Restoring child with checkpointed state

Denis Huber huber.denis at ...435...
Mon Mar 27 16:14:23 CEST 2017

Dear Genode community,

Preliminary: We implemented a Checkpoint/Restore mechanism on basis of 
Genode/Fiasco.OC (Thanks to the great help of you all). We store the 
state of the target component by monitoring its RPC function calls which 
go through the parent component (= our Checkpoint/Restore component). 
The capability space is indirectly checkpointed through the capability map.
The restoring of the state of the target is done by restoring the RPC 
objects used by the target component (e.g. PD session, dataspaces, 
region maps, etc.). The capabilities of the restored objects have to be 
also restored in the capability space (kernel) and in the capability map 

For restoring the target component Norman suggested the usage of the 
Genode::Child constructor with an invalid ROM dataspace capability which 
does not trigger the bootstrap mechanism. Thus, we have the full control 
of inserting the capabilities of the restored RPC objects into the 
capability space/map.

Our problem is the following: We restore the RPC objects and insert them 
into the capability map and then in the capability space. From the 
kernel point of view these capabilities are all "IPC Gates". 
Unfortunately, there was also an IRQ kernel object created by the 
bootstrap mechanism. The following table shows the kernel debugger 
output of the capability space of the freshly bootstraped target component:

000204 :0016e* Gate   0015f* Gate   00158* Gate   00152* Gate
000208 :00154* Gate   0017e* Gate   0017f* Gate   00179* Gate
00020c :00180* Gate   00188* Gate          --            --
000210 :       --            --     0018a* Gate   0018c* Gate
000214 :0018e* Gate   00196* Gate   00145* Gate   00144* IRQ
000218 :00198* Gate          --            --            --
00021c :       --     0019c* Gate          --            --

At address 000217 you can see the IRQ kernel object. What does this 
object do, how can we store/monitor it, and how can it be restored? 
Where can we find the source code which creates this object in Genode's 
bootstrap code?

Best regards,

On 11.12.2016 13:01, Denis Huber wrote:
> Hello Norman,
>> What you observe here is the ELF loading of the child's binary. As part
>> of the 'Child' object, the so-called '_process' member is constructed.
>> You can find the corresponding code at
>> 'base/src/lib/base/'. The code parses the ELF executable
>> and loads the program segments, specifically the read-only text segment
>> and the read-writable data/bss segment. For the latter, a RAM dataspace
>> is allocated and filled with the content of the ELF binary's data. In
>> your case, when resuming, this procedure is wrong. After all, you want
>> to supply the checkpointed data to the new child, not the initial data
>> provided by the ELF binary.
>> Fortunately, I encountered the same problem when implementing fork for
>> noux. I solved it by letting the 'Child_process' constructor accept an
>> invalid dataspace capability as ELF argument. This has two effects:
>> First, the ELF loading is skipped (obviously - there is no ELF to load).
>> And second the creation of the initial thread is skipped as well.
>> In short, by supplying an invalid dataspace capability as binary for the
>> new child, you avoid all those unwanted operations. The new child will
>> not start at 'Component::construct'. You will have to manually create
>> and start the threads of the new child via the PD and CPU session
>> interfaces.
> Thank you for the hint. I will try out your approach
>> The approach looks good. I presume that you encounter base-foc-specific
>> peculiarities of the thread-creation procedure. I would try to follow
>> the code in 'base-foc/src/core/' to see what the
>> interaction of core with the kernel looks like. The order of operations
>> might be important.
>> One remaining problem may be that - even though you may by able the
>> restore most part of the thread state - the kernel-internal state cannot
>> be captured. E.g., think of a thread that was blocking in the kernel via
>> 'l4_ipc_reply_and_wait' when checkpointed. When resumed, the new thread
>> can naturally not be in this blocking state because the kernel's state
>> is not part of the checkpointed state. The new thread would possibly
>> start its execution at the instruction pointer of the syscall and issue
>> system call again, but I am not sure what really happens in practice.
> Is there a way to avoid this situation? Can I postpone the checkpoint by
> letting the entrypoint thread finish the intercepted RPC function call,
> then increment the ip of child's thread to the next command?
>> I think that you don't need the LOG-session quirk if you follow my
>> suggestion to skip the ELF loading for the restored component
>> altogether. Could you give it a try?
> You are right, the LOG-session quirk seems a bit clumsy. I like your
> idea of skipping the ELF loading and automated creation of CPU threads
> more, because it gives me the control to create and start the threads
> from the stored ip and sp.
> Best regards,
> Denis
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