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Re: [libvirt] lock manager and libguestfs use (was: Re: RFC [2/3]: The lock manager plugin driver API)

On Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 03:52:49PM +0000, Daniel P. Berrange wrote:
> The load_drv() method there is to allow the plugin implementation
> to block its use with a libvirtd that is too old. eg, say we add
> a new API 'foo', and the plugin implements that API. It wants to
> block its use in any libvirt which doesn't know about the 'foo'

What sort of thing could 'foo' be?

> entry point, because such use could be dangerous to safety.

You should just rename the lock manager .so file in this case.  But
it'd be best to write an enduring minimum API and ABI now to avoid
having to do this.

> The
> load_drv() method allows that to be handled. If load_drv() fails
> libvirt/libguestfs *must* refuse to run any VMs.

Well, libguestfs has other alternatives.  Ignoring the lock manager is
one, allowing read-only calls to proceed is another one.

> > (2) Without compiler help it is hard to call load_drv/unload_drv at
> > the right time in a thread-safe way.
> In libvirt context they are loaded when the QEMU driver is
> initialized in libvirtd which is still single threaded.
> In libguestfs, you've no global "driver" state, so I'd
> suggest it is easiest to just call load_drv before starting
> the VM, and unload_drv after stopping it. The API contract
> requires that a plugin needs to cope with being loaded
> multiple times. 

There are still issues with this.  Multiple threads can call
guestfs_launch (on different handles), resulting in reentrant calls to
load_drv.  I'm not convinced that the API as proposed is safe against
this sort of thing:


> > (3) Having all the functions buried inside a structure means I cannot
> > use ordinary techniques (ie. dlsym) to find out if a function is
> > supported.  Because I cannot use dlsym, I'm forced to use hard-coded
> > ABI checks!
> You're thinking only about libvirtd checking what a plugin
> supports. The load_drv() method is about the *opposite*,
> allowing the plugin to check what libvirtd supports. You
> can't do that with dlsym, or __attribute__().

You can by renaming the lock manager DSO.  Still, better to avoid
having to do that by having at least a minimum stable ABI which you
support forever.

> In addition to the reasons already mentioned for constructor not
> being able to replace load_drv,  "destructor" can't replace the
> unload_drv method. The unload_drv method is there to allow the
> plugin to refuse to allow module unloading from the app. 

Why not just pause in the resource release function (shutdown_drv is
it?)  I'm still unclear what sort of locking would allow you to
release the resource but still be unable to unload the module.

> > The thing here is that I have to translate the XML into something that
> > the lock manager wants.  Why not let me just pass the XML?  Or the
> > virDomainPtr?
> At the point where libvirt drivers invoke the plugin, there is no
> virDomainPtr in available, only the internal objects virDomainDefPtr
> which aren't something we want to expose since they're not ABI
> stable. In addition from the context where the plugin executes, it
> likely won't be able to use the libvirt APIs safely without causing
> deadlock in libvirt drivers.
> It isn't passing the XML because we didn't want the lock manager
> implementations to all have to re-implement XML parsing, and again
> the libvirt driver code doesn't have the XML around at this point.

This is unfriendly to other callers ...


Richard Jones, Virtualization Group, Red Hat http://people.redhat.com/~rjones
virt-df lists disk usage of guests without needing to install any
software inside the virtual machine.  Supports Linux and Windows.

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