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Elixir Cross Referencer

		Keeping data small

When many applets are compiled into busybox, all rw data and
bss for each applet are concatenated. Including those from libc,
if static busybox is built. When busybox is started, _all_ this data
is allocated, not just that one part for selected applet.

What "allocated" exactly means, depends on arch.
On NOMMU it's probably bites the most, actually using real
RAM for rwdata and bss. On i386, bss is lazily allocated
by COWed zero pages. Not sure about rwdata - also COW?

In order to keep busybox NOMMU and small-mem systems friendly
we should avoid large global data in our applets, and should
minimize usage of libc functions which implicitly use
such structures.

Small experiment to measure "parasitic" bbox memory consumption:
here we start 1000 "busybox sleep 10" in parallel.
busybox binary is practically allyesconfig static one,
built against uclibc. Run on x86-64 machine with 64-bit kernel:

bash-3.2# nmeter '%t %c %m %p %[pn]'
23:17:28 .......... 168M    0  147
23:17:29 .......... 168M    0  147
23:17:30 U......... 168M    1  147
23:17:31 SU........ 181M  244  391
23:17:32 SSSSUUU... 223M  757 1147
23:17:33 UUU....... 223M    0 1147
23:17:34 U......... 223M    1 1147
23:17:35 .......... 223M    0 1147
23:17:36 .......... 223M    0 1147
23:17:37 S......... 223M    0 1147
23:17:38 .......... 223M    1 1147
23:17:39 .......... 223M    0 1147
23:17:40 .......... 223M    0 1147
23:17:41 .......... 210M    0  906
23:17:42 .......... 168M    1  147
23:17:43 .......... 168M    0  147

This requires 55M of memory. Thus 1 trivial busybox applet
takes 55k of memory on 64-bit x86 kernel.

On 32-bit kernel we need ~26k per applet.

Script:

i=1000; while test $i != 0; do
        echo -n .
        busybox sleep 30 &
        i=$((i - 1))
done
echo
wait

(Data from NOMMU arches are sought. Provide 'size busybox' output too)


		Example 1

One example how to reduce global data usage is in
archival/libarchive/decompress_gunzip.c:

/* This is somewhat complex-looking arrangement, but it allows
 * to place decompressor state either in bss or in
 * malloc'ed space simply by changing #defines below.
 * Sizes on i386:
 * text    data     bss     dec     hex
 * 5256       0     108    5364    14f4 - bss
 * 4915       0       0    4915    1333 - malloc
 */
#define STATE_IN_BSS 0
#define STATE_IN_MALLOC 1

(see the rest of the file to get the idea)

This example completely eliminates globals in that module.
Required memory is allocated in unpack_gz_stream() [its main module]
and then passed down to all subroutines which need to access 'globals'
as a parameter.


		Example 2

In case you don't want to pass this additional parameter everywhere,
take a look at archival/gzip.c. Here all global data is replaced by
single global pointer (ptr_to_globals) to allocated storage.

In order to not duplicate ptr_to_globals in every applet, you can
reuse single common one. It is defined in libbb/ptr_to_globals.c
as struct globals *const ptr_to_globals, but the struct globals is
NOT defined in libbb.h. You first define your own struct:

struct globals { int a; char buf[1000]; };

and then declare that ptr_to_globals is a pointer to it:

#define G (*ptr_to_globals)

ptr_to_globals is declared as constant pointer.
This helps gcc understand that it won't change, resulting in noticeably
smaller code. In order to assign it, use SET_PTR_TO_GLOBALS macro:

	SET_PTR_TO_GLOBALS(xzalloc(sizeof(G)));

Typically it is done in <applet>_main(). Another variation is
to use stack:

int <applet>_main(...)
{
#undef G
	struct globals G;
	memset(&G, 0, sizeof(G));
	SET_PTR_TO_GLOBALS(&G);

Now you can reference "globals" by G.a, G.buf and so on, in any function.


		bb_common_bufsiz1

There is one big common buffer in bss - bb_common_bufsiz1. It is a much
earlier mechanism to reduce bss usage. Each applet can use it for
its needs. Library functions are prohibited from using it.

'G.' trick can be done using bb_common_bufsiz1 instead of malloced buffer:

#define G (*(struct globals*)&bb_common_bufsiz1)

Be careful, though, and use it only if globals fit into bb_common_bufsiz1.
Since bb_common_bufsiz1 is BUFSIZ + 1 bytes long and BUFSIZ can change
from one libc to another, you have to add compile-time check for it:

if (sizeof(struct globals) > sizeof(bb_common_bufsiz1))
	BUG_<applet>_globals_too_big();


		Drawbacks

You have to initialize it by hand. xzalloc() can be helpful in clearing
allocated storage to 0, but anything more must be done by hand.

All global variables are prefixed by 'G.' now. If this makes code
less readable, use #defines:

#define dev_fd (G.dev_fd)
#define sector (G.sector)


		Finding non-shared duplicated strings

strings busybox | sort | uniq -c | sort -nr


		gcc's data alignment problem

The following attribute added in vi.c:

static int tabstop;
static struct termios term_orig __attribute__ ((aligned (4)));
static struct termios term_vi __attribute__ ((aligned (4)));

reduces bss size by 32 bytes, because gcc sometimes aligns structures to
ridiculously large values. asm output diff for above example:

 tabstop:
        .zero   4
        .section        .bss.term_orig,"aw",@nobits
-       .align 32
+       .align 4
        .type   term_orig, @object
        .size   term_orig, 60
 term_orig:
        .zero   60
        .section        .bss.term_vi,"aw",@nobits
-       .align 32
+       .align 4
        .type   term_vi, @object
        .size   term_vi, 60

gcc doesn't seem to have options for altering this behaviour.

gcc 3.4.3 and 4.1.1 tested:
char c = 1;
// gcc aligns to 32 bytes if sizeof(struct) >= 32
struct {
    int a,b,c,d;
    int i1,i2,i3;
} s28 = { 1 };    // struct will be aligned to 4 bytes
struct {
    int a,b,c,d;
    int i1,i2,i3,i4;
} s32 = { 1 };    // struct will be aligned to 32 bytes
// same for arrays
char vc31[31] = { 1 }; // unaligned
char vc32[32] = { 1 }; // aligned to 32 bytes

-fpack-struct=1 reduces alignment of s28 to 1 (but probably
will break layout of many libc structs) but s32 and vc32
are still aligned to 32 bytes.

I will try to cook up a patch to add a gcc option for disabling it.
Meanwhile, this is where it can be disabled in gcc source:

gcc/config/i386/i386.c
int
ix86_data_alignment (tree type, int align)
{
#if 0
  if (AGGREGATE_TYPE_P (type)
       && TYPE_SIZE (type)
       && TREE_CODE (TYPE_SIZE (type)) == INTEGER_CST
       && (TREE_INT_CST_LOW (TYPE_SIZE (type)) >= 256
           || TREE_INT_CST_HIGH (TYPE_SIZE (type))) && align < 256)
    return 256;
#endif

Result (non-static busybox built against glibc):

# size /usr/srcdevel/bbox/fix/busybox.t0/busybox busybox
   text    data     bss     dec     hex filename
 634416    2736   23856  661008   a1610 busybox
 632580    2672   22944  658196   a0b14 busybox_noalign



		Keeping code small

Use scripts/bloat-o-meter to check whether introduced changes
didn't generate unnecessary bloat. This script needs unstripped binaries
to generate a detailed report. To automate this, just use
"make bloatcheck". It requires busybox_old binary to be present,
use "make baseline" to generate it from unmodified source, or
copy busybox_unstripped to busybox_old before modifying sources
and rebuilding.

Set CONFIG_EXTRA_CFLAGS="-fno-inline-functions-called-once",
produce "make bloatcheck", see the biggest auto-inlined functions.
Now, set CONFIG_EXTRA_CFLAGS back to "", but add NOINLINE
to some of these functions. In 1.16.x timeframe, the results were
(annotated "make bloatcheck" output):

function             old     new   delta
expand_vars_to_list    -    1712   +1712 win
lzo1x_optimize         -    1429   +1429 win
arith_apply            -    1326   +1326 win
read_interfaces        -    1163   +1163 loss, leave w/o NOINLINE
logdir_open            -    1148   +1148 win
check_deps             -    1148   +1148 loss
rewrite                -    1039   +1039 win
run_pipe             358    1396   +1038 win
write_status_file      -    1029   +1029 almost the same, leave w/o NOINLINE
dump_identity          -     987    +987 win
mainQSort3             -     921    +921 win
parse_one_line         -     916    +916 loss
summarize              -     897    +897 almost the same
do_shm                 -     884    +884 win
cpio_o                 -     863    +863 win
subCommand             -     841    +841 loss
receive                -     834    +834 loss

855 bytes saved in total.

scripts/mkdiff_obj_bloat may be useful to automate this process: run
"scripts/mkdiff_obj_bloat NORMALLY_BUILT_TREE FORCED_NOINLINE_TREE"
and select modules which shrank.