[lldb-dev] GDB RSPs non-stop mode capability in v5.0

Ramana via lldb-dev lldb-dev at lists.llvm.org
Tue Apr 3 01:28:19 PDT 2018

On Thu, Mar 29, 2018 at 11:17 PM, Jim Ingham <jingham at apple.com> wrote:

> The breakpoints aren't a structural problem.  If you can figure out a
> non-code modifying way to handle breakpoints, that would be a very surgical
> change.  And as Fred points out, out of place execution in the target would
> be really handy for other things, like offloading breakpoint conditions
> into the target, and only stopping if the condition is true.  So this is a
> well motivated project.
> And our model for handling both expression evaluation and execution
> control are already thread-centric.  It would be pretty straight-forward to
> treat "still running" threads the same way as threads with no interesting
> stop reasons, for instance.
> I think the real difficulty will come at the higher layers.  First off, we
> gate a lot of Command & SB API operations on "is the process running" and
> that will have to get much more fine-grained.  Figuring out a good model
> for this will be important.
> Then you're going to have to figure out what exactly to do when somebody
> is in the middle of say running a long expression on thread A when thread B
> stops.  What's a useful way to present this information?  If lldb is
> sharing the terminal with the process, you can't just dump output in the
> middle of command output, but you don't want to delay too long...
> Also, the IOHandlers are currently a stack, but that model won't work when
> the process IOHandler is going to have to be live (at least the output part
> of it) while the CommandInterpreter IOHandler is also live.  That's going
> to take reworking.
> On the event and operations side, I think the fact that we have the
> separation between the private and public states will make this a lot
> easier.  We can use the event transition from private to public state to
> serialize the activity that's going on under the covers so that it appears
> coherent to the user.  The fact that lldb goes through separate channels
> for process I/O and command I/O and we very seldom just dump stuff to
> stdout will also make solving the problem of competing demands for the
> user's attention more possible.

Thanks Jim for the elaborate view on the non-stop mode support.

BTW my understanding on public vs private states is that the public state
is as known by the user and all the process state changes will be first
tracked with private state which then will be made public, i.e. public
state will be updated, should the user need to know about that process
state change. Is there anything else I am missing on public vs private

> And I think we can't do any of this till we have a robust "ProcessMock"
> plugin that we can use to emulate end-to-end through the debugger all the
> corner cases that non-stop debugging will bring up.  Otherwise there will
> be no way to reliably test any of this stuff, and it won't ever be stable.
> I don't think any of this will be impossible, but it's going to be a lot
> of work.
> Jim
> > On Mar 29, 2018, at 9:27 AM, Greg Clayton via lldb-dev <
> lldb-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> >> On Mar 29, 2018, at 9:10 AM, Frédéric Riss <friss at apple.com> wrote:
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>> On Mar 29, 2018, at 7:32 AM, Greg Clayton via lldb-dev <
> lldb-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>> On Mar 29, 2018, at 2:08 AM, Ramana via lldb-dev <
> lldb-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>> Hi,
> >>>>
> >>>> It appears that the lldb-server, as of v5.0, did not implement the
> GDB RSPs non-stop mode (https://sourceware.org/gdb/
> onlinedocs/gdb/Remote-Non_002dStop.html#Remote-Non_002dStop). Am I wrong?
> >>>>
> >>>> If the support is actually not there, what needs to be changed to
> enable the same in lldb-server?
> >>>
> >>> As Pavel said, adding support into lldb-server will be easy. Adding
> support to LLDB will be harder. One downside of enabling this mode will be
> a performance loss in the GDB remote packet transfer. Why? IIRC this mode
> requires a read thread where one thread is always reading packets and
> putting them into a packet buffer. Threads that want to send a packet an
> get a reply must not send the packet then use a condition variable + mutex
> to wait for the response. This threading overhead really slows down the
> packet transfers. Currently we have a mutex on the GDB remote communication
> where each thread that needs to send a packet will take the mutex and then
> send the packet and wait for the response on the same thread. I know the
> performance differences are large on MacOS, not sure how they are on other
> systems. If you do end up enabling this, please run the "process plugin
> packet speed-test" command which is available only when debugging with
> ProcessGDBRemote. It will send an receive various packets of various sizes
> and report speed statistics back to you.
> >>>>
> >>>> Also, in lldb at least I see some code relevant to non-stop mode, but
> is non-stop mode fully implemented in lldb or there is only partial support?
> >>>
> >>> Everything in LLDB right now assumes a process centric debugging model
> where when one thread stops all threads are stopped. There will be quite a
> large amount of changes needed for a thread centric model. The biggest
> issue I know about is breakpoints. Any time you need to step over a
> breakpoint, you must stop all threads, disable the breakpoint, single step
> the thread and re-enable the breakpoint, then start all threads again. So
> even the thread centric model would need to start and stop all threads many
> times.
> >>
> >> If we work on this, that’s not the way we should approach breakpoints
> in non-stop mode (and it’s not how GDB does it). I’m not sure why Ramana is
> interested in it, but I think one of the main motivations to add it to GDB
> was systems where stopping all some threads for even a small amount of time
> would just break things. You want a way to step over breakpoints without
> disrupting the other threads.
> >>
> >> Instead of removing the breakpoint, you can just teach the debugger to
> execute the code that has been patched in a different context. You can
> either move the code someplace else and execute it there or emulate it.
> Sometimes you’ll need to patch it if it is PC-relative. IIRC, GDB calls
> this displaced stepping. It’s relatively simple and works great.
> >
> > This indeed is one of the changes we would need to do for non-stop mode.
> We have the EmulateInstruction class in LLDB that is designed just for this
> kind of thing. You can give the emulator function a read/write memory and
> read/write register callbacks and a baton and it can execute the
> instruction and read/write memory and regisrters as needed through the
> context. It would be very easy to have the read register callback know to
> take the PC of the original instruction and return it if the PC is
> requested.
> >
> > We always got push back in the past about adding full instruction
> emulation support as Chris Lattner wanted it to exist in LLVM in the
> tablegen tables, but no one ever got around to doing that part. So we added
> prologue instruction parsing and any instructions that can modify the PC
> (for single stepping) to the supported emulated instructions.
> >
> > So yes, emulating instructions without removing them from the code is
> one of the things required for this feature. Not impossible, just very time
> consuming to be able to emulate every instruction out of place. I would
> _love_ to see that go in and would be happy to review patches for anyone
> wanting to take this on. Though the question still remains: does this
> happen in LLVM or in LLDB. Emulating instruction in LLVM might provide some
> great testing that could happen in the LLVM layers.
> >
> >>
> >> I’ve been interested in displaced stepping for different reasons. If we
> had that capability, it would become much easier to patch code. I’d love to
> use this to have breakpoint conditions injected and evaluated without round
> tripping to the debugger when the condition returns false.
> >
> > Agreed!
> >
> >>
> >> Fred
> >>
> >>> Be sure to speak with myself, Jim Ingham and Pavel in depth before
> undertaking this task as there will be many changes required.
> >>>
> >>> Greg
> >>>>
> >>>> Thanks,
> >>>> Ramana
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> _______________________________________________
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> >>>
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