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SubjectRe: The disappearing sys_call_table export.
Unfortunately we live in an insane world. 

First of all, in the Changelog where the export was removed for 2.5.41

Arjan lists 4 reasons for having the export in the first place, and I'm
on point 3. Here Arjan pretty much acknowledges that there is a
legitimate need to have a event/hook system to be informed of a syscall.
The exact quote is: "Eg the use of the export in this just a bandaid due
to lack of a proper mechanism".

My argument for *why* there should be a mechanism stops here.

Since you're bright inquisitive: The exact problem I'm facing is pretty

1. performance is everything.
2. We're making a MPI library, and as such we don't have any control
with the application.
3a. The various hardware for cluster interconnect all work with DMA.
3b. the performance loss from copying from a receive area to the
userspace buffer is unacceptable.
3c. It's therefore necessary for HW to access user pages.
4. In order to to 3, the user pages must be pinned down.
5. the way MPI is written, it's not using a special malloc() to allocate
the send receive buffers. It can't since it would break language binding
to fortran. Thus ANY writeable user page may be used.
6. point 4: pinning is VERY expensive (point 1), so I can't pin the
buffers every time they're used.
7. The only way to cache buffers (to see if they're used before and
hence pinned) is the user space virtual address. A syscall, thus ioctl
to a device file is prohibitive expensive under point 1.
8a. if the app (glibc in practice, but you never know) use sbrk() with a
negative arg, and then a positive argument, I can get a a different set
of user pages with the same address.
8b ditto with a set of munmap()/mmap().
9. since the number of times. any 'realloc' may happen is << than the
numbers of times any buffer may be used, it's necessary under point 1 to
to trace changes to virtual addresses to phys pages, rather than test
every time an address is being used.
10. kernel patches are impractical, I must be able to do this with std
stock, redhat, AND suse kernels.

On Mon, 2003-05-05 at 10:23, Christoph Hellwig wrote:
> On Mon, May 05, 2003 at 10:19:45AM +0200, Terje Eggestad wrote:
> > Now that it seem that all are in agreement that the sys_call_table
> > symbol shall not be exported to modules, are there any work in progress
> > to allow modules to get an event/notification whenever a specific
> > syscall is being called?
> No.
> > We have a specific need to trace mmap() and sbrk() calls.
> Well, you get mmap events for your driver and I can't imagine a sane
> reason for intwercepting sbrk(). Do you have a pointer to the driver
> source doing such strange things?

Terje Eggestad
Scali Scalable Linux Systems

Olaf Helsets Vei 6 tel: +47 22 62 89 61 (OFFICE)
P.O.Box 150, Oppsal +47 975 31 574 (MOBILE)
N-0619 Oslo fax: +47 22 62 89 51

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