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SubjectRe: [PATCH] Linux Kernel Markers
Hi Martin,

* Martin J. Bligh (mbligh@google.com) wrote:
> Why don't we just copy the whole damned function somewhere else, and
> make an instrumented copy (as a kernel module)? Then reroute all the
> function calls through it, instead of the original version. OK, it's
> not completely trivial to do, but simpler than kprobes (probably
> doing the switchover atomically is the hard part, but not impossible).
> There's NO overhead when not using, and much lower than probes when
> you are.
>

I just thought about your idea and I think it can be very powerful. I think it
can be a lot easier with a probe at the beginning of the function than changing
function pointers everywhere. First of all, if we just think about accessing
easily internal variables, we could think of this simple trampoline scheme :

1 - load the instrumented function with modprobe
2 - use kprobe to reroute the first instructions of the original function to the
new one.
3 - _not_ use the special kprobe_ret, simply return at the end of the
instrumented function.

Then, if we want to optimize the speed of this mechanism, we can deploy
djprobes : it would greatly help them to know in advance where the probe is
located. We would have to see if the prologue of a function is a good spot to
put a jump (it does not seem to be the case however) :( .

To stop this tracing behavior, we would just have to remove the kprobe.
Unloading of the instrumented module can be difficult though (we have to be sure
the code will no longer be executed).

Mathieu


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