The "official" version of opensnoop that uses eBPF is written in Python, as it leverages the Python bindings from the BCC toolkit to dynamically generate the eBPF program at runtime by populating a template of C code and compiling it on the fly into eBPF instructions.
This version of opensnoop differs slightly, as it uses the BCC toolkit to generate a template for the eBPF program (as an array of eBPF instructions) at build time that can be populated directly in C. Advantages:
- This implementation uses only libbpf at runtime whereas the original uses libbcc, which is a much larger dependency.
- Compared to the Python version, it eliminates some code that has to be duplicated between the Python code and C code template.
- It eliminates an extra division done in the eBPF program due to the limits of numeric precision in Python.
- Perhaps the most important difference (and the most subjective) is
that this standalone version is simpler, which makes it easier to
see what is going on. For example, because it is pure C, you can step
through the entire program using
gdb. Similarly, an
straceof the pure C version is much cleaner compared to the original verison. When I first tried to understand how opensnoop worked, I had to navigate through several layers of code: the Python bindings for BCC, libbcc, and libbpf. In this implementation, you only need to worry about what libbpf is doing. Once you understand that, go back and see how those other layers make it easier to create tools that use eBPF.
To build the program from scratch, you must have the BCC toolkit installed:
$ ./build.sh $ sudo ./opensnoop
If you want to leverage the existing code that was generated from BCC (the generated code is checked into the repo to make it easier for others to study and to build), then you can just do:
$ clang opensnoop.c -O3 -o opensnoop /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libbpf.so $ sudo ./opensnoop
In both cases, the version of libbpf/libbcc that you use should be built from https://github.com/iovisor/bcc/commit/0354d767bbd3e30c6a9d4599d0fd07fee8f1337e or later because that includes a critical fix that I landed to make this code simpler to build.
Because the source code embeds the value of
<linux/version.h> into the final binary, a version that you build on
your machine will not work on a colleague's machine if they are not running
the exact same version of the kernel.