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Date: Fri, 3 Feb 2017 12:34:21 +0530
From: Shubham Bansal <>
To: nick viljoen <>, Kees Cook <>
Cc: Daniel Borkmann <>, Mircea Gherzan <>,,,
Subject: Re: arch: arm: bpf: Converting cBPF to eBPF for arm 32 bit

Hi Nick,

On Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 12:59 PM, nick viljoen
<> wrote:
> Hey Shubham,
> I have been doing some similar work-might be worth pooling
> resource if there is interest?

Sure. That sounds great.

> We made a presentation at the previous netdev conference about
> what we are doing-you can check it out here :)

Sorry for the late reply. I had to watch the whole video. Its was fun.
Now. Its seems like a small of your complete project was related to
eBPF 64 bit register to 32 bit register mapping, although I don't have
any knowledge about the Hardware aspect of it.
Now, getting back to your slides, on Page 7 you are mapping eBPF 64
bit register to 32 bit register.

1. Can you explain that to me? I didn't get this part from you presentation.
2. How are you taking care of Race Condition on 64 bit eBPF registers
Read/Write as you are using 32 bit registers to emulate them ?

> What is your reason for looking at these problems?

I just wanted to contribute toward linux kernel. This is the only
reason I think.

> I was thinking of first implementing only instructions with 32 bit
> register operands. It will hugely decrease the surface area of eBPF
> instructions that I have to cover for the first patch.
> So, What I am thinking is something like this :
> - bpf_mov r0(64),r1(64) will be JITed like this :
> - ar1(32) <- r1(64). Convert/Mask 64 bit ebpf register(r1) value into 32
> bit and store it in arm register(ar1).
> - Do MOV ar0(32),ar1(32) as an ARM instruction.
> - ar0(32) -> r0(64). Zero Extend the ar0 32 bit register value
> and store it in 64 bit ebpf register r0.

What about this ? Does this makes sense to you ?
> - Similarly, For all BPF_ALU class instructions.
> - For BPF_ADD, I will mask the addition result to 32 bit only.
> I am not sure, Overflow might be a problem.
> - For BPF_SUB, I will mask the subtraction result to 32 bit only.
> I am not sure, Underflow might be problem.
> - For BPF_MUL, similar to BPF_ADD. Overflow Problem ?
> - For BPF_DIV, 32 bit masking should be fine, I guess.
> masking should be fine.
> - For BPF_NEG and BPF_ARSH, might be a problem because of the sign bit.
> - For BPF_END, 32 bit masking should work fine.
> Let me know if any of the above point is wrong or need your suggestion.
What about this ?
> - Although, for ALU instructions, there is a big problem of register
>  flag manipulations. Generally, architecture's ABI takes care of this
>  part but as we are doing 64 bit Instructions emulation(kind of) on 32
>  bit machine, it needs to be done manually. Does that sound correct ?
> - I am not JITing BPF_ALU64 class instructions as of now. As we have to
>  take care of atomic instructions and race conditions with these
>  instruction which looks complicated to me as of now. Will try to figure out
>  this part and implement it later. Currently, I will just let it be
>  interpreted by the ebpf interpreter.
> - For BPF_JMP class, I am assuming that, although eBPF is 64 bit ABI,
>  the address pointers on 32 bit arch like arm will be of 32 bit only.
>  So, for BPF_JMP, masking the 64 bit destination address to 32 bit
>  should do the trick and no address will be corrupted in this way. Am I
>  correct to assume this ?
>  Also, I need to check for address getting out of the allowed memory
>  range.
> - For BPF_LD, BPF_LDX, BPF_ST and BPF_STX class instructions, I am
>  assuming the same thing as above - All addresses and pointers are 32
>  bit - which can be taken care just by maksing the eBPF register
>  values. Does that sound correct ?
>  Also, I need to check for the address overflow, address getting out
>  of the allowed memory range and things like that.

Nick, It would be great if you could give me your comments/suggestions
on all of the above points for JIT implementation.

> Do you have any code references for me to take a look? Otherwise, I think
> its not possible for me to implement it without using any reference.
> I don't know anything else, no.


I think drivers/net/ethernet/netronome/nfp/ could be a good reference for this.

> I think, I will give it a try. Otherwise, my last 1 month which I used
> to read about eBPF, eBPF linux code and arm32 ABI would be a complete
> waste.
> 2.) Also, is my current mapping good enough to make the JIT fast enough
> ?
> because as you might know, eBPF JIT mostly depends on 1-to-1 mapping of
> its instructions with native instructions.
> I don't know -- it might be tricky with needing to deal with 64-bit
> registers. But if you can make it faster than the non-JIT, it should
> be a win. :) Yay assembly.
> Well, As I mentioned above about my thinking towards the implementation,
> I am not sure it would be faster than non-JIT or even correct for that
> matter.
> It might be but I don't think I have enough knowledge to benchmark the
> implementation as of now.

Nick, How fast was your JIT as compared to interpreter if you had the
chance to benchmark them?


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