[lldb-dev] [RFC] LLDB Reproducers

Leonard Mosescu via lldb-dev lldb-dev at lists.llvm.org
Wed Sep 19 09:49:36 PDT 2018

Sounds like a fantastic idea.

How would this work when the behavior of the debugee process is

On Wed, Sep 19, 2018 at 6:50 AM, Jonas Devlieghere via lldb-dev <
lldb-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> We all know how hard it can be to reproduce an issue or crash in LLDB.
> There
> are a lot of moving parts and subtle differences can easily add up. We
> want to
> make this easier by generating reproducers in LLDB, similar to what clang
> does
> today.
> The core idea is as follows: during normal operation we capture whatever
> information is needed to recreate the current state of the debugger. When
> something goes wrong, this becomes available to the user. Someone else
> should
> then be able to reproduce the same issue with only this data, for example
> on a
> different machine.
> It's important to note that we want to replay the debug session from the
> reproducer, rather than just recreating the current state. This ensures
> that we
> have access to all the events leading up to the problem, which are usually
> far
> more important than the error state itself.
> # High Level Design
> Concretely we want to extend LLDB in two ways:
> 1.  We need to add infrastructure to _generate_ the data necessary for
>     reproducing.
> 2.  We need to add infrastructure to _use_ the data in the reproducer to
> replay
>     the debugging session.
> Different parts of LLDB will have different definitions of what data they
> need
> to reproduce their path to the issue. For example, capturing the commands
> executed by the user is very different from tracking the dSYM bundles on
> disk.
> Therefore, we propose to have each component deal with its needs in a
> localized
> way. This has the advantage that the functionality can be developed and
> tested
> independently.
> ## Providers
> We'll call a combination of (1) and (2) for a given component a
> `Provider`. For
> example, we'd have an provider for user commands and a provider for dSYM
> files.
> A provider will know how to keep track of its information, how to
> serialize it
> as part of the reproducer as well as how to deserialize it again and use
> it to
> recreate the state of the debugger.
> With one exception, the lifetime of the provider coincides with that of the
> `SBDebugger`, because that is the scope of what we consider here to be a
> single
> debug session. The exception would be the provider for the global module
> cache,
> because it is shared between multiple debuggers. Although it would be
> conceptually straightforward to add a provider for the shared module cache,
> this significantly increases the complexity of the reproducer framework
> because
> of its implication on the lifetime and everything related to that.
> For now we will ignore this problem which means we will not replay the
> construction of the shared module cache but rather build it up during
> replaying, as if the current debug session was the first and only one
> using it.
> The impact of doing so is significant, as no issue caused by the shared
> module
> cache will be reproducible, but does not limit reproducing any issue
> unrelated
> to it.
> ## Reproducer Framework
> To coordinate between the data from different components, we'll need to
> introduce a global reproducer infrastructure. We have a component
> responsible
> for reproducer generation (the `Generator`) and for using the reproducer
> (the
> `Loader`). They are essentially two ways of looking at the same unit of
> repayable work.
> The Generator keeps track of its providers and whether or not we need to
> generate a reproducer. When a problem occurs, LLDB will request the
> Generator
> to generate a reproducer. When LLDB finishes successfully, the Generator
> cleans
> up anything it might have created during the session. Additionally, the
> Generator populates an index, which is part of the reproducer, and used by
> the
> Loader to discover what information is available.
> When a reproducer is passed to LLDB, we want to use its data to replay the
> debug session. This is coordinated by the Loader. Through the index
> created by
> the Generator, different components know what data (Providers) are
> available,
> and how to use them.
> It's important to note that in order to create a complete reproducer, we
> will
> require data from our dependencies (llvm, clang, swift) as well. This means
> that either (a) the infrastructure needs to be accessible from our
> dependencies
> or (b) that an API is provided that allows us to query this. We plan to
> address
> this issue when it arises for the respective Generator.
> # Components
> We have identified a list of minimal components needed to make reproducing
> possible. We've divided those into two groups: explicit and implicit
> inputs.
> Explicit inputs are inputs from the user to the debugger.
> -   Command line arguments
> -   Settings
> -   User commands
> -   Scripting Bridge API
> In addition to the components listed above, LLDB has a bunch of inputs
> that are
> not passed explicitly. It's often these that make reproducing an issue
> complex.
> -   GDB Remote Packets
> -   Files containing debug information (object files, dSYM bundles)
> -   Clang headers
> -   Swift modules
> Every component would have its own provider and is free to implement it as
> it
> sees fit. For example, as we expect to have a large number of GDB remote
> packets, the provider might choose to write these to disk as they come in,
> while the settings can easily be kept in memory until it is decided that we
> need to generate a reproducer.
> # Concerns, Implications & Risks
> ## Performance Impact
> As the reproducer functionality will have to be always-on, we have to
> consider
> performance implications. As mentioned earlier, the provider gives the
> freedom
> to be implemented in such a way that works best for its respective
> component.
> We'll have to measure to know how big the impact is.
> ## Privacy
> The reproducer might contain sensitive user information. We should make it
> clear to the user what kind of data is contained in the reproducer.
> Initially
> we will focus on the LLDB developer community and the people already filing
> bugs.
> ## Versions
> Because the reproducer works by replaying a debug session, the versions of
> the
> debugger generating an replaying the session will have to match. Not only
> is
> this important for the serialization format, but more importantly a
> different
> LLDB might ask different questions in a different order.
> # Implementation
> I've put up a patch (<https://reviews.llvm.org/D50254>) which contains a
> minimal
> implementation of the reproducer framework as well as the GDB remote
> provider.
> It records the GDB packets and writes them to a YAML file (we can switch
> to a
> more performant encoding down the road). When invoking the LLDB driver and
> passing the reproducer directory to `--reproducer`, this file is read and a
> dummy server replies with the next packet from this file, without talking
> to
> the executable.
> It's still pretty rudimentary and only works if you enter the exact same
> commands (so the server receives the exact same requests form the client).
> The next steps are (in broad strokes):
> 1.  Capturing the debugged binary.
> 2.  Record and replay user commands and SB-API calls.
> 3.  Recording the configuration of the debugger.
> 4.  Capturing other files used by LLDB.
> Please let me know what you think!
> Thanks,
> Jonas
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