[llvm-dev] My experience using -DLLVM_BUILD_INSTRUMENTED_COVERAGE to generate coverage

Vedant Kumar via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Mon Jun 19 19:29:47 PDT 2017

> On Jun 19, 2017, at 4:32 PM, Friedman, Eli <efriedma at codeaurora.org> wrote:
> On 6/18/2017 3:51 PM, Vedant Kumar wrote:
>>> My experience:
>>> 1. You have to specify -DLLVM_USE_LINKER=gold (or maybe lld works; I didn't try).  If you link with binutils ld, the program will generate broken profile information.  Apparently, the linked binary is missing the __llvm_prf_names section.  This took me half a day to figure out.  This issue isn't documented anywhere, and the only error message I got was "Assertion `!Key.empty()' failed." from llvm-cov.
>> I expect llvm-cov to print out "Failed to load coverage: <reason>" in this situation. There was some work done to tighten up error reporting in ProfileData and its clients in r270020. If your host toolchain does have these changes, please file a bug, and I'll have it fixed.
> Host toolchain is trunk clang... but using system binutils (which is 2.24 on my Ubuntu 14.04 system... and apparently that's too old per David Li's response).  Anyway, filed https://bugs.llvm.org/show_bug.cgi?id=33517 <https://bugs.llvm.org/show_bug.cgi?id=33517> .

I've updated the clang docs re: 'Source based code coverage' to reflect this issue. I've also tightened up our error reporting a bit so we fail earlier with something better than an assertion message (r305765, r305767).

>>> 2. The generated binaries are big and slow.  Comparing to a build without coverage, llc becomes 8x larger overall (text section becomes roughly 2x larger).  And check-llvm-codegen-arm goes from 3 seconds to 250 seconds.
>> The binary size increase comes from coverage mapping data, counter increment instrumentation, and profiling metadata.
>> The coverage mapping section is highly compressible, but exploiting the compressibility has proven to be tricky. I filed: llvm.org/PR33499 <http://llvm.org/PR33499>.
> If I'm cross-compiling for a target where the space matters, can I rid of the data for the copy on the device using "strip -R __llvm_covmap" or something like that, then use llvm-cov on the original?

I haven't tried this but I expect it to work. Instrumented programs don't reference the __llvm_covmap section.

>> Coverage makes use of frontend-based instrumentation, which is much less efficient than the IR-based kind. If we can find a way to map counters inserted by IR PGO to AST nodes, we could improve the situation. I filed: llvm.org/PR33500 <http://llvm.org/PR33500>.
> This would be nice... but I assume it's hard. :)

It seems like it is. At a high level, you'd need some way to associate the counters placed by IR PGO instrumentation to the counters that clang expects to see while walking an AST. I don't have a concrete design for this in mind.

>> We can reduce testing time by *not* instrumented basic tools like count, not, FileCheck etc. I filed: llvm.org/PR33501 <http://llvm.org/PR33501>.
>>> 3. The generated profile information takes up a lot of space: llc generates a 90MB profraw file.
>> I don't have any ideas about how to fix this. You can decrease the space overhead for raw profiles by altering LLVM_PROFILE_MERGE_POOL_SIZE from 4 to a lower value.
> Disk space is cheap, but the I/O takes a long time.  I guess it's specifically bad for LLVM's "make check", maybe not so bad for other cases.

You can speed up "make check" a bit by using non-instrumented versions of count, not, FileCheck, etc.


>>> 4. When prepare-code-coverage-artifact.py invokes llvm-profdata for the profiles generated by "make check", it takes 50GB of memory to process about 1.5GB of profiles.  Is it supposed to use that much?
>> By default, llvm-profdata uses hardware_concurrency() to determine the number of threads to use to merge profiles. You can change the default by passing -j/--num-threads to llvm-profdata. I'm open to changing the 'prep' script to use -j4 or something like that.
> Oh, so it's using a couple gigabytes per thread multiplied by 24 cores?  Okay, now I'm not so worried. :)
> -Eli
> -- 
> Employee of Qualcomm Innovation Center, Inc.
> Qualcomm Innovation Center, Inc. is a member of Code Aurora Forum, a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project

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