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    SubjectRe: [PATCH] net: add ability to clear stats via ethtool - e1000/pcnet32
    Bill Fink wrote:
    > On Sun, 1 Jun 2008, Ben Hutchings wrote:
    > > Bill Fink wrote:
    > > <snip>
    > > > Yes, every individual Linux network administrator can re-create the
    > > > wheel by devising their own scripts, but it makes much more sense
    > > > to me to implement a simple general kernel mechanism once that could
    > > > be used generically, than to have hundreds (or thousands) of Linux
    > > > network administrators each having to do it themselves (perhaps
    > > > multiple times if they have a variety of types of systems and types
    > > > of NICs).
    > >
    > > The ethtool interface is pretty generic, even if the names aren't.
    > > Here's some Python code I just knocked up which demonstrates how
    > > to get a set of named stats. It shouldn't be terribly hard to
    > > extend this to saving and subtracting stat sets.
    > I'm not sure what that proves. Your python code just basically gives
    > the same info as running the "ethtool -S" command.

    Yes, but in a form you can more easily manipulate.

    > But the question
    > is how does one devise a generic script or tool that doesn't require
    > any special knowledge of the specific NIC being used. For example,
    > here's the "ethtool -S" info for my myri10ge NIC:
    > [root@chance8 ~]# ethtool -S eth2
    > NIC statistics:
    > WC: 1
    > irq: 8413
    > MSI: 1
    > read_dma_bw_MBs: 1398
    > write_dma_bw_MBs: 1613
    > read_write_dma_bw_MBs: 2711
    > serial_number: 287046
    > tx_linearized: 0
    > link_changes: 8
    > link_up: 1
    > How does one know which of these reported values are counter stats
    > that one wishes to zero/snapshot, and which are not?

    Ah, I see, I didn't realise some drivers were abusing ethtool stats in
    this way. But for the most part the differences will show up as zeroes.

    If there's really a need for ethtool stats that aren't counters,
    maybe the ethtool API should include flags to indicate which they are.

    > Another issue that occurred to me is if multiple people are working
    > on troubleshooting a network problem, how do we insure that they all
    > get a consistent view of the stats? If this is done via a kernel
    > mechanism then there isn't an issue. But if it's done via user space,
    > then you have to make sure that everyone zeros/snapshots the stats
    > at the same time.
    > Ideally, one should be able to do something like "ethtool -z ethX"
    > to zero/snapshot the driver stats, and then "ethtool -S ethX" to get
    > the stats since the last snapshot. You should be able to use the
    > same tool ("ethtool") to do all of this, and not some other special
    > tool or specially devised homegrown script. Why make users lives
    > any more difficult than need be?

    No-one's stopping you from adding these options to ethtool. You could
    have it save statistic sets in, say, /var/run/ethtool.


    Ben Hutchings, Senior Software Engineer, Solarflare Communications
    Not speaking for my employer; that's the marketing department's job.

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