public inbox for
 help / color / mirror / Atom feed
From: Luis Machado <>
To: Yichao Yu <>
Subject: Re: Restoring pc to a different value than lr on aarch64
Date: Tue, 10 May 2022 15:48:57 +0100	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

On 5/9/22 15:24, Yichao Yu wrote:
> On Mon, May 9, 2022 at 6:44 AM Luis Machado <> wrote:
>> On 5/6/22 17:30, Yichao Yu wrote:
>>> On Fri, May 6, 2022 at 12:11 PM Yichao Yu <> wrote:
>>>>>> Actually I misspoke for that. It seems that sp is probably fine and
>>>>>> the only thing missing causing pc to not work is that
>>>>>> aarch64_dwarf_reg_to_regnum doesn't understand the PC dwarf reg
>>>>>> number. It seems that the only thing needed is to add a
>>>>>> +  if (reg == AARCH64_DWARF_PC)
>>>>>> +    return AARCH64_PC_REGNUM;
>>>>>> to that function.
>>>>> Yes, GDB always assumes the PC from the previous frame is the LR from
>>>>> the current frame. That is what GCC generates.
>>>>> If a different setup is needed, GDB needs to be taught about it.
>>>> I agree the current code makes sense for what gcc generates. However,
>>>> I think given the document from arm, explicitly setting the PC value
>>>> in the unwind info should also work.
>>>> Would a patch similar to the one above be acceptable to fix this issue?
>>>> A related issue is that gdb also seems to be ignoring the return
>>>> address register in CIE. There is at least one use of it in glibc[2]
>>>> where the return address register is set to x15 instead.
>>>> I've verified that gdb is currently unable to unwind after the call to
>>>> `strlen` from `rawmemchr` even though the return address is still in
>>>> x15.
>>>> I thought this can be fixed by chaiming that PC is RA just like the
>>>> fallback case but that is apparently not working...
>>> Actually this did work but the address is wrong before the value was
>>> written to x15... So it was just due to incorrect unwind info (the
>>> glibc implementation should specify how to find x15 on the entry of
>>> rawmemchr).
>>> Is the current implementation due to some edge cases? (like old
>>> compiler version doesn't put a valid value in the CIE for the return
>>> address register). It seems that many other architecture simply use
>>> _RA so I don't see why this would have broader problems...

This looks like a genuine bug, one that is not hit that often given it 
is not very common for frame to change the return address column. This 
will need to be fixed eventually. Thanks for spotting that.

>> It is probably historical that this has been handled like this. If there
>> is a use case for having a PC column containing distinct data, then we
>> could support that.
> I couldn't find any existed code using this, but it seems that this is
> the intent from ARM and I really can't think of any other way to
> restore everything including both pc and lr so I'd like to support
> that at least....
>> It wouldn't be as simple as that change you mentioned though, as other
>> parts of the code assume PC comes from the LR.

I take that back. I investigated this further and I think this should 
work, although it is a use case that is not so common.

> There are indeed other unwinders (the prologue unwinder) that assumes
> this, which I think should be fine. Specifying the PC explicitly
> should only apply to the dwarf unwinder. The only other place where I
> can find that relies on this is aarch64_gen_return_address. It doesn't
> seem that this function is used in most of the other logics and if the
> return address column is somehow accessible from here it should also
> not be too hard to fix.

I think it is only the case for the dwarf unwinder, as that is the 
unwinder that has access to the CFI information.

> Is there any other cases that I'm missing? I've also tested with my
> simple change and it seems that unwinding from normal functions still
> works as intended.

Yes, I tried it on my end as well and it does work. What I was worried 
about is that we need to adjust the LR value in some cases.

For aarch32 we need to remove the LSB, and for aarch64 we need to unmask 
the value of LR if it is signed through PAC. This is the reason why we 
have a custom dwarf2_prev_register implementation.

gcc and clang emit the return address column as r30. If we don't specify 
any initialization rule for PC, then the dwarf2 unwinder will go through 
the route of fetching LR and adjusting the values.

On the other hand, if PC is available in a CFI column, then the dwarf 
unwinder won't call the custom hook and will instead proceed to 
calculate PC from the CFI expression at that column, which should give 
the result that you want.

We can't initialize PC to DWARF2_FRAME_REG_RA though (not yet, anyway), 
as that would default to mapping PC to the return address column. For 
gcc and clang, this would be x30. That would give GDB no chance of 
adjusting the LR values if required (for PAC-signed LR values).

It would be nice to have a testcase for this, alongside your patch, to 
make sure GDB is always doing the correct unwinding.

Could you please send a patch to gdb-patches@?

>> PC is probably specified
>> as DWARF2_FRAME_REG_SAME_VALUE (as far as I remember), so it will cause
>> some issues during unwinding.
> I don't believe this is the case. AFAICT, the only way gcc emits debug
> info to specify that pc is in lr without relying on architecture
> detail is that it specifies the return address column is 30 in the
> CIE. Currently, on aarch64, the return address column is basically
> never used but if the how for PC is changed to RA then it seems that
> gdb does pick it up correctly.
>> There is a comment in gdb/dwarf2/expr.c about some odd cases. For example:
>>         /* GCC, in its infinite wisdom decided to not provide unwind
>>            information for registers that are "same value".  Since
>>            DWARF2 (3 draft 7) doesn't define such behavior, said
>>            registers are actually undefined (which is different to CFI
>>            "undefined").  Code above issues a complaint about this.
>>            Here just fudge the books, assume GCC, and that the value is
>>            more inner on the stack.  */
>>>> [2]
>>>>>>> According to aadwarf64[1],
>>>>>>>> having both LR and PC columns is useful for describing asynchronously created stack frames. A DWARF expression may use this register to restore the context in case of a signal context.
>>>>>>> so assume the intention is that if I explicitly unwind the pc in
>>>>>>> addition to lr, it should work. I tried to do that, and also to set
>>>>>>> return address column to 32, as well as trying to mark the frame as
>>>>>>> signal frame but none of them seems to work. Is there any way for gdb
>>>>>>> to honer the explicit unwinding of pc?
>>>>>>> Also it seems that the sp is also card coded to be cfa. My code also
>>>>>>> contains explicit saving and restoring of that as well so if that's
>>>>>>> the case (haven't tested yet) it would be a problem too...
>>>>>>> Would it be possible to not use this hard-coded logic if the frame
>>>>>>> contains explicit override of the pc value?
>>>>>>> Yichao
>>>>>>> A bit more about the actual code. This is done as part of runtime
>>>>>>> patching code. The actual restoration of lr is done by returning to a
>>>>>>> runtime allocated stub that restores lr and directly branch back to
>>>>>>> the return location. After returning, all registers values are
>>>>>>> restored back to their previous one. The stack pointer is also
>>>>>>> switched out since we cannot rely on how much stack space the call
>>>>>>> site has available.
>>>>> This seems to work in a similar way as signal handler. GDB needs to be
>>>>> taught where to find the registers so it can properly unwind things.
>>>>>>> [1]

  reply	other threads:[~2022-05-10 14:49 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 12+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2022-05-06 12:05 Yichao Yu
2022-05-06 12:46 ` Yichao Yu
2022-05-06 13:32   ` Luis Machado
2022-05-06 16:11     ` Yichao Yu
2022-05-06 16:30       ` Yichao Yu
2022-05-09 10:44         ` Luis Machado
2022-05-09 14:24           ` Yichao Yu
2022-05-10 14:48             ` Luis Machado [this message]
2022-05-11 13:26               ` Yichao Yu
2022-05-11 14:51                 ` Luis Machado
2022-05-11 15:10                   ` Luis Machado
2022-05-13 12:34                   ` Yichao Yu

Reply instructions:

You may reply publicly to this message via plain-text email
using any one of the following methods:

* Save the following mbox file, import it into your mail client,
  and reply-to-all from there: mbox

  Avoid top-posting and favor interleaved quoting:

* Reply using the --to, --cc, and --in-reply-to
  switches of git-send-email(1):

  git send-email \ \ \ \ \

* If your mail client supports setting the In-Reply-To header
  via mailto: links, try the mailto: link
Be sure your reply has a Subject: header at the top and a blank line before the message body.
This is a public inbox, see mirroring instructions
for how to clone and mirror all data and code used for this inbox;
as well as URLs for read-only IMAP folder(s) and NNTP newsgroup(s).