Watching the libvirt RPC protocol using SystemTAP

Posted: November 30th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Fedora, libvirt, Virt Tools | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

A couple of releases back I completely re-structured all the RPC handling code inside libvirt to make sure it could be properly shared between the client and server, as well as decoupling the RPC handling code from the implementation of the RPC functions. As part of this work I introduced a fairly comprehensive set of DTrace static probe points into the libvirt RPC code. While one could write a WireShark plugin that is able to decode the libvirt RPC protocol (oh look Michal already has written one), that would not be able to examine encrypted libvirt connections – which is pretty much all of them. By using static probes in the libvirt RPC code we can see the RPC messages being sent and received before/after encryption has been applied.

The observant will notice that I said I inserted DTrace static probes, while this blog subject line says SystemTAP. Well the SystemTAP developers had the good sense to make their userspace probing infrastructure support the DTrace static probe marker syntax. So inserting DTrace static probes into userspace code, trivially enables support for both DTrace and SystemTAP. I previously added DTrace probe support to QEMU/KVM and was very happy when Bryan Cantrill told me (at the recent KVM forum) that the DTrace probe support I added to KVM only needed minor build system tweaks to work on Solaris, despite my only ever having tested with Linux + SystemTAP.

Along with adding the DTrace markers to the libvirt RPC code, I also created two SystemTAP tapset files to make it simpler to use the probes from SystemTAP scripts. The first, /usr/share/systemtap/tapset/libvirt_probe.stp, contains the actual probe points, grouped by functional area, while the second, /usr/share/systemtap/tapset/libvirt_functions.stp, contains a bunch of helper functions for converting enum values into human friendly strings. The idea is that instead of seeing “Procedure 53”, a sysadmin would much rather see “Procedure domain_dump_core”. I won’t go into detail about what is in those two files here, instead I’ll just illustrate their use

Tracing the RPC client

Lets says we first want to see what messages the client is sending and receiving. There are two interesting probes here, “libvirt.rpc.server_client_msg_rx” and “libvirt.rpc.server_client_msg_tx_queue“. The former is triggered when a complete RPC message has been read off the wire, while the latter is triggered when an RPC message is queued for transmission. Ideally we would also have another probe triggered when an RPC message has been completely transmitted – that’s a future todo item. Simple usage of these two probes would be

# cat > demo.stp <<EOF
probe libvirt.rpc.client_msg_rx {
  printf("client=%p len=%d program=%d version=%d procedure=%d type=%d status=%d serial=%d\n",
         client, len, prog, vers, proc, type, status, serial);
}
probe libvirt.rpc.client_msg_tx_queue {
  printf("client=%p len=%d program=%s version=%d procedure=%s type=%s status=%d serial=%d\n",
         client, len, prog, vers, proc, type, status, serial);
}
EOF
# stap demo.stp
client=0x7f827c3b1010 len=28 program=536903814 version=1 procedure=66 type=0 status=0 serial=0
client=0x7f827c3b1010 len=36 program=536903814 version=1 procedure=66 type=1 status=0 serial=0
client=0x7f827c3b1010 len=40 program=536903814 version=1 procedure=1 type=0 status=0 serial=1
client=0x7f827c3b1010 len=28 program=536903814 version=1 procedure=1 type=1 status=0 serial=1
client=0x7f827c3b1010 len=28 program=536903814 version=1 procedure=110 type=0 status=0 serial=2
client=0x7f827c3b1010 len=48 program=536903814 version=1 procedure=110 type=1 status=0 serial=2
client=0x7f827c3b1010 len=28 program=536903814 version=1 procedure=2 type=0 status=0 serial=3
client=0x7f827c3b1010 len=28 program=536903814 version=1 procedure=2 type=1 status=0 serial=3

The example shows the results of running “virsh domname vm1”. There are 4 RPC calls made here, 66 (authenticate), 1 (open), 110 (get uri), 2 (close).

Tracing the client with friendly output

Unless you have memorized libvirt RPC enums, this isn’t a very friendly way to trace the code. This is where the aforementioned libvirt_functions.stp tapset comes into play.

# cat > demo.stp <<EOF
probe libvirt.rpc.client_msg_rx {
  printf("R client=%p len=%d program=%s version=%d procedure=%s type=%s status=%s serial=%d\n",
         client, len,
         libvirt_rpc_program_name(prog, 0),
         vers,
         libvirt_rpc_procedure_name(prog, vers, proc, 0),
         libvirt_rpc_type_name(type, 0),
         libvirt_rpc_status_name(status, 0),
         serial);
}
probe libvirt.rpc.client_msg_tx_queue {
  printf("T client=%p len=%d program=%s version=%d procedure=%s type=%s status=%s serial=%d\n",
         client, len,
         libvirt_rpc_program_name(prog, 0),
         vers,
         libvirt_rpc_procedure_name(prog, vers, proc, 0),
         libvirt_rpc_type_name(type, 0),
         libvirt_rpc_status_name(status, 0),
         serial);
}
EOF
# stap demo.stp
T client=0x7f3e3dec0010 len=28 program=remote version=1 procedure=auth_list type=call status=ok serial=0
R client=0x7f3e3dec0010 len=36 program=remote version=1 procedure=auth_list type=reply status=ok serial=0
T client=0x7f3e3dec0010 len=40 program=remote version=1 procedure=open type=call status=ok serial=1
R client=0x7f3e3dec0010 len=28 program=remote version=1 procedure=open type=reply status=ok serial=1
T client=0x7f3e3dec0010 len=28 program=remote version=1 procedure=get_uri type=call status=ok serial=2
R client=0x7f3e3dec0010 len=48 program=remote version=1 procedure=get_uri type=reply status=ok serial=2
T client=0x7f3e3dec0010 len=28 program=remote version=1 procedure=close type=call status=ok serial=3
R client=0x7f3e3dec0010 len=28 program=remote version=1 procedure=close type=reply status=ok serial=3

Much more friendly !

Tracing the server at the same time

It might desirable to see when the server itself receives the message, independently of when the client transmitted it. There are an identical set of probes available in the server, just replace ‘client’ with ‘server_client’ in the above examples. Thus the demo script can trivially be extended to show server messages at the same time:

# cat >> demo.stp << EOF
probe libvirt.rpc.server_client_msg_rx {
  printf("R server=%p len=%d program=%s version=%d procedure=%s type=%s status=%s serial=%d\n",
         client, len,
         libvirt_rpc_program_name(prog, 0),
         vers,
         libvirt_rpc_procedure_name(prog, vers, proc, 0),
         libvirt_rpc_type_name(type, 0),
         libvirt_rpc_status_name(status, 0),
         serial);
}
probe libvirt.rpc.server_client_msg_tx_queue {
  printf("T server=%p len=%d program=%s version=%d procedure=%s type=%s status=%s serial=%d\n",
         client, len,
         libvirt_rpc_program_name(prog, 0),
         vers,
         libvirt_rpc_procedure_name(prog, vers, proc, 0),
         libvirt_rpc_type_name(type, 0),
         libvirt_rpc_status_name(status, 0),
         serial);
}
# stap demo.stp
T client=0x7ff3c4855010 len=28 program=remote version=1 procedure=auth_list type=call status=ok serial=0
R server=0x17a2070 len=28 program=remote version=1 procedure=auth_list type=call status=ok serial=0
T server=0x17a2070 len=36 program=remote version=1 procedure=auth_list type=reply status=ok serial=0
R client=0x7ff3c4855010 len=36 program=remote version=1 procedure=auth_list type=reply status=ok serial=0
T client=0x7ff3c4855010 len=40 program=remote version=1 procedure=open type=call status=ok serial=1
R server=0x17a2070 len=40 program=remote version=1 procedure=open type=call status=ok serial=1
T server=0x17a2070 len=28 program=remote version=1 procedure=open type=reply status=ok serial=1
R client=0x7ff3c4855010 len=28 program=remote version=1 procedure=open type=reply status=ok serial=1
T client=0x7ff3c4855010 len=28 program=remote version=1 procedure=get_uri type=call status=ok serial=2
R server=0x17a2070 len=28 program=remote version=1 procedure=get_uri type=call status=ok serial=2
T server=0x17a2070 len=48 program=remote version=1 procedure=get_uri type=reply status=ok serial=2
R client=0x7ff3c4855010 len=48 program=remote version=1 procedure=get_uri type=reply status=ok serial=2
T client=0x7ff3c4855010 len=28 program=remote version=1 procedure=close type=call status=ok serial=3
R server=0x17a2070 len=28 program=remote version=1 procedure=close type=call status=ok serial=3
T server=0x17a2070 len=28 program=remote version=1 procedure=close type=reply status=ok serial=3
R client=0x7ff3c4855010 len=28 program=remote version=1 procedure=close type=reply status=ok serial=3

If the server is running on a different host than the client, just copy the demo.stp script to the other host and run a second copy there.

Further extensions

There are many further improvements that can be made to this script

  • Display a timestamp on each message
  • Associate each server side message with an individual socket
  • Display payload length
  • Display a message when the script is actually ready to run

To simplify life, we are maintaining a nice feature demonstration of the RPC SystemTAP probes in the libvirt GIT repository in the
examples/systemtap/rpc-monitor.stp file.

Here is what it can print out

  0.000 begin
  2.632 C + 0x7f1ea57dc010   local=127.0.0.1;0 remote=127.0.0.1;0
  2.632 C > 0x7f1ea57dc010   msg=remote.1.auth_list(call, ok, 0) len=28
  2.632 + S 0x1c1f710        local=127.0.0.1;0 remote=127.0.0.1;0
  2.632 > S 0x1c1f710        msg=remote.1.auth_list(call, ok, 0) len=28
  2.633 < S 0x1c1f710        msg=remote.1.auth_list(reply, ok, 0) len=36
  2.633 C < 0x7f1ea57dc010   msg=remote.1.auth_list(reply, ok, 0) len=36   2.633 C > 0x7f1ea57dc010   msg=remote.1.open(call, ok, 1) len=40
  2.633 > S 0x1c1f710        msg=remote.1.open(call, ok, 1) len=40
  2.639 < S 0x1c1f710        msg=remote.1.open(reply, ok, 1) len=28
  2.639 C < 0x7f1ea57dc010   msg=remote.1.open(reply, ok, 1) len=28   2.639 C > 0x7f1ea57dc010   msg=remote.1.get_uri(call, ok, 2) len=28
  2.639 > S 0x1c1f710        msg=remote.1.get_uri(call, ok, 2) len=28
  2.639 < S 0x1c1f710        msg=remote.1.get_uri(reply, ok, 2) len=48
  2.640 C < 0x7f1ea57dc010   msg=remote.1.get_uri(reply, ok, 2) len=48   2.640 C > 0x7f1ea57dc010   msg=remote.1.domain_lookup_by_id(call, ok, 3) len=32
  2.640 > S 0x1c1f710        msg=remote.1.domain_lookup_by_id(call, ok, 3) len=32
  2.640 < S 0x1c1f710        msg=remote.1.domain_lookup_by_id(reply, error, 3) len=180
  2.641 C < 0x7f1ea57dc010   msg=remote.1.domain_lookup_by_id(reply, error, 3) len=180   2.641 C > 0x7f1ea57dc010   msg=remote.1.close(call, ok, 4) len=28
  2.641 > S 0x1c1f710        msg=remote.1.close(call, ok, 4) len=28
  2.641 < S 0x1c1f710        msg=remote.1.close(reply, ok, 4) len=28
  2.641 C < 0x7f1ea57dc010   msg=remote.1.close(reply, ok, 4) len=28
  2.641 C - 0x7f1ea57dc010   local= remote=
  2.641 - S 0x1c1f710        local=127.0.0.1;0 remote=127.0.0.1;0

Tracing other areas of libvirt code

The RPC code is not the only place with SystemTAP/DTrace probe markers in libvirt. We have also instrumented our main event loop and provide an examples/systemtap/events.stp demo that prints out info like this

  0.000 begin
  2.359 18185 + handle 1 4 1
  2.360 18185 + handle 2 6 1
  2.360 18185 * handle 2 0
  2.360 14370 > handle 3 1
  2.360 14370 + handle 33 16 1
  2.361 14370 ~ 7 -1
  2.361 14370 > handle 33 1
  2.361 14370 * handle 33 1
  2.361 14370 * handle 33 1
  2.361 14370 * handle 33 3
  2.361 14370 ~ 7 -1
  2.361 14370 > handle 1 1
  2.361 14370 ~ 7 -1
  2.361 14370 > handle 33 2
  2.361 14370 * handle 33 1
  2.361 14370 ~ 7 -1
  2.361 18185 * handle 2 1
  2.362 18185 * handle 2 0

And finally we have instrumented our code which talks to the QEMU monitor, again providing a demo examples/systemtap/qemu-monitor.stp which prints out info like this

  0.000 begin
  3.848 ! 0x7f2dc00017b0 {"timestamp": {"seconds": 1319466931, "microseconds": 187755}, "event": "SHUTDOWN"}
  5.773 > 0x7f2dc0007960 {"execute":"qmp_capabilities","id":"libvirt-1"}
  5.774 < 0x7f2dc0007960 {"return": {}, "id": "libvirt-1"}   5.774 > 0x7f2dc0007960 {"execute":"query-commands","id":"libvirt-2"}
  5.777 < 0x7f2dc0007960 {"return": [{"name": "quit"}, {"name": ....snip....   5.777 > 0x7f2dc0007960 {"execute":"query-chardev","id":"libvirt-3"}
  5.778 < 0x7f2dc0007960 {"return": [{"filename": ....snip....   5.779 > 0x7f2dc0007960 {"execute":"query-cpus","id":"libvirt-4"}
  5.780 < 0x7f2dc0007960 {"return": [{"current": true, "CPU": 0, "pc": 1048560, "halted": false, "thread_id": 13299}], "id": "libvirt-4"}   5.780 > 0x7f2dc0007960 {"execute":"set_password","arguments":{"protocol":"vnc","password":"123456","connected":"keep"},"id":"libvirt-5"}
  5.782 < 0x7f2dc0007960 {"return": {}, "id": "libvirt-5"}   5.782 > 0x7f2dc0007960 {"execute":"expire_password","arguments":{"protocol":"vnc","time":"never"},"id":"libvirt-6"}
  5.783 < 0x7f2dc0007960 {"return": {}, "id": "libvirt-6"}   5.783 > 0x7f2dc0007960 {"execute":"balloon","arguments":{"value":224395264},"id":"libvirt-7"}
  5.785 < 0x7f2dc0007960 {"return": {}, "id": "libvirt-7"}   5.785 > 0x7f2dc0007960 {"execute":"cont","id":"libvirt-8"}
  5.789 ! 0x7f2dc0007960 {"timestamp": {"seconds": 1319466933, "microseconds": 129980}, "event": "RESUME"}
  5.789 < 0x7f2dc0007960 {"return": {}, "id": "libvirt-8"}
  7.537 ! 0x7f2dc0007960 {"timestamp": {"seconds": 1319466934, "microseconds": 881214}, "event": "SHUTDOWN"}

Conclusion

The introduction of static probes into the libvirt code has been enormously helpful in understanding the operation of libvirt. While we have comprehensive debug logging present in libvirt is it hard to tailor the output to show the precise data desired. Traditional debuggers like GDB are not very practical when trying to understand the live operation of a heavily multi-threaded system crossing multiple processes, and while strace is useful in some scenarios it is too low level to be useful in most scenarios. SystemTAP userspace probing provides the kind of debugging experience / tool that really suits understanding the complex interactions in a system like libvirt. It is no co-incidence that the first set of probes we have written have focused on the libvirt event loop, RPC code and QEMU monitor – three of the areas in libvirt which are both very critical operationally, and exceptionally hard to debug with traditional approaches. We will certainly be expanding our use of static probe markers in systemtap in the future. My real immediate wishlist is for systemtap to get better at providing userspace stack traces, since it fails to provide a useful trace far too often, as compared to GDB.

Update: Mark Wielaard showed me what I had todo to get nice stack traces from SystemTAP. Apparently it is not getting enough memory space to deal with stack traces with its default settings. Telling it to use a little more memory makes it work nicely:

# cat > demo.stp <<EOF
probe libvirt.rpc.client_msg_rx {
  printf("client=%p len=%d program=%d version=%d procedure=%d type=%d status=%d serial=%d\n",
         client, len, prog, vers, proc, type, status, serial);
  print_ustack(ubacktrace())
}
# stap -DTASK_FINDER_VMA_ENTRY_ITEMS=7680 demo.stp
client=0x7f775cf62010 len=36 program=536903814 version=1 procedure=66 type=1 status=0 serial=0
 0x3c57f0b3dd : virNetClientIOHandleInput+0x87d/0x890 [/usr/lib64/libvirt.so.0.9.7]
 0x3c57f0b9a0 : virNetClientIOEventLoop+0x5b0/0x630 [/usr/lib64/libvirt.so.0.9.7]
 0x3c57f0cb23 : virNetClientSend+0x2b3/0x590 [/usr/lib64/libvirt.so.0.9.7]
 0x3c57f0d47c : virNetClientProgramCall+0x26c/0x8a0 [/usr/lib64/libvirt.so.0.9.7]
 0x3c57ef091e : callWithFD+0xce/0x120 [/usr/lib64/libvirt.so.0.9.7]
 0x3c57ef099c : call+0x2c/0x40 [/usr/lib64/libvirt.so.0.9.7]
 0x3c57efee80 : doRemoteOpen+0x890/0x20f0 [/usr/lib64/libvirt.so.0.9.7]
 0x3c57f0341b : remoteOpen+0x9b/0x290 [/usr/lib64/libvirt.so.0.9.7]
 0x3c57ec2133 : do_open+0x1f3/0x1100 [/usr/lib64/libvirt.so.0.9.7]
 0x3c57ec4616 : virConnectOpenAuth+0x76/0xb0 [/usr/lib64/libvirt.so.0.9.7]
 0x40ceb1 [/usr/bin/virsh+0xceb1/0x40000]
client=0x7f775cf62010 len=28 program=536903814 version=1 procedure=1 type=1 status=0 serial=1
 0x3c57f0b3dd : virNetClientIOHandleInput+0x87d/0x890 [/usr/lib64/libvirt.so.0.9.7]
 0x3c57f0b9a0 : virNetClientIOEventLoop+0x5b0/0x630 [/usr/lib64/libvirt.so.0.9.7]
 0x3c57f0cb23 : virNetClientSend+0x2b3/0x590 [/usr/lib64/libvirt.so.0.9.7]
 0x3c57f0d47c : virNetClientProgramCall+0x26c/0x8a0 [/usr/lib64/libvirt.so.0.9.7]
 0x3c57ef091e : callWithFD+0xce/0x120 [/usr/lib64/libvirt.so.0.9.7]
 0x3c57ef099c : call+0x2c/0x40 [/usr/lib64/libvirt.so.0.9.7]
 0x3c57eff57a : doRemoteOpen+0xf8a/0x20f0 [/usr/lib64/libvirt.so.0.9.7]
 0x3c57f0341b : remoteOpen+0x9b/0x290 [/usr/lib64/libvirt.so.0.9.7]
 0x3c57ec2133 : do_open+0x1f3/0x1100 [/usr/lib64/libvirt.so.0.9.7]
 0x3c57ec4616 : virConnectOpenAuth+0x76/0xb0 [/usr/lib64/libvirt.so.0.9.7]
 0x40ceb1 [/usr/bin/virsh+0xceb1/0x40000]
....

This makes me very happy :-)