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Subject[patch 07/10] Linux Kernel Markers - Documentation
Here is some documentation explaining what is/how to use the Linux
Kernel Markers.

Signed-off-by: Mathieu Desnoyers <mathieu.desnoyers@polymtl.ca>
Signed-off-by: Andrew Morton <akpm@linux-foundation.org>
---

Documentation/marker.txt | 266 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
1 file changed, 266 insertions(+)

Index: linux-2.6-lttng/Documentation/marker.txt
===================================================================
--- /dev/null 1970-01-01 00:00:00.000000000 +0000
+++ linux-2.6-lttng/Documentation/marker.txt 2007-05-09 18:16:13.000000000 -0400
@@ -0,0 +1,266 @@
+ Using the Linux Kernel Markers
+
+ Mathieu Desnoyers
+
+
+ This document introduces to markers and discusses its purpose. It
+shows some usage examples of the Linux Kernel Markers : how to insert markers
+within the kernel and how to connect probes to a marker. Finally, it has some
+probe module examples. This is what connects to a marker.
+
+
+* Purpose of markers
+
+A marker placed in your code provides a hook to a function (probe) that
+you can provide at runtime. A marker can be "on" (a probe is connected to it)
+or "off" (no probe is attached). An "off" marker has no effect. When turned on,
+the function you provide is called each time the marker is executed in the
+execution context of the caller. When the function provided ends its execution,
+it returns to the caller (marker site).
+
+You can put markers at important locations in the code. They act as
+lightweight hooks that can pass an arbitrary number of parameters,
+described in a printk-like format string, to a function whenever the marker
+code is reached.
+
+They can be used for tracing (LTTng, LKET over SystemTAP), overall performance
+accounting (SystemTAP). They could also be used to implement
+efficient hooks for SELinux or any other subsystem that would have this
+kind of need.
+
+Using the markers for system audit (SELinux) would require to pass a
+variable by address that would be later checked by the marked routine.
+
+
+* Usage
+
+In order to use the macro MARK, you should include linux/marker.h.
+
+#include <linux/marker.h>
+
+Add, in your code :
+
+trace_mark(subsystem_event, "%d %s", someint, somestring);
+Where :
+- subsystem_event is an identifier unique to your event
+ - subsystem is the name of your subsystem.
+ - event is the name of the event to mark.
+- "%d %s" is the formatted string for the serializer.
+- someint is an integer.
+- somestring is a char pointer.
+
+Connecting a function (probe) to a marker is done by providing a probe
+(function to call) for the specific marker through marker_set_probe(). It will
+automatically connect the function and enable the marker site. Removing a probe
+is done through marker_remove_probe(). Probe removal is preempt safe because
+preemption is disabled around the probe call. See the "Probe example" section
+below for a sample probe module.
+
+The marker mechanism supports multiple instances of the same marker.
+Markers can be put in inline functions, inlined static functions and
+unrolled loops.
+
+Note : It is safe to put markers within preempt-safe code : preempt_enable()
+will not call the scheduler due to the tests in preempt_schedule().
+
+
+* Optimization for a given architecture
+
+You will find, in asm-*/marker.h, optimisations for given architectures
+(currently i386 and powerpc). They use a load immediate instead of a data load,
+which saves a data cache hit, but also requires cross CPU code modification. In
+order to support embedded systems which use read-only memory for their code, the
+optimization can be disabled through menu options.
+
+The MF_* flags can be used to control the type of marker. See the
+include/marker.h header for the list of flags. They can be specified as the
+first parameter of the _trace_mark() macro, such as the following example which
+is safe with respect to lockdep.c (useful for marking lockdep.c and printk
+functions).
+
+_trace_mark(MF_DEFAULT | ~MF_LOCKDEP, subsystem_eventb, MARK_NOARGS);
+
+Another example is to specify that a specific marker must never call printk :
+_trace_mark(MF_DEFAULT | ~MF_PRINTK, subsystem_eventc,
+ "%d %s", someint, somestring,);
+
+Flag compatibility is checked before connecting the probe to the marker : the
+right flags must be given to _marker_set_enable().
+
+
+* Probe example
+
+You can build the kernel modules, probe-example.ko and marker-example.ko,
+using the following Makefile:
+------------------------------ CUT -------------------------------------
+obj-m := probe-example.o marker-example.o
+KDIR := /lib/modules/$(shell uname -r)/build
+PWD := $(shell pwd)
+default:
+ $(MAKE) -C $(KDIR) SUBDIRS=$(PWD) modules
+clean:
+ rm -f *.mod.c *.ko *.o
+------------------------------ CUT -------------------------------------
+/* probe-example.c
+ *
+ * Connects two functions to marker call sites.
+ *
+ * (C) Copyright 2007 Mathieu Desnoyers <mathieu.desnoyers@polymtl.ca>
+ *
+ * This file is released under the GPLv2.
+ * See the file COPYING for more details.
+ */
+
+#include <linux/sched.h>
+#include <linux/kernel.h>
+#include <linux/module.h>
+#include <linux/marker.h>
+#include <asm/atomic.h>
+
+#define NUM_PROBES ARRAY_SIZE(probe_array)
+
+struct probe_data {
+ const char *name;
+ const char *format;
+ marker_probe_func *probe_func;
+};
+
+void probe_subsystem_event(const struct __mark_marker_c *mdata,
+ const char *format, ...)
+{
+ va_list ap;
+ /* Declare args */
+ unsigned int value;
+ const char *mystr;
+
+ /* Assign args */
+ va_start(ap, format);
+ value = va_arg(ap, typeof(value));
+ mystr = va_arg(ap, typeof(mystr));
+
+ /* Call printk */
+ printk("Value %u, string %s\n", value, mystr);
+
+ /* or count, check rights, serialize data in a buffer */
+
+ va_end(ap);
+}
+
+atomic_t eventb_count = ATOMIC_INIT(0);
+
+void probe_subsystem_eventb(const struct __mark_marker_c *mdata,
+ const char *format, ...)
+{
+ /* Increment counter */
+ atomic_inc(&eventb_count);
+}
+
+static struct probe_data probe_array[] =
+{
+ { .name = "subsystem_event",
+ .format = "%d %s",
+ .probe_func = probe_subsystem_event },
+ { .name = "subsystem_eventb",
+ .format = MARK_NOARGS,
+ .probe_func = probe_subsystem_eventb },
+};
+
+static int __init probe_init(void)
+{
+ int result;
+ uint8_t eID;
+
+ for (eID = 0; eID < NUM_PROBES; eID++) {
+ result = marker_set_probe(probe_array[eID].name,
+ probe_array[eID].format,
+ probe_array[eID].probe_func, &probe_array[eID]);
+ if (!result)
+ printk(KERN_INFO "Unable to register probe %s\n",
+ probe_array[eID].name);
+ }
+ return 0;
+}
+
+static void __exit probe_fini(void)
+{
+ uint8_t eID;
+
+ for (eID = 0; eID < NUM_PROBES; eID++) {
+ marker_remove_probe(probe_array[eID].name);
+ }
+ synchronize_sched(); /* Wait for probes to finish */
+ printk("Number of event b : %u\n", atomic_read(&eventb_count));
+}
+
+module_init(probe_init);
+module_exit(probe_fini);
+
+MODULE_LICENSE("GPL");
+MODULE_AUTHOR("Mathieu Desnoyers");
+MODULE_DESCRIPTION("SUBSYSTEM Probe");
+------------------------------ CUT -------------------------------------
+/* marker-example.c
+ *
+ * Executes a marker when /proc/marker-example is opened.
+ *
+ * (C) Copyright 2007 Mathieu Desnoyers <mathieu.desnoyers@polymtl.ca>
+ *
+ * This file is released under the GPLv2.
+ * See the file COPYING for more details.
+ */
+
+#include <linux/module.h>
+#include <linux/marker.h>
+#include <linux/sched.h>
+#include <linux/proc_fs.h>
+
+struct proc_dir_entry *pentry_example = NULL;
+
+static int my_open(struct inode *inode, struct file *file)
+{
+ int i;
+
+ trace_mark(subsystem_event, "%d %s", 123, "example string");
+ for (i=0; i<10; i++) {
+ trace_mark(subsystem_eventb, MARK_NOARGS);
+ }
+ return -EPERM;
+}
+
+static struct file_operations mark_ops = {
+ .open = my_open,
+};
+
+static int example_init(void)
+{
+ printk(KERN_ALERT "example init\n");
+ pentry_example = create_proc_entry("marker-example", 0444, NULL);
+ if (pentry_example)
+ pentry_example->proc_fops = &mark_ops;
+ else
+ return -EPERM;
+ return 0;
+}
+
+static void example_exit(void)
+{
+ printk(KERN_ALERT "example exit\n");
+ remove_proc_entry("marker-example", NULL);
+}
+
+module_init(example_init)
+module_exit(example_exit)
+
+MODULE_LICENSE("GPL");
+MODULE_AUTHOR("Mathieu Desnoyers");
+MODULE_DESCRIPTION("Linux Trace Toolkit example");
+------------------------------ CUT -------------------------------------
+Sequence of operations : (as root)
+make
+insmod marker-example.ko
+insmod probe-example.ko
+ (it is important to load the probe after the marked code)
+cat /proc/marker-example (returns an expected error)
+rmmod marker-example probe-example
+dmesg
+------------------------------ CUT -------------------------------------
--
Mathieu Desnoyers
Computer Engineering Ph.D. Student, Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal
OpenPGP key fingerprint: 8CD5 52C3 8E3C 4140 715F BA06 3F25 A8FE 3BAE 9A68
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