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Block I/O error injection using blkdebug
Copyright (C) 2014-2015 Red Hat Inc
This work is licensed under the terms of the GNU GPL, version 2 or later. See
the COPYING file in the top-level directory.
The blkdebug block driver is a rule-based error injection engine. It can be
used to exercise error code paths in block drivers including ENOSPC (out of
space) and EIO.
This document gives an overview of the features available in blkdebug.
Block drivers have many error code paths that handle I/O errors. Image formats
are especially complex since metadata I/O errors during cluster allocation or
while updating tables happen halfway through request processing and require
discipline to keep image files consistent.
Error injection allows test cases to trigger I/O errors at specific points.
This way, all error paths can be tested to make sure they are correct.
The blkdebug block driver takes a list of "rules" that tell the error injection
engine when to fail an I/O request.
Each I/O request is evaluated against the rules. If a rule matches the request
then its "action" is executed.
Rules can be placed in a configuration file; the configuration file
follows the same .ini-like format used by QEMU's -readconfig option, and
each section of the file represents a rule.
The following configuration file defines a single rule:
$ cat blkdebug.conf
event = "read_aio"
errno = "28"
This rule fails all aio read requests with ENOSPC (28). Note that the errno
value depends on the host. On Linux, see
/usr/include/asm-generic/errno-base.h for errno values.
Invoke QEMU as follows:
$ qemu-system-x86_64
-drive if=none,cache=none,file=blkdebug:blkdebug.conf:test.img,id=drive0 \
-device virtio-blk-pci,drive=drive0,id=virtio-blk-pci0
Rules support the following attributes:
event - which type of operation to match (e.g. read_aio, write_aio,
flush_to_os, flush_to_disk). See the "Events" section for
information on events.
state - (optional) the engine must be in this state number in order for this
rule to match. See the "State transitions" section for information
on states.
errno - the numeric errno value to return when a request matches this rule.
The errno values depend on the host since the numeric values are not
standarized in the POSIX specification.
sector - (optional) a sector number that the request must overlap in order to
match this rule
once - (optional, default "off") only execute this action on the first
matching request
immediately - (optional, default "off") return a NULL BlockAIOCB
pointer and fail without an errno instead. This
exercises the code path where BlockAIOCB fails and the
caller's BlockCompletionFunc is not invoked.
Block drivers provide information about the type of I/O request they are about
to make so rules can match specific types of requests. For example, the qcow2
block driver tells blkdebug when it accesses the L1 table so rules can match
only L1 table accesses and not other metadata or guest data requests.
The core events are:
read_aio - guest data read
write_aio - guest data write
flush_to_os - write out unwritten block driver state (e.g. cached metadata)
flush_to_disk - flush the host block device's disk cache
See qapi/block-core.json:BlkdebugEvent for the full list of events.
You may need to grep block driver source code to understand the
meaning of specific events.
State transitions
There are cases where more power is needed to match a particular I/O request in
a longer sequence of requests. For example:
How do we match the 2nd write_aio but not the first? This is where state
transitions come in.
The error injection engine has an integer called the "state" that always starts
initialized to 1. The state integer is internal to blkdebug and cannot be
observed from outside but rules can interact with it for powerful matching
Rules can be conditional on the current state and they can transition to a new
When a rule's "state" attribute is non-zero then the current state must equal
the attribute in order for the rule to match.
For example, to match the 2nd write_aio:
event = "write_aio"
state = "1"
new_state = "2"
event = "write_aio"
state = "2"
errno = "5"
The first write_aio request matches the set-state rule and transitions from
state 1 to state 2. Once state 2 has been entered, the set-state rule no
longer matches since it requires state 1. But the inject-error rule now
matches the next write_aio request and injects EIO (5).
State transition rules support the following attributes:
event - which type of operation to match (e.g. read_aio, write_aio,
flush_to_os, flush_to_disk). See the "Events" section for
information on events.
state - (optional) the engine must be in this state number in order for this
rule to match
new_state - transition to this state number
Suspend and resume
Exercising code paths in block drivers may require specific ordering amongst
concurrent requests. The "breakpoint" feature allows requests to be halted on
a blkdebug event and resumed later. This makes it possible to achieve
deterministic ordering when multiple requests are in flight.
Breakpoints on blkdebug events are associated with a user-defined "tag" string.
This tag serves as an identifier by which the request can be resumed at a later
See the qemu-io(1) break, resume, remove_break, and wait_break commands for