[PATCH v5 3/3] kprobes: arm: enable OPTPROBES for ARM 32

Jon Medhurst (Tixy) tixy at linaro.org
Thu Sep 4 03:40:35 PDT 2014

On Wed, 2014-09-03 at 11:30 +0100, Will Deacon wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 03, 2014 at 11:18:04AM +0100, Masami Hiramatsu wrote:
> > (2014/09/02 22:49), Jon Medhurst (Tixy) wrote:
> > > 1. On SMP systems it's very slow because of kprobe's use of stop_machine
> > > for applying and removing probes, this forces the system to idle and
> > > wait for the next scheduler tick for each probe change.
> > 
> > Hmm, agreed. It seems that arm32 limitation of self-modifying code on SMP.
> > I'm not sure how we can handle it, but I guess;
> >  - for some processors which have better coherent cache for SMP, we can
> >    atomically replace the breakpoint code with original code.
> Except that it's not an architected breakpoint instruction, as I mentioned
> before. It's also not really a property of the cache.
> >  - Even if we get an "undefined instruction" exception, its handler can
> >    ask kprobes if the address is under modifying or not. And if it is,
> >    we can just return from the exception to retry the execution.
> It's not as simple as that -- you could potentially see an interleaving of
> the two instructions. The architecture is even broader than that:
>  Concurrent modification and execution of instructions can lead to the
>  resulting instruction performing any behavior that can be achieved by
>  executing any sequence of instructions that can be executed from the
>  same Exception level,
> There are additional guarantees for some instructions (like the architected
> BKPT instruction).

I should point out that the current implementation of kprobes doesn't
use stop_machine because it's trying to meet the above architecture
restrictions, and that arming kprobes (changing probed instruction to an
undefined instruction) isn't usually done under stop_machine, so other
CPUs could be executing the original instruction as it's being modified.

So, should we be making patch_text unconditionally use stop machine and
remove all direct use of __patch_text? (E.g. by jump labels.)


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