[OpenBIOS] Grand Unified Tracing

Blue Swirl blauwirbel at gmail.com
Tue Aug 23 16:54:08 CEST 2011

On Tue, Aug 23, 2011 at 2:45 PM, Stefan Hajnoczi <stefanha at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 23, 2011 at 3:34 PM, Blue Swirl <blauwirbel at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Tue, Aug 23, 2011 at 5:35 AM, Stefan Hajnoczi <stefanha at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> On Mon, Aug 22, 2011 at 9:59 PM, Blue Swirl <blauwirbel at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> On Mon, Aug 22, 2011 at 8:23 PM, Stefan Hajnoczi <stefanha at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>> On Mon, Aug 22, 2011 at 7:14 PM, Blue Swirl <blauwirbel at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>> OpenBIOS uses traditional DPRINTFs for debugging. I was considering
>>>>>> replacing those with tracepoints, which would output to serial device
>>>>>> or whatever DPRINTFs are using currently. This would not be extremely
>>>>>> useful by itself, except maybe that configuration for debugging would
>>>>>> be concentrated to single 'trace-events' file, but this would not be a
>>>>>> major improvement over current XML configuration.
>>>>>> But developing this further, maybe OpenBIOS could also pass the
>>>>>> tracepoint data back to QEMU? Then all tracepoint data would be
>>>>>> synchronized, coherent and all gathered to single place.
>>>>>> The implementation could be that fw_cfg would be used to pass
>>>>>> simpletrace style data. An offset should be added to event IDs and
>>>>>> data would then be output as usual. On OpenBIOS side, the
>>>>>> implementation would be pretty similar to current QEMU tracepoints but
>>>>>> in place of file output there would be fw_cfg output.
>>>>>> Syntax for trace-events file should be augmented with include
>>>>>> directive, so that QEMU knows also OpenBIOS tracepoints. I think the
>>>>>> only change to simpletrace.py would be to parse this directive.
>>>>>> Controlling OpenBIOS tracepoints from QEMU monitor would be cool too.
>>>>>> Going even further, other targets like kernels could use something
>>>>>> similar, probably not using fw_cfg though.
>>>>>> What do you think?
>>>>> Dhaval showed me a demo of unified host/guest Linux tracing last week.
>>>>>  He is doing something similar except using a hypercall to pass a
>>>>> string to the host kernel.  In his case kvm.ko handles the hypercall
>>>>> and qemu is not involved.
>>>> So the events flow directly from guest kernel to host kernel?
>>> Yes.
>> How is that used then, with dmesg?
> When the host processes the trace hypercall it simply forwards the
> trace event on to host Linux's trace.  It currently logs the string
> from the guest and prefixes it with the guest program counter, I
> believe.  You can dump out the trace using the usual Linux ftrace
> debugfs files.
> But the longer term goal, I believe, is to really integrate guest and
> host tracing so that host userspace (e.g. perf(1)) can pull out trace
> events from the guest and just sees them tagged as belonging to a
> particular qemu-kvm process.
>>>>> One issue with QEMU tracing is that trace call sites are static.  You
>>>>> need to compile in a trace_*() call, which means that there are two
>>>>> choices for how to tunnel OpenBIOS trace events:
>>>>> 1. Define a tunnel trace event:
>>>>> openbios_event(uint64_t event_id, uint64_t arg1, uint64_t arg2, ...)
>>>>> QEMU only has one trace event to tunnel OpenBIOS trace events.  Then
>>>>> the host is unable to pretty-print OpenBIOS traces automatically and
>>>>> the max arguments becomes 6 - 1 (for the openbios_event tunnel event
>>>>> id).
>>>>> 2. Generate a switch statement to demultiplex trace events:
>>>>> void hypercall(uint64_t event_id, uint64_t arg1, ...)
>>>>> {
>>>>>    /* This is auto-generated by tracetool */
>>>>>    switch (event_id) {
>>>>>        trace_openbios_foo(arg1, arg2, arg3);
>>>>>        break;
>>>>>        trace_openbios_bar(arg1);
>>>>>        break;
>>>>>    ...
>>>>>    }
>>>>> }
>>>>> With this approach the user can toggle trace events at runtime and it
>>>>> works out much nicer.
>>>> Maybe I'm missing something, but why would we have to multiplex
>>>> anything? Since the trace IDs are 64 bits, we can easily allocate a
>>>> static range (starting from 0x8000000000000000) to non-native events
>>>> so that QEMU IDs and OpenBIOS IDs do not overlap. QEMU would add this
>>>> offset to IDs coming from fw_cfg. Then QEMU would just pass the data
>>>> (8*64 bit words) to tracing back end. There obviously something needs
>>>> to be changed so that OpenBIOS messages can be generated. For
>>>> simpletrace this should be easy, for stderr and other back ends that
>>>> may be more complicated.
>>> I meant that the interface generated by tracetool is a header file
>>> with trace_*() functions.  If you want to support any tracing backend
>>> then you need to use this interface and cannot call simpletrace.c
>>> trace0(), trace1(), ... directly.
>>> Are you thinking of only supporting the simple trace backend?
>> That would be simplest, then fw_cfg.c (or some intermediate entity)
>> could just call trace6().
>> But stderr would be useful too. I think that could be done by adding
>> code to read trace-events file to grab the format string. Then a
>> modified vfprintf would parse it but instead of va_arg(args, type) it
>> would just grab the uint64_t arg. Your approach would be much simpler.
> I see.  I think we should avoid introducing dependencies on specific
> trace backends, so I would go for the generated switch statement
> above.  That way you can even use DTrace/SystemTap or other backends.
> Also if we called traceX() directly we'd have to duplicate the logic
> to check whether the trace event is enabled/disabled, so it becomes a
> bit messy.

I see. I'll try the switch approach then.

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