Document the live detach command
[lttng-tools.git] / doc / live-reading-protocol.txt
1 LTTng Live trace reading protocol
2
3 Julien Desfossez
4 February 6th, 2014
5
6 This document describes the protocol of live trace reading. It is mainly
7 intended for trace-viewer developers.
8
9 Live trace reading allows a viewer to read safely a LTTng trace while it is
10 being recorded. The protocol ensures that the viewer is never in a position
11 where it can read for which it does not have the metadata, and also allows to
12 viewer to know about inactive streams and skip those up to a certain point in
13 time.
14
15 This feature is implemented starting at lttng-tools 2.4
16
17 * General informations
18 All the data structures required to implement this protocole are provided in
19 the lttng-viewer-abi.h header. All integer are encoded in big endian during the
20 transfer.
21
22 Just like the streaming protocol, this protocol works always in only one
23 direction : from the viewer to the relay. After each command, the relay sends a
24 reply to the viewer (or closes the connection on fatal error).
25
26 When the viewer sends a command to the relay, it sends a struct
27 lttng_viewer_cmd which contains the command (enum lttcomm_relayd_command) and
28 the size of the actual command if the command requires a payload.
29 For example, if the viewer wants to list the sessions, it sends a struct
30 lttng_viewer_cmd with :
31 cmd = htobe32(VIEWER_CONNECT);
32 data_size = htobe64(sizeof(struct lttng_viewer_connect));
33
34 The cmd_version is currently unused, but might get useful when we extend the
35 protocol later.
36
37 * Protocol sequence
38 In this section, we describe the normal sequence of event during a live-reading
39 session. The viewer is abbreviated V and the relay R for conciseness.
40
41 Establishing a connection :
42 - V connects to R on port TCP/5344
43 - V establishes a session by sending a VIEWER_CONNECT command, payload in
44 struct lttng_viewer_connect. In this struct, it sets its major and minor
45 version of the protocol it implements, and the type of connection it wants,
46 for now only VIEWER_CLIENT_COMMAND is supported.
47 - If the protocol implemented by V and R are compatible, R sends back the same
48 struct with its own version and the newly assigned viewer_session_id.
49 Protocols are compatible if they have the same major number. At this point,
50 if the communication continues and the minor are not the same, it is implied
51 that the two processes will use the min(minor) of the protocol during this
52 connection. Protocol versions follow lttng-tools version, so if R implements
53 the 2.5 protocol and V implements the 2.4 protocol, R will use the 2.4
54 protocol for this connection.
55
56 List the sessions :
57 Once V and R agree on a protocol, V can start interacting with R. The first
58 thing to do is list the sessions currently active on R.
59 - V sends the command VIEWER_LIST_SESSIONS with no payload (data_size ignored)
60 - R sends back a struct lttng_viewer_list_sessions which contains the number of
61 sessions to receive, and then for each session (sessions_count), it sends a
62 struct lttng_viewer_session
63 - V must first receive the struct lttng_viewer_list_sessions and then receive
64 all the lttng_viewer_session structs. The live_timer corresponds to the value
65 set by the user who created the tracing session, if it is 0, the session
66 cannot be read in live. This timer in microseconds is the minimum rate at
67 which R receives information about the running session. The "clients" field
68 contains the number of connected clients to this session, for now only one
69 client at a time can attach to session.
70
71 Attach to a session :
72 Now V can select and attach one or multiple session IDs, but first, it needs to
73 create a viewer_session. Creating a viewer session is done by sending the
74 command LTTNG_VIEWER_CREATE_SESSION. In the future, this would be the place
75 where we could specify options global to the viewer session.
76 Once the session is created, the viewer can issue one or multiple
77 VIEWER_ATTACH_SESSION commands with the session_id it wants. The "seek"
78 parameter allows the viewer to attach to a session from its beginning (it will
79 receive all trace data still on the relayd) or from now (data will be available
80 to read starting at the next packet received on the relay). The viewer can
81 issue this command multiple times and at any moment in the process.
82 R replies with a struct lttng_viewer_attach_session_response with a status and
83 the number of streams currently active in this session. Then, for each stream,
84 it sends a struct lttng_viewer_stream. Just like with the session list, V must
85 receive the first header and then all the stream structs. The ctf_trace_id
86 parameter in the struct lttng_viewer_stream is particularly important since it
87 allows the viewer to match all the streams belonging to the same CTF trace (so
88 one metadata file and multiple stream files). If the stream is a metadata
89 stream, metadata_flag will be set to 1.
90 The relay ensures that it sends only ready ctf traces, so once this command is
91 complete, V knows that it has all the streams ready to be processed.
92 A quick note about the "sessions": from the relay perspective we see one
93 session for each domain (kernel, ust32, ust64) of a session as created on the
94 sessiond. For example, if the user creates a session and adds events in the
95 kernel and UST and has only 64-bit applications running, the relay sees two
96 sessions with the same name and hostname. So in order to display a session as
97 seen by the user, the viewer has to attach to all the sessions with the same
98 hostname and session name. There might be clashes if two servers on the network
99 have the same hostname and create the same session name, but the relay cannot
100 distinguish these cases, so it is currently a known limitation.
101 During a session, new streams might get added (especially in per-pid tracing)
102 so the viewer must be ready to add new streams while processing the trace. To
103 inform V that new streams are available, R sets the
104 LTTNG_VIEWER_FLAG_NEW_STREAM flag on LTTNG_VIEWER_GET_NEXT_INDEX and
105 LTTNG_VIEWER_GET_PACKET replies. The viewer must then issue the
106 LTTNG_VIEWER_GET_NEW_STREAMS command and receive all the streams, just like
107 with the attach command.
108
109 #### below needs to be well written, but the essential is here ###
110
111 Get metadata :
112 A CTF trace cannot be read without the complete metadata.
113 Send the command VIEWER_GET_METADATA and the struct lttng_viewer_get_metadata.
114
115 Once we have all the metadata, we can start processing the trace. In order to
116 do that, we work with the indexes. Whenever we need to read a new packet from a
117 stream, we first ask for the next index for this stream and then ask for a
118 trace packet at a certain offset and length.
119
120 Get the next index :
121 Command VIEWER_GET_NEXT_INDEX
122 struct lttng_viewer_get_next_index
123 Receive back a struct lttng_viewer_index
124 We might also receive flags :
125 - LTTNG_VIEWER_FLAG_NEW_METADATA the viewer must ask new metadata
126 (LTTNG_VIEWER_GET_METADATA)
127 - LTTNG_VIEWER_FLAG_NEW_STREAM the viewer must get the new streams
128 (LTTNG_VIEWER_GET_NEW_STREAMS)
129
130 Get data packet :
131 Command VIEWER_GET_PACKET
132 struct lttng_viewer_get_packet
133 Receive back a struct lttng_viewer_trace_packet
134 We might also receive a LTTNG_VIEWER_GET_PACKET_ERR and some flags :
135 - LTTNG_VIEWER_FLAG_NEW_METADATA the viewer must ask new metadata
136 (LTTNG_VIEWER_GET_METADATA)
137 - LTTNG_VIEWER_FLAG_NEW_STREAM the viewer must get the new streams
138 (LTTNG_VIEWER_GET_NEW_STREAMS)
139
140 For the VIEWER_GET_NEXT_INDEX and VIEWER_GET_PACKET, the viewer must check the
141 "flags" element of the struct it receives, because it contains important
142 information such as the information that new metadata must be received before
143 being able to receive and read the next packet.
144 When new metadata is added during a session, the GET_NEXT_INDEX will succeed
145 but it will have the flag LTTNG_VIEWER_FLAG_NEW_METADATA, but the
146 GET_DATA_PACKET will fail with the same flag as long as the metadata is not
147 downloaded.
148
149 Detach from a session:
150 Closing the network connection detaches a client from all the sessions it is
151 currently attached to. It is also possible to detach from a specific session
152 without disconnecting by sending the LTTNG_VIEWER_DETACH_SESSION command. The
153 payload of this command is the session ID.
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