown of 5-10% for some workloads.
> In contrast, the undwarf unwinder has no effect on text size or runtime
> performance, because the debuginfo is out of band. So if you disable
> frame pointers and enable undwarf, you get a nice performance
> improvement across the board, and still have reliable stack traces.
> Another benefit of undwarf compared to frame pointers is that it can
> reliably unwind across interrupts and exceptions. Frame pointer based
> unwinds can skip the caller of the interrupted function if it was a leaf
> function or if the interrupt hit before the frame pointer was saved.
> The main disadvantage of undwarf compared to frame pointers is that it
> needs more memory to store the undwarf table: roughly 3-5MB depending on
> the kernel config.

Note that it's not just a performance improvement, but also an instruction cache
locality improvement: 3.2% .text savings almost directly transform into a
similarly sized reduction in cache footprint. That can transform to even higher
speedups for workloads whose cache locality is borderline.

I _really_ like this feature, and the independence of the debuginfo data format.

Logistically it's too bad we are 3 days away from the merge window to be able to
pick this up:

> 56 files changed, 3466 insertions(+), 1765 deletions(-)

OTOH most of the diffstat is in objtool.

Any objections to applying the first 3 objtool patches straight away and see
whether anything breaks? That would significantly reduce the size of the rest of
the patch set.

> I'm not tied to the 'undwarf' name, other naming ideas are welcome.

Ha, a new bike shed painting job! ;-)

I think 'undwarf' isn't a bad name, it's short, catchy and describes the purpose
of the effort.

But I cannot resist some other suggestions, after 'elf' and 'dwarf' the obvious
candidates from the peoples of Middle-earth would be:

- 'Hobbit'
- 'Eagle'
- 'Ent'
- 'Dragon'
- 'Troll'
- 'Ainur'

'struct troll_entry' has a certain charm to it.

'Eagle' is even nicer IMHO: larger than a dwarf but so much faster - and eagles
are beautiful! Plus the name is 2 letters shorter than 'unwdwarf', win-win.



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