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[Xen-devel] Re: SKB paged fragment lifecycle on receive

On Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 10:41:35AM +0100, Ian Campbell wrote:
> On Sun, 2011-06-26 at 11:25 +0100, Michael S. Tsirkin wrote:
> > On Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 04:43:22PM +0100, Ian Campbell wrote:
> > > In this mode guest data pages ("foreign pages") were mapped into the
> > > backend domain (using Xen grant-table functionality) and placed into the
> > > skb's paged frag list (skb_shinfo(skb)->frags, I hope I am using the
> > > right term). Once the page is finished with netback unmaps it in order
> > > to return it to the guest (we really want to avoid returning such pages
> > > to the general allocation pool!).
> > 
> > Are the pages writeable by the source guest while netback processes
> > them?  If yes, firewalling becomes unreliable as the packet can be
> > modified after it's checked, right?
> We only map the paged frags, the linear area is always copied (enough to
> cover maximally sized TCP/IP, including options), for this reason.

Hmm. That'll cover the most common scenarios
(such as port filtering) but not deep inspection.
Not sure how important that is.

> > Also, for guest to guest communication, do you wait for
> > the destination to stop looking at the packet in order
> > to return it to the source? If yes, can source guest
> > networking be disrupted by a slow destination?
> There is a timeout which ultimately does a copy into dom0 memory and
> frees up the domain grant for return to the sending guest.

Interesting. How long's the timeout?

> > > Jeremy Fitzhardinge and I subsequently
> > > looked at the possibility of a no-clone skb flag (i.e. always forcing a
> > > copy instead of a clone)
> > 
> > I think this is the approach that the patchset
> > 'macvtap/vhost TX zero-copy support' takes.
> That's TX from the guests PoV, the same as I am looking at here,
> correct?


> I should definitely check this work out, thanks for the pointer. Is V7
> (http://marc.info/?l=linux-kernel&m=130661128431312&w=2) the most recent
> posting?

I think so.

> I suppose one difference with this is that it deals with data from
> "dom0" userspace buffers rather than (what looks like) kernel memory,
> although I don't know if that matters yet. Also it hangs off of struct
> sock which netback doesn't have. Anyway I'll check it out.

I think the most important detail is the copy on clone approach.
We can make it controlled by an skb flag if necessary.

> > > but IIRC honouring it universally turned into a
> > > very twisty maze with a number of nasty corner cases etc.
> > 
> > Any examples? Are they covered by the patchset above?
> It was quite a while ago so I don't remember many of the specifics.
> Jeremy might remember better but for example any broadcast traffic
> hitting a bridge (a very interesting case for Xen), seems like a likely
> case? pcap was another one which I do remember, but that's obviously
> less critical.

Last I looked I thought these clone the skb, so if a copy happens on
clone things will work correctly?

> I presume with the TX zero-copy support the "copying due to attempted
> clone" rate is low?

Yes. My understanding is that this version targets a non-bridged setup
(guest connected to a macvlan on a physical dev) as the first step.

> > > FWIW I proposed a session on the subject for LPC this year.
> > We also plan to discuss this on kvm forum 2011
> > (colocated with linuxcon 2011).
> > http://www.linux-kvm.org/page/KVM_Forum_2011
> I had already considered coming to LinuxCon for other reasons but
> unfortunately I have family commitments around then :-(
> Ian.

And I'm not coming to LPC this year :(


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