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[Xen-devel] [RFC] correlation of HVM tapX devices to domain

To: xen-devel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Xen-devel] [RFC] correlation of HVM tapX devices to domain
From: "Steven Maresca" <lightyear4@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2008 06:31:24 -0400
Cc: James Harper <james.harper@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Mark Price <mprice@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Christian Horn <chorn@xxxxxxxxxxxx>, "Max E. Baro" <MEB@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
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Hello all.

This message is a request-for-comments regarding a common issue with
fully virtualized domUs.  Individuals carbon copied have expressed
interest in the issue recently and in the past. It may eventually be
beneficial to cross-post to xen-users, but I suspect that xen-devel is
the proper venue for now.

Specifically, I am inquiring about the correlation of tapX network
devices to the relevant HVM domains.  At present such correlation is
not possible, though I will propose some solutions. If this problem or
any facets have already been addressed in recent changesets, I
apologize, but I do not believe that to be the case. Regardless, this
should remain relevant for those with existing installations.

Following the body of this message, I am including a bash function
with instructions for an accurate workaround in qemu-ifup. A possible
patch  to the existing qemu code that creates the tap device is
suggested, seeking comment.

Some summary of behavior:
1.) These devices are generated by qemu-dm, are not managed by the
vif-* scripts, and at present do not have any representation in
2.) Unlike the vifDOMID.IFNUM naming conventions of devices for
paravirtual network interfaces, these emulated devices are simply
tapX, with corresponding loosely to the number of HVM domains and
number of emulated interfaces per domain.
3.) The vifname parameter when specified in a domU configuration
applies only to paravirtual network interfaces; it is not applied to
the tap

The implications include difficulty for firewalling, inability to
accurately monitor domains at an interface level, and divergence of
semantics between paravirtual and HVM domains.

Further (tangentally) complicating the issue are the paths by which
HVM network vifX.Y and tapX interfaces are created, as summarized in
this posting by Dan Berrange:
: The lack of a type= definition for the vif(s) causes both ioemu and
PV interfaces to be created; the vifname parameter is applied only to
the interface for the paravirtual networking (obviously if two
interfaces are created, the vifname is of little use anyway due to a
lack of uniqueness).


With all of that said: In the interest of being noninvasive and
maintaining existing behaviors that some may rely upon, I would
suggest two possible solutions.

1) A workaround using the qemu-ifup script, tested and accurate.  It
is called directly by the qemu-dm process, and thus, the $PPID
variable set at runtime in the script directly correlates with the PID
of the qemu-dm process of the related domain.  Likewise, the first
field of the $* variable contains the tap interface name. Parsing the
DOMID of the domain from qemu-dm's arguments, we can then write the
information to xenstore.  I currently use the following path:
/local/domain/${DOMID}/device/vif-ioemu .  This option would integrate
easily with existing installations and is valid for multiple ioemu
interfaces.  Function and usage follows the body of this message.

2) A patch to tools/ioemu/vl.c in the net_tap_init() function which
accomplishes the same as above in a more appropriate place.  The same
may be relevant in the vnet code where tap_open() is called. *Provided
that this route is agreeable, I will create the patch and followup to
this message.

Other possible solutions might include patching net_tap_init() to use
the appropriate vif-script to bring behavior closer to paravirtual
machines, but this would touch many places in the code and may not be
desirous. Alternatively or in conjunction, it may be beneficial to
apply the vifname parameter both to the PV vif and to the ioemu tap
device (with an "ioemu" suffix or something similar).

Notes for completeness:

The following thread from October 2007 "How to tell which tapX
interface belongs to which domain"  addressed the topic and arrived at
a usable solution, yet is not necessarily ideal given the many
possible sources of error.

The following recently submitted patch attempted to address this issue
supervficially in image.py, but (as it both lacks any xenstore
association and is several layers above the origin of the device
name), I'm not quite sure its the right way to approach the problem:


Comments, criticisms, and suggestions welcomed.

Steven Maresca

Workaround using qemu-ifup.  Add the below function to qemu-ifup (or
source a file containing it), and place the following two lines at the
very bottom of the qemu-ifup script.

IFACE=`echo $* | awk '{print $1}'`
saveHVMif ${PPID} ${IFACE}

#inelegant but accurate
saveHVMif () {

        for i in $QEMUARGS;

                flagnum=`expr $flagnum + 1`
                if [ "${i}" == "-domain-name"  ]; then
                        nameflag=`expr $flagnum + 1`;
                        NAME=`echo $QEMUARGS | awk '{print $'$nameflag'}'`;
        DOMID=`xm list ${NAME} | grep ${NAME} | awk '{print $2}'`
        OLDVAL=`xenstore-read /local/domain/${DOMID}/device/vif-ioemu`

        if [ $? -ne 1 ]; then
                for val in $OLDVALS; do
                        if [ "${val}" == "${IF}" ]; then
                if [ "${IF}" != "" ]; then
        xenstore-write /local/domain/${DOMID}/device/vif-ioemu "${TOSAVE}"

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