I'm having a tricky time diagnosing something that is going on in my
program and am hoping some of you might have used LLVM in a similar way
before. All of this is using LLVM 1.9 on Mac OSX. Here is our usage
Ok. A lot of changes have occurred since LLVM 1.9, but I'll try to help
1. Read in a program in a language we are designing
2. Transform it into LLVM IR using the llvm class hierarchy
3. Link this module to a set of support functions written offline
in C and compiled using the llvm compiler into LLVM IR bytecode
4. Construct a JIT execution environment for X86
5. Run the function
6. Destroy the execution environment, module, linker, etc. Note
this doesn't destroy all LLVM state as there are some things static to
classes such as the machine code emitters.
Right. In llvm mainline, you can use the llvm_shutdown() function to destroy all this state (it will auto resurrect itself if you start using it again). I don't think it existed fully in 1.9.
Under the hood, the JIT callbacks are occurring and are doing the native
compilation on the necessary support functions from the read-in
Okay. Another design point, if you're interested, is to not compile your runtime code to LLVM at all. Instead, you could just compile it to native code and link it into your app. Given this, you have two choices:
1. You can let the JIT autoresolve it in your address space. It defaults
to calling dlsym on the current process to find symbols it doesn't know
2. You can manually populate the mapping of LLVM function prototypes to
native functions with the ExecutionEngine::addGlobalMapping method.
This can be good if you're looking to reduce memory use and JIT time, but it won't work if your goal is to do things at runtime with these routines, like inline and optimize them into the code that is calling them.
The first few times this process is done, everything works
fine. Repeating this process for the same program and support-function
combination resulted in crashing on the second iteration.
Hrm, that's not good.
Stepping through the program got me as far as having it
1. Run through the whole process as described above with correct
2. In iteration #32, compile the primary function I want to run
3. Compiling the stub function to turn my primary function into a
4. Getting to the X86 JIT callback
5. Compiling the first support function via JITter
6. Entry into the first support function
7. Crashing somewhere before getting back to the next callback.
Specifically we get a "Program received signal: 'EXC_BAD_ACCESS'"
message and then loose all stack info. It won't break on the offending
instruction, only after the game is already lost.
Do you know if it is running out of code space to JIT into? Are you building with assertions on?
Another thing to try: if you are using lli, you can pass "lli -debug-only=jit <other args>" which will dump out information about the JIT as it runs (you can also pass -debug, to get tons of info).
You probably aren't using lli, and probably don't expose the llvm command line arguments through your app. However, you can still access it through a few different ways. One way is to call something like:
and then do "setenv LLVM_DEBUG_OPTIONS -debug-only=jit"
You can also cons up a fixed array of options and pass it to cl::ParseCommandLineOptions. This is what llvm-gcc does, for example.
Another useful option is "-print-machineinstrs" which dumps out code that is being constructed. You can then disassemble the generated code in GDB and see if it matches (i.e. if you suspect a JIT encoding bug).
Unfortunately, XCode is fairly uninformative when you step into code
you've just created, so you have to go on memory dumps, watching the
registers, and doing the disassembly in your head. Once it calls back
into the callbacks its brain resets and gives you a real debugging
Right. It's hard to say what is going on here. It could be the JIT miscompiling something (unlikely if it works the first time though), maybe it is running out of code space, maybe something else is happening.
I'd strongly suggest building LLVM with assertions, if you haven't already, and reducing the size of the input to the JIT if possible (to reduce the amount of generated code you have to step through).
I realize this description isn't effective as a repro-case, but I'm
dealing with a fairly large system and before I go about hacking things
apart to try and construct one I was hoping that some of you may have
had experience with this kind of thing. What tools do you all use to
deal with crashes like these? Is there a more robust alternative than
XCode for dealing with low level debugging with on-the-fly generated
code? Have many changes occurred between 1.9 in this area that I should
just abandon 1.9 in favor of the CVS sources?
There have been a ton of fixes and improvements in LLVM mainline. I don't know if it would make sense for you to upgrade. If you are early in the project, I would say yes, definitely upgrade. If you're late in the project, I'd say no.