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SubjectRe: Netlink connector
On Mon, Jul 25, 2005 at 09:56:56PM -0700, Stephen Hemminger (shemminger@osdl.org) wrote:
> Evgeniy Polyakov wrote:
>
> >On Tue, Jul 26, 2005 at 01:46:04AM +0200, Patrick McHardy
> >(kaber@trash.net) wrote:
> >
> >
> >>Evgeniy Polyakov wrote:
> >>
> >>
> >>>On Mon, Jul 25, 2005 at 04:32:32PM +0200, Patrick McHardy
> >>>(kaber@trash.net) wrote:
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>>If I understand correctly it tries to workaround some netlink
> >>>>limitations (limited number of netlink families and multicast groups)
> >>>>by sending everything to userspace and demultiplexing it there.
> >>>>Same in the other direction, an additional layer on top of netlink
> >>>>does basically the same thing netlink already does. This looks like
> >>>>a step in the wrong direction to me, netlink should instead be fixed
> >>>>to support what is needed.
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>Not only it.
> >>>The main _first_ idea was to simplify userspace mesasge handling as much
> >>>as possible.
> >>>In first releases I called it ioctl-ng - any module that want ot
> >>>communicate with userspace in the way ioctl does,
> >>>
> >>>
> >>Usually netlink is easily extendable by using nested TLVs. By hiding
> >>this you basically remove this extensibility.
> >>
> >>
> >
> >Current netlink is not extensible for _many_ different users.
> >It has only 32 sockets.
> >
> >
> >
> >>>requires skb allocation/freeing/handling.
> >>>Does RTC driver writer need to know what is the difference between
> >>>shared and cloned skb? Should kernel user of such message bus
> >>>have to know about skb at all?
> >>>
> >>>
> >>Netlink users don't have to care about shared or cloned skbs. I don't
> >>think its a big issue to use alloc_skb and then the usual netlink
> >>macros. Thomas added a number of macros that simplfiy use a lot.
> >>
> >>
> >
> >Kernel user also must know about difference between unicast/broadcast,
> >how to dequeue the skb, how to free it and in what context.
> >ioctl users do not need to know how file_operations is bound to file.
> >
> >
> >
> >>But my main objection is that it sends everything to userspace even
> >>if noone is listening. This can't be used for things that generate
> >>lots of events, and also will get problematic is the number of users
> >>increases.
> >>
> >>
> >
> >It is a problem for existing netlink - either check in bind time,
> >what could be done for connector, or in socket creation time.
> >
> >Actually it is not even a problem, since checking is being done,
> >but after allocation and message filling, such check can be moved into
> >cn_netlink_send() in connector, but different netlink users,
> >who prefers to use different sockets, must perform it by itself in each
> >place, where skb is allocated...
> >
> >Connector is a solution for current situation,
> >it can be deployed with few casualties.
> >Creating a new netlink2 socket for device, which wants to replace ioctl
> >controlling or broadcast it's state is a wrong way.
> >Different sockets/flows does not allow easy flow control.
> >
> >We have one pipe - ethernet, and many protocols inside this pipe
> >with different headers - it is the same here - netlink is such a pipe,
> >and with connector it allows to have different protocols in it.
> >
> >
> >
> >>>With char device I only need to register my callback - with kernel
> >>>connector it is the same, but allows to use the whole power of netlink,
> >>>especially without nice ioctl features like different pointer size
> >>>in userspace and kernelspace.
> >>>
> >>>
> >>You still have to take care of mixed 64/32 bit environments, u64 fields
> >>for example are differently alligned.
> >>
> >>
> >
> >Connector has a size in it's header - ioctl does not.
> >
> >
> >
> >>>And number of free netlink sockets is _very_ small, especially
> >>>if allocate new one for simple notifications, which can be easily done
> >>>using connector.
> >>>
> >>>
> >>Then fix it so we can use more families and groups. I started some work
> >>on this, but I'm not sure if I have time to complete it.
> >>
> >>
> >
> >It does not "fix" the "problem" of skb management knowledge, which I
> >described.
> >Netlink is a transport protocol, some general logic must be created on
> >top of it, like it is done in TCP/IP.
> >
> >
> >
> >>>And netlink can be extended to support it - netlink is a transport
> >>>protocol, it should not care about higher layer message handling,
> >>>connector instead will deliver message to the end user in a very
> >>>convenient form.
> >>>
> >>>
> >>You can still built this stuff on top, but the workarounds for netlink
> >>limitations need to be fixed in netlink.
> >>
> >>
> >
> >I could not call it workaround, I think it is a management layer,
> >which allows :
> >1. easy usage. Just register a callback and that is all. Callback will
> >be invoced each time new message arrives. No need to
> >dequeue/free/anything.
> >2. easy usage. Call one function for message delivering, which can
> >care of nonexistent users, perform flow control, congestion control,
> >guarantee delivery and any other.
> >3. Easily deployable - current implementation is so simple, and it does
> >work with existing netlink.
> >4. It is logical level on top of transport protocol, it is UDP/IP over
> >ethernet :)
> >
> >
> >
> If it is a transport, then it should be in the kernel. Otherwise, it
> becomes painful
> for applications with multiple input sources. Think of
> epoll/poll/select and threads,
> doing the demultiplexing in user space would be a pain for applications
> and libraries.

It _is_ in the kernel - multiplexing is being done in a send time,
userspace does not receive messages for different ID's.
Currently it is done using netlink groups, and I would like to change
it, but conenctor layer itself will not be changed, so no application
will be changed - they bound before and will only bound after.
one socket, different groups.

Ok, now application bound to -1 group will receive all traffic, but I
posted proof-of-concept patch to remove such behaviour.

> The other way to go is to use something like dbus/hal and use a higher level
> application oriented interface. The problem with that approach, is it
> assumes
> every management app wants to drag in gnome..

No need to parse headers there.
When we read from UDP socket, we do not get headers - connector users
do not read netlink header, and it is possible to completely remove
even connector header, although I would like to have it - some kind of
HDRINCL option...

--
Evgeniy Polyakov
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