Difference between revisions of "32bit tasks C/R"

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== External links ==
== External links ==
* [https://github.com/xemul/criu/issues/43 github issue]
* [https://github.com/checkpoint-restore/criu/issues/43 github issue]
[[Category: Under the hood‏‎]]
[[Category: Under the hood‏‎]]

Revision as of 08:45, 28 September 2017

Compatible applications

On x86_64 there are two types of compatible applications:

  • ia32 - compiled to run on i686 target, can be executed on x86_64 with IA32_EMULATION config option set.
  • x32 - specially compiled binaries to run on x86_64 machine with CONFIG_X86_X32 config option set.

Both of them uses 4 byte pointers thus can address no more than 4Gb of virtual memory.
But x32 uses full 64-bit register set (and thus can't be launched on i686 host natively).
Both of them requires additional environment on x86_64 as Glibc, libraries, and compiler support.
x32 is rarely distributed (at this moment only Debian x32 port can be easily found).
So, CRIU will support ia32 C/R at this moment, x32 support may be quite easily added on top of ia32 as needed patches have already added in kernel with ia32 C/R support.
The following text uses compatible and 32-bit in the meaning of ia32 applications unless otherwise specified.

Difference between native and compat applications

From the CPU's point of view, 32-bit compatibility mode applications differ to 64-bit application by current CS (code segment selector): if corresponding value of L-bit from flags of entry in descriptors table is set the CPU will be in 64-bit mode when this segment descriptor is being used. There are some other differences between 32 and 64-bit selectors, one can read about them in the article "The 0x33 Segment Selector (Heavens Gate)". Code selectors for both bits are defined in kernel headers as __USER32_CS and __USER_CS and corresponds to descriptors in GDT (Global Descriptors Table). One can change 64-bit mode to compatibility mode by swapping CS value (e.g., with longjump).

From the Linux kernel's point of view, applications differ by values set during exec of application such as mmap_base or thread info flags TIF_ADDR32/TIF_IA32/TIF_X32. Both native and compat applications can do 32 or 64-bit syscalls.

Mixed-bitness applications

That's entirely possible with current kernel ABI to create mixed-bitness applications, which may be very entangled. For example, one could set both 32-bit and 64-bit robust futex list pointers. Or one can create multi-threaded application where some threads are executing 32-bit code, some 64-bit code.

If we ever meet application of such mixed-bitness kind, the support may be added to CRIU quite easily, but it should be done under some compile-time config as it'll add more syscalls to usual C/R where they aren't needed.

At this moment there is no plans to add such support and it's quite unlikely that we'll find such application in real world (non-syntetic test).

Approaches to C/R compatible applications

C/R of compatible applications can be done differently, this section describes cons/pros of each, to address decision why C/R of 32-bit tasks done that way and not some other.

Restore with exec() of 32-bit dummy binary vs from 64-bit CRIU

Restore of 32-bit application can be done with some daemon that runs in 32-bit mode and communicates with CRIU binary (or 32-bit CRIU subprocess).


  • no kernel patches expected (not quite true: vDSO mremap() still needed support)


  • CRIU code base does not have special restore daemon to communicate with - code needs to be reworked
  • 64-bit app can have 32-bit child, which could be a parent to 64-bit and so on - need to re-exec native 64-bit CRIU from 32-bit dummy (or 32-bit CRIU)
  • need to send to the daemon properties of restoring processes, open fds to images, share memory with parsed ps_tree and so on... The number of IPC calls will slow down restore
  • restoring becomes more complicated, and if looking forward to restoring user/pid sub-namespaces, it will be too entangled
  • no optimized inheritance for task's properties those erase with exec()
  • will need also another daemon for x32

Restore with a flag to sigreturn() or arch_prctl()

The initial attempt to do 32-bit C/R, was rejected by lkml community by many reasons. It should have swapped thread info flags (such as TIF_ADDR32/TIF_IA32/TIF_X32), unmap native 64-bit vDSO blob from process's address space and map compatible 32-bit vDSO - all according to some bit in sigframe in rt_sigreturn() call or some dedicated for it arch_prctl() call.


  • Simple from the point of CRIU: just do sigreturn with a new bit set or call arch_prctl() and do sigreturn


  • If 32-bit vDSO image on restored host differ from dumped (in image), need to catch task after sigreturn and make jump trampolines separately - in case of arch_prctl() simpler (that's why arch_prctl was in initial RFC)
  • Too many points of failure for one syscall, too complicated
  • Just adding a way to swap those thread info flags from userspace would result in a new races/bugs (as e.g., TASK_SIZE macro depends on TIF_ADDR32, the mmap code may do unexpected things)

After discussion in lkml, conclusion was: separate changing personality (like thread info flags) from API to map vDSO blobs, remove TIF_IA32 flag that differs 32 from 64-bit tasks and look on syscall's nature: compat syscall, x32 syscall or native syscall.

Seizing with two 32-bit and 64-bit parasites


  • no 32-bit calls in 64-bit parasite and vice-versa
  • no need in exit in parasite: ptrace code doesn't allow to set 32-bit regset to 64-bit task and the reverse, running parasite the same nature as task bereaves us from those limits


  • need to have two/three (for x32 also) blobs for seizing
  • macros in makefiles to build two parasites
  • serialization of parasite's answers: arguments to parasite differ in size - serialize them, which added not nice-looking and less readable C macros

Current approach


Needs to be done (TODO)

List of failed tests

The table is being kept up-to-date by Dsafonov with latest kernel/CRIU patches in his environment, some of which may be yet not in tree or even yet not sent.

Name Fail reason
autofs test's bug - hangs without C/R

Kernel patch for vsyscall page

That's emulated page, not a vma - affects only in /proc/<pid>/maps for restored process. Depends on !TIF_IA32 && !TIF_X32 - Andy got patches for disabling the emulation on per-pid basics, for now I ran tests with vsyscall=none boot parameter because zdtm.py checks maps before/after C/R.

Error dump on x32-bit app dumping

At this moment we'll support only compat ia32 applications, attempt to dump x32 compat binary should result in error.

External links