'libnvdimm' is the first driver sub-system in the kernel to implement
mocking for unit test coverage. The nfit_test module gets built as an
external module and arranges for external module replacements of nfit,
libnvdimm, nd_pmem, and nd_blk. These replacements use the linker
--wrap option to redirect calls to ioremap() + request_mem_region() to
custom defined unit test resources. The end result is a fully
functional nvdimm_bus, as far as userspace is concerned, but with the
capability to perform otherwise destructive tests on emulated resources.
Q: Why not use QEMU for this emulation?
QEMU is not suitable for unit testing. QEMU's role is to faithfully
emulate the platform. A unit test's role is to unfaithfully implement
the platform with the goal of triggering bugs in the corners of the
sub-system implementation. As bugs are discovered in platforms, or the
sub-system itself, the unit tests are extended to backstop a fix with a
reproducer unit test.
Another problem with QEMU is that it would require coordination of 3
software projects instead of 2 (kernel + libndctl ) to maintain and
execute the tests. The chances for bit rot and the difficulty of
getting the tests running goes up non-linearly the more components
Q: Why submit this to the kernel tree instead of external modules in
Simple, to alleviate the same risk that out-of-tree external modules
face. Updates to drivers/nvdimm/ can be immediately evaluated to see if
they have any impact on tools/testing/nvdimm/.
Q: What are the negative implications of merging this?
It is a unique maintenance burden because the purpose of mocking an
interface to enable a unit test is to purposefully short circuit the
semantics of a routine to enable testing. For example
__wrap_ioremap_cache() fakes the pmem driver into "ioremap()'ing" a test
resource buffer allocated by dma_alloc_coherent(). The future
maintenance burden hits when someone changes the semantics of
ioremap_cache() and wonders what the implications are for the unit test.
Cc: Lv Zheng <email@example.com>
Cc: Robert Moore <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: Rafael J. Wysocki <email@example.com>
Cc: Christoph Hellwig <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Signed-off-by: Dan Williams <email@example.com>