CBE crypt interface

Stefan Thöni stefan.thoeni at gapfruit.com
Fri Sep 24 10:52:35 CEST 2021

Hi Martin, hi Norman,

Thanks for your answers, I we will try to implement as you suggest.

Best regards

On 23.09.21 14:19, Martin Stein wrote:
> Hi Stefan,
> I'm sorry for the delayed response of mine, somehow I missed your
> initial mail.
> On 23.09.21 12:37, Norman Feske wrote:
>> The control flow is always driven by the client of the VFS, e.g., the
>> libc or the VFS server. Whenever the client detects that I/O happened
>> (an I/O signal occurred), it checks each outstanding VFS request for
>> possible progress. In the case of the CBE, there is a chain. For
>> example, the CBE client requests the reading of a block. The CBE, in
>> turn, requests the 'Cbe_crypto' to decrypt data as a prerequisite of
>> finishing the block-read request.
>> Each time, some I/O happened, the client (e.g., the libc's 'read') asks
>> the VFS for possible progress of the read request (by calling
>> 'complete_read'). This call eventually reaches the CBE. The CBE, in
>> turn, checks the progress of its outstanding crypto operation
>> ('complete_read'). This is what I meant with polling. It is not busy
>> polling but checking for progress each time after I/O happened. This
>> checking is done transitively (libc checks the VFS, VFS checks the CBE,
>> CBE checks crypto).
>> For this to work, one has to make sure that the I/O backends of the VFS
>> plugins use 'Io_signal_handler' not mere 'Signal_handler' for the
>> reception of asynchronous events like your device interrupt. Otherwise
>> the VFS client won't notice that I/O happened. You may follow the use of
>> the 'Io_progress_handler' interface in base/entrypoint.h to connect the
>> dots.
>> Hence, there is no special feature in the 'Cbe_crypto::Interface' needed
>> to support asynchronous operation. The pair of 'request' (submit work)
>> and 'complete' (check the state of the submitted work) functions suffices.
> I can confirm all of this and have little to add. The Crypto (as any
> other module in the CBE) is polled for progress, but only driven by
> external events - kind of "conditional polling". In the request chains
> that Norman mentioned that span over the different internal modules of
> the program, the last module before the Crypto talks to the Crypto only
> by the means of "add request" and "poll if request finished".
> As soon as the Crypto wants to communicate that there was some progress,
> it signals the user of the CBE (See _io_handler respectively
> _backend_io_response_handler in repos/gems/src/lib/vfs/cbe/vfs.cc (or,
> for a less vfs-ish context _sigh in
> repos/gems/src/app/cbe_tester/main.cc)), which polls the CBE and the CBE
> polls each of its modules for progress again, including the one that
> talks to the Crypto. The latter then polls Crypto and reacts to the
> progress. This avoids that different external events have different
> entry points into the program which causes execution flow to remain
> plain and simple.
> Note that there are modules internal to the CBE (block cache, tree
> walks, request scheduling, etc.) and modules that must be considered
> external, like crypto, block back-end, or trust anchor. Pending progress
> of internal modules is always resolved in the course of one "root poll"
> of the CBE to the point where each internal module either waits for
> progress of an external module again or is idle (no requests). Thus, the
> signal feedback (towards the CBE user) is only applied for modules that
> must be considered external.
> I hope this helped.
> Don't hesitate to ask if you have further questions.
> Cheers,
> Martin
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