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SubjectRe: Setting monotonic time?
On Wed, Oct 3, 2018 at 8:14 AM Eric W. Biederman <> wrote:
> Thomas Gleixner <> writes:
> > On Wed, 3 Oct 2018, Eric W. Biederman wrote:
> >> Direct access to hardware/drivers and not through an abstraction like
> >> the vfs (an abstraction over block devices) can legitimately be handled
> >> by hotplug events. I unplug one keyboard I plug in another.
> >>
> >> I don't know if the input layer is more of a general abstraction
> >> or more of a hardware device. I have not dug into it but my guess
> >> is abstraction from what I have heard.
> >>
> >> The scary difficulty here is if after restart input is reporting times
> >> in CLOCK_MONOTONIC and the applications in the namespace are talking
> >> about times in CLOCK_MONOTONIC_SYNC. Then there is an issue. As even
> >> with a fixed offset the times don't match up.
> >>
> >> So a time namespace absolutely needs to do is figure out how to deal
> >> with all of the kernel interfaces reporting times and figure out how to
> >> report them in the current time namespace.
> >
> > So you want to talk to Arnd who is leading the y2038 effort. He knowns how
> > many and which interfaces are involved aside of the obvious core timer
> > ones. It's quite an amount and the problem is that you really need to do
> > that at the interface level, because many of those time stamps are taken in
> > contexts which are completely oblivious of name spaces. Ditto for timeouts
> > and similar things which are handed in through these interfaces.
> Yep. That sounds right.

Let's stay with the input event example for the moment: Here, we have a
character device, and a user calls read() to retrieve one or more records
of type 'struct input_event' using the evdev_read() function. The original
timestamp gets put there using this logic:

ktime_t time;
struct timespec64 ts;
time = client->clk_type == EV_CLK_REAL ?
ktime_get_real() :
client->clk_type == EV_CLK_MONO ?
ktime_get() :
ts = ktime_to_timespec64(time);
ev.input_event_sec = ts.tv_sec;
ev.input_event_usec = ts.tv_nsec / NSEC_PER_USEC;

clk_type can get set using an ioctl() to real, monotonic or
boottime. We have to stop using EV_CLK_REAL in the
future because that breaks in y2038, but I guess EV_CLK_MONO
and EV_CLK_BOOK should stay.

If we want this to work correctly in a namespace that has a
user defined CLOCK_MONOTONIC timebase, one way to
do it might be to always call ktime_get() when we record
the timestamp in the kernel-internal CLOCK_MONOTONIC
base, but then convert it to the correct base when copying to
user space.

Note that AFAIU practically all users of evdev do /not/ actually
care about the time base, they only care about the elapsed
time between intervals, e.g. to track how fast a pointer should
move based on input from a trackpad. I don't see any reason
why one would compare this timestamp to a clock_gettime()
value, but of course at the moment this has well-defined
behavior that would break if we change clock_gettime(), and
we have a process in the namespace that opens
/dev/input/eventX and relies on meaningful timestamps
relative to a particular base.


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