Re: [PATCH nf-next,RFC] netfilter: nf_tables: shrink memory consumption of set elements

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Pablo Neira Ayuso <pablo@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Instead of copying struct nft_set_elem into struct nft_trans_elem, store
> the pointer to the opaque set element object in the transaction. Adapt
> set backend API (and set backend implementations) to take the pointer to
> opaque set element representation whenever required.
> This patch deconstifies .remove() and .activate() set backend API since these
> modify the set element opaque object. And it also constify nft_set_elem_ext()
> since this provides access to the nft_set_ext struct without updating the
> object.
> According to pahole on x86_64, this patch shrinks struct nft_trans_elem
> size from 216 to 24 bytes.
> This patch also reduces stack memory consumption by removing the
> template struct nft_set_elem object which consumes 200 bytes of stack
> memory according to pahole. Use the opaque set element object instead
> from the set iterator API, catchall elements and the get element
> command paths to benefit from this memory consumption reduction.

Is there a request for this? Or is the memory consumption a concern
on your end?

> Signed-off-by: Pablo Neira Ayuso <pablo@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> ---
> I tagged this as RFC because it based on nf.git, but targeted at
> nf-next.git, because of missing dependencies, I have kept in here for a
> while in my local pile waiting for the dependencies to land, but I
> prefer to post it now for review. So it cannot be considered for
> integration into the nf-next.git tree yet because of these details.
> This patch depends on ("netfilter: nf_tables: do not remove elements if
> set backend implements .abort") which will take time to propagate to
> nf-next. This also slightly clashes with a other existing pending
> patches for nf-next floating in the mailing list, but that should be
> easy to fix with a rebase.
> I started with an initial patch to make the const updates, but it is
> triggering more churning than expected (since follow up patch will again
> update the same line when changing from struct nft_set_elem to void).
> I believe this patch should be relatively easy to review, but maybe
> that is just my bias.
> Main issue is (and it was still before patch) is that this opaque
> object from the nf_tables frontend is void *, which makes it harder for
> the compiler to catch stupid mistakes such as passing elem instead of
> elem.priv or even &trans->elem, that is, type checking is defeated so
> careful inspection is needed. Instrumention and existing tests also help
> catch issues of course.

The void * is bad, and I dislike that this gets spread.
Could you add a "struct nft_set_elem_priv" that serves
as a proxy object?

All the priv elements would include it as first member,
so we can pass that around instead of void *?

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