[PATCH RFC 2/6] arm64: Kprobes with single stepping support

Will Deacon will.deacon at arm.com
Mon Nov 11 05:58:12 EST 2013

On Mon, Nov 11, 2013 at 10:51:52AM +0000, Masami Hiramatsu wrote:
> (2013/11/11 16:54), Masami Hiramatsu wrote:
> >>>> In fact, how do you avoid a race with hardware breakpoints? E.g., somebody
> >>>> places a hardware breakpoint on an instruction in the kernel for which
> >>>> kprobes has patched in a brk. We take the hardware breakpoint, disable the
> >>>> breakpoint and set up a single step before returning to the brk. The brk
> >>>> then traps, but we must take care not to disable single-step and/or unmask
> >>>> debug exceptions, because that will cause the hardware breakpoint code to
> >>>> re-arm its breakpoint before we've stepped off the brk instruction.
> >>>
> >>> Hmm, frankly to say, this kind of race issue is not seriously discussed
> >>> on x86 too, since kgdb is still a special tool (not used on the production
> >>> system).
> >>> I think under such situation kgdb operator must have full control of the
> >>> system, and he can (and has to) avoid such kind of race.
> >> Masami,
> >>
> >> Hmm I think in same lines, but not sure if we expect kprobes to be
> >> able to work fool-proof along with kgdb or hw breakpoints ?
> > 
> > For hw breakpoint, yes, we finally get check each other to safely
> > use it even if one rejects the other one at some points(address).
> > Since the hw breakpoint is already open for normal user via perf,
> > we should do it. But the policy still needs to be discussed.
> OK, I've ensured that the hw_breakpoint (from perf) can work
> with kprobes (from ftrace) at the same address on x86.
> So if arm64 already support hw_breakpoint on perf, kprobes should
> work with it.

Single-stepping on x86 is different to the step behaviour on arm64 afaik. On
ARM, we have to manually remove the breakpoint, perform a single-step, then
add the breakpoint again. If we re-enable debug exceptions in the kprobe
handler, the step will complete early and we'll never step off the

Sandeepa: I think you need to retry Masami's test on the arm64 model, since
I'm fairly sure it won't work as expected without some additional code.


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