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kevent

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The Proposed Linux kevent API

The proposed Linux kevent API is a new unified event handling interface, similar in spirit to completion ports and the FreeBSD/OS X kqueue interface. Using a single kernel call, a thread can wait for all possible event types that the kernel can generate, instead of past interfaces that only allow you to wait for specific subsets of events (e.g. POSIX sigevent completions are limited only to AIO completion, timer expiry, and the arrival of new messages to a message queue, while epoll is just a more efficient method of doing a traditional Unix select or poll).



Project was closed, for details consider links at homepage.


Kevent API

 int kevent_init(struct kevent_ring *ring, unsigned int ring_size, unsigned int flags);
  • num 
  • size of the ring buffer in events
  • ring 
  • pointer to allocated ring buffer
  • flags 
  • see KEVENT flags definition

Return value: kevent control file descriptor or negative error value.

struct kevent_ring
{
  unsigned int ring_kidx, ring_over;
  struct ukevent event[0];
}
  • ring_kidx 
  • index in the ring buffer where kernel will put new events when kevent_wait() or kevent_get_events() is called
  • ring_over 
  • number of overflows of ring_uidx happened from the start. Overflow counter is used to prevent situation when two threads are going to free the same events, but one of them was scheduled away for too long, so ring indexes were wrapped, so when that thread will be awakened, it will free not those events, which it suppose to free.

Example userspace code (ring_buffer.c) can be found on project's homepage.

Each kevent syscall can be so called cancellation point in glibc, i.e. when thread has been canceled in kevent syscall, thread can be safely removed and no events will be lost, since each syscall (kevent_wait() or kevent_get_events()) will copy event into special ring buffer, accessible from other threads or even processes (if shared memory is used).

When kevent is removed (not dequeued when it is ready, but just removed), even if it was ready, it is not copied into ring buffer, since if it is removed, no one cares about it (otherwise user would wait until it becomes ready and got it through usual way using kevent_get_events() or kevent_wait()) and thus no need to copy it to the ring buffer.


 int kevent_ctl(int fd, unsigned int cmd, unsigned int num, struct ukevent *arg)
  • fd 
  • is the file descriptor referring to the kevent queue to manipulate.
  • cmd 
  • is the requested operation. It can be one of the following:
  • KEVENT_CTL_ADD 
  • add event notification
  • KEVENT_CTL_REMOVE 
  • remove event notification
  • KEVENT_CTL_MODIFY 
  • modify existing notification
  • KEVENT_CTL_READY 
  • mark existing notifications as ready. If number of events is zero this allows to wakeup thread parked in waiting syscall.
  • num 
  • number of struct ukevent in the array pointed to by arg
  • arg 
  • array of struct ukevent.

Return value: number of events processed or negative error value.

When called, kevent_ctl() will carry out the operation specified in the cmd parameter.


 int kevent_get_events(int ctl_fd, unsigned int min_nr, unsigned int max_nr, struct timespec timeout, struct ukevent *buf, unsigned flags)
  • ctl_fd 
  • file descriptor referring to the kevent queue
  • min_nr 
  • minimum number of completed events that kevent_get_events will block waiting for
  • max_nr 
  • number of struct ukevent in buf
  • timeout 
  • time to wait before returning less than min_nr events.
  • buf 
  • pointer to an array of struct ukevent.
  • flags 
  • see KEVENT flags definition

Return value: number of events copied or negative error value

kevent_get_events will wait timeout nanoseconds for at least min_nr completed events, copying completed struct ukevents to buf and deleting any KEVENT_REQ_ONESHOT event requests. In nonblocking mode it returns as many events as possible, but not more than max_nr. In blocking mode it waits until timeout or if at least min_nr events are ready.

This function copies event into ring buffer if it was initialized, if ring buffer is full, KEVENT_RET_COPY_FAILED flag is set in ret_flags field.


 int kevent_wait(int ctl_fd, unsigned int num, struct timespec timeout, unsigned int flags)
  • ctl_fd 
  • file descriptor referring to the kevent queue
  • num 
  • number of processed kevents
  • timeout 
  • time to wait until there is free space in kevent queue
  • flags 
  • see KEVENT flags definition

Return value: number of events copied into ring buffer or negative error value.

This syscall waits until either timeout expires or at least one event becomes ready. It also copies events into special ring buffer. If ring buffer is full, it waits until there are ready events and then return. If kevent is one-shot kevent it is removed in this syscall. If kevent is edge-triggered (KEVENT_REQ_ET flag is set in 'req_flags') it is requeued in this syscall for performance reasons.


int kevent_commit(int ctl_fd, unsigned int new_uidx, unsigned int over);
  • ctl_fd 
  • file descriptor referring to the kevent queue
  • new_uidx 
  • new user's index, i.e. consumer index.
  • over 
  • overflow count for given $new_uidx value

Return value: number of committed kevents or negative error value.

This function commits, i.e. marks as empty, slots in the ring buffer, so they can be reused when userspace completes that entries processing.

Overflow counter is used to prevent situation when two threads are going to free the same events, but one of them was scheduled away for too long, so ring indexes were wrapped, so when that thread will be awakened, it will free not those events, which it suppose to free.

It is possible that returned number of committed events will be smaller than requested number - it is possible when several threads try to commit the same events.


long aio_sendfile(int kevent_fd, int sock_fd, int in_fd, off_t offset, size_t count);
  • kevent_fd 
  • file descriptor referring to the kevent queue
  • sock_fd 
  • destination socket file descriptor
  • in_fd 
  • source file descriptor
  • offset 
  • offset from the beginning of the source file
  • count 
  • number of bytes to transfer

Async sendfile implementation. Returned cookie can be used to determine which entry has been returned by kevent_get_events() - it will be stored in event.ptr. event.ret_data will contain number of bytes actually transferred.


long aio_sendfile_path(int kevent_fd, int sock_fd, void *header, size_t header_size, char *filename, off_t offset, size_t count);
  • kevent_fd 
  • file descriptor referring to the kevent queue
  • sock_fd 
  • destination socket file descriptor
  • header 
  • optional header pointer, which, if present, will be transferred before content of the file
  • header_size 
  • size of the optional header
  • filename 
  • source filename
  • offset 
  • offset from the beginning of the source file
  • count 
  • number of bytes to transfer

Async sendfile implementation. Returned cookie can be used to determine which entry has been returned by kevent_get_events() - it will be stored in event.ptr. event.ret_data will contain number of bytes actually transferred.


struct ukevent

The bulk of the interface is entirely done through the ukevent struct. It is used to add event requests, modify existing event requests, specify which event requests to remove, and return completed events.

struct ukevent contains the following members:

  • struct kevent_id id
  • Id of this request, e.g. socket number, file descriptor and so on
  • u32 type * Event type, e.g. KEVENT_SOCK, KEVENT_INODE, KEVENT_TIMER and so on * u32 event
  • Event itself, e.g. SOCK_ACCEPT, INODE_CREATED, TIMER_FIRED
  • u32 req_flags * Per-event request flags, * KEVENT_REQ_ONESHOT * event will be removed when it is ready</dt> * KEVENT_REQ_WAKEUP_ALL * Kevent wakes up only first thread interested in given event, or all threads if this flag is set.</dt> * KEVENT_REQ_ET * Edge Triggered behavior. It is an optimization which allows to move ready and dequeued (i.e. copied to userspace) event to move into set of interest for given storage (socket, inode and so on) again. It is very useful for cases when the same event should be used many times (like reading from pipe). It is similar to epoll()'s EPOLLET flag.</dt> * KEVENT_REQ_LAST_CHECK * if set allows to perform the last check on kevent (call appropriate callback) when kevent is marked as ready and has been removed from ready queue. If it will be confirmed that kevent is ready (k→callbacks.callback(k) returns true) then kevent will be copied to userspace, otherwise it will be requeued back to storage. Second (checking) call is performed with this bit cleared, so callback can detect when it was called from kevent_storage_ready() - bit is set, or kevent_dequeue_ready() - bit is cleared. If kevent will be equeued, bit will be set again.</dt> * KEVENT_REQ_ALWAYS_QUEUE * If this flag is set kevent will be queued into ready queue if it is ready at enqueue time, otherwise it will be copied back to userspace and will not be queued into the storage.</dt> * KEVENT_REQ_READY * If set kevent will be marked as ready at enqueue time (allows for example to send a signal to process through kevent subsystem).</dt> * u32 ret_flags
  • Per-event return flags
  • KEVENT_RET_BROKEN
  • Kevent is broken</dt>
  • KEVENT_RET_DONE
  • Kevent processing was finished successfully</dt>
  • KEVENT_RET_COPY_FAILED
  • Kevent was not copied into ring buffer due to some error conditions.</dt>
  • u32 ret_data * Event return data. Event originator fills it with anything it likes (for example timer notifications put number of milliseconds when timer has fired * union { u32 user[2]; void *ptr; }
  • User's data. It is not used, just copied to/from user. The whole structure is aligned to 8 bytes already, so the last union is aligned properly.

KEVENT flags

  • KEVENT_FLAGS_ABSTIME 
  • provided timeout contains absolute time, for example Aug 27, 2194 or time(NULL) + 10.

Kevent kernel subsystems

  • socket notifications 
  • allows to perform fast send/recv/accept notifications for given socket.
  • poll/select notifications 
  • allows to use driver's poll() method in kevent applications.
  • pipe notifications 
  • allows to use fast send/recv pipe/fifo notifications.
  • timer notification 
  • allows to use high-resolution timers provided by kernel.
  • signal notifications 
  • allows to deliver signals through kevent queue.
  • posix timers 
  • allows to deliver posix timers expiration through kevent queue.
  • private userspace notifications 
  • allows to queue any userspace private event and then mark it as ready using kevent_ctl(KEVENT_READY) command.
  • AIO (aio_sendfile)

Usage

For KEVENT_CTL_ADD, all fields relevant to the event type must be filled (id, type, possibly event, req_flags). After kevent_ctl(…, KEVENT_CTL_ADD, …) returns each struct's ret_flags should be checked to see if the event is already broken or done.

For KEVENT_CTL_MODIFY, the id, req_flags, and user and event fields must be set and an existing kevent request must have matching id and user fields. If a match is found, req_flags and event are replaced with the newly supplied values and requeueing is started, so modified kevent can be checked and probably marked as ready immediately. If a match can't be found, the passed in ukevent's ret_flags has KEVENT_RET_BROKEN set. KEVENT_RET_DONE is always set.

For KEVENT_CTL_REMOVE, the id and user fields must be set and an existing kevent request must have matching id and user fields. If a match is found, the kevent request is removed. If a match can't be found, the passed in ukevent's ret_flags has KEVENT_RET_BROKEN set. KEVENT_RET_DONE is always set.

For kevent_get_events, the entire structure is returned.


Use cases

  • kevent_timer

struct ukevent should contain following fields:

  • type - KEVENT_TIMER
  • event - KEVENT_TIMER_FIRED
  • req_flags - KEVENT_REQ_ONESHOT if you want to fire that timer only once
  • id.raw[0] - number of seconds after commit when this timer should expire
  • id.raw[1] - additional number of nanoseconds
networking/kevent.txt · Last modified: 2016/07/19 01:22 (external edit)