Genode in distributed scenarios and ROM proxy implementation

Johannes Schlatow schlatow at ...238...
Mon Mar 21 17:01:22 CET 2016

Hi Menno,

On Mon, 21 Mar 2016 12:52:22 +0100
Menno Valkema <menno.genode at ...9...> wrote:

> Hi Johannes,
> This is great. Currently we're trying to accomplish a similar thing for
> RPC calls and Signals. The approach with statically configured proxies
> you take, also made most sense to us, which is what we did for RPC
> calls, and we're now trying to use it for Signals. Combined with your
> work it seems together we made the first steps towards distributed use
> of the fundamental IPC mechanisms provided by Genode (shared memory,
> rpc, and signals).
> For RPC calls we took a similar approach using a client_proxy and a
> server_proxy. Say we have a session called abc_session this is how the
> components collaborate:
> 1) Abc Rpc client connects to a client_proxy which behaves like a
> abc_session/session_component
> 2) The client_proxy marshalls the commands into command structures with
> opcodes and arguments, and forwards these over a nic connection.
> 3) server_proxy receives the commands over a nic connection, un-marshals
> the commands, and forwards the requests to the server while behaving as
> a abc_session client.
> 4) the server handles the request, and returns.
> 5) return value is forwarded to the client in a similar way the commands
> were transmitted.
> Where we both have some form of serialized commands (in your case it's
> handled by the ip backend  with an enum identifying the action is being
> sent over), we choose, for now, not to specify any sort of
> transportation mechanism except a bare nic session, and send raw data
> over nic sessions. In case we need an ip layer, we plan to move this in
> a separate component which knows how to handle ip, ipsec or some other
> protocol. However, I like the idea of your implementation to use various
> back-ends which handle different transportation types.
> Some challenges we're still looking into are:
> - Manual marshalling. Right now we marshall the rpc calls manually.
> Genode already has a great marshalling mechanism in place, however I
> didn't manage to re-use this, so for now I do it by hand. This seems
> like a bit of a waste, so in a later stage I hope to look into this again.

I also started with a generic proxy implementation for RPC some time ago and did make some progress on the marshalling. However, I dismissed the idea as RPC over a network didn't appeal to me as a very good idea, especially when distributed capabilities are required.
Nevertheless, I might have some code buried in my repositories. Let me know if you're interested in that.

> - Cross CPU architecture usage of arguments. How to handle integer
> arguments or structs with integer arguments between big/little endian
> architectures, or systems with a different notion of word-lengths and
> struct alignment?
> - We're still working on Signals.
> - Routing. Presently we statically configure how the client-proxy and
> the server-proxy are connected. It would be better if we had more
> flexibility here, like what's now being provided by init.
> - Capabilities. It would be great to have some sort of distributed
> capability system to have stricter control over who talks to who.
> Regards,
> Menno
> PS. I went through you source code to see how you implemented things,
> and it's quite clear what's going on. However when I tried to run the
> server by typing 'make run/test-remoterom_backend_nic_ip_server' some
> methods being called seemed to be missing (calculate_checksum for
> example), and the compiler exited with an error. It seems some of the
> work is not in the github repository yet?

Oh, sorry. I forgot to mention that this requires some modifications of the Ipv4_packet class, see:

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