[Devel] Re: [PATCH 11/11][v15]: Document sys_eclone

Sukadev Bhattiprolu sukadev at linux.vnet.ibm.com
Tue Jul 20 15:13:57 PDT 2010

Albert Cahalan [acahalan at gmail.com] wrote:
| On Mon, Jul 12, 2010 at 5:54 PM, Sukadev Bhattiprolu
| <sukadev at linux.vnet.ibm.com> wrote:
| > Albert Cahalan [acahalan at gmail.com] wrote:
| >
| > | Not that one couldn't cram
| > | things into the old system call, but that would involve changing
| > | the meaning of at least one parameter based on a flag. (eeew)
| >
| > My understanding was that extending eclone() in the future using a flag
| > to determine the size would get the same response.
| I doubt that. We extended clone via flags without trouble,
| increasing the number of parameters it took. We never had
| to change the meaning of a parameter though. Unfortunately
| we used up the last (sixth) free system call parameter.

We only use 5 args for clone() right - so the 6th (%ebp) is still
available for extension ? 

	sys_clone(flags, child_stack, parent_tid, tls, child_tid)

The problem we have is that we needed two more parameters, pid_t *pids
and 'struct clone_args' - again this was discussed in [v5] or [v6] of
the patchset.

But regardless, I think in the long run, it would be cleaner if we created
a new system call that is common across all architectures.

| > | I'm suggesting that you not copy the struct as one blob, or at
| > | least not expect to do so for future extensions to eclone. You
| > | can read the flags, use that to determine struct size, and then
| > | read the rest of the struct. Alternately you can pass 32 more flags
| > | as a 5th syscall argument.
| > |
| > | I'm not so sure we need 96 flag bits, but OK. They can all go
| > | in the struct if you like, or they can all go in the arguments.
| > | FWIW, I happen to think that both kernel and user code will
| > | be less ugly if all of the flags fit in 64 bits. C doesn't provide
| > | a 96-bit integer type.
| >
| > We wanted to leave the original 32-bits of clone-flags as the first
| > parameter to avoid confusing the application writers.
| >
| >        http://lkml.org/lkml/2009/10/14/13
| IMHO, having multiple flags fields is far more confusing.

It is confusing but like I said, it was discussed (see
http://lkml.org/lkml/2009/10/14/6) and the conclusion was that silent
data corruption is worse. So, I am leaving the interface as defined in
this version of the patchset.  

Arnd, Peter, Roland, do you have any thoughts on Albert's comments ?

Maybe we can define other API to set/clear clone flags like the sigset()
interface when we need more than 32 bit flags.

| It's easier to document the high flag case ("This flag requires
| the eclone system call.").

Hmm, with the current API, all newer flags will go into ->clone_flags_high.
so we would have to say something like:

	CLONE_NEWFOO requires eclone() and must be set in ->clone_flags_high

| than to document multiple sets
| of incompatible flags for one system call. I always curse
| the nasty multi-flagged mmap interface whenever I use it.
| If you're going to be concerned with flags getting truncated
| via improper use of the syscall, then you should be at least
| as concerned with flags getting passed in the wrong place.
| For example, one might pass all flags (high and low) in the
| struct. Somebody else might pass all flags in the parameters.

Maybe the sigset() like interface will help.

Containers mailing list
Containers at lists.linux-foundation.org

More information about the Devel mailing list