File: connections.txt

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				DMTCP Connections

This is intended as one of a series of informal documents to describe
and partially document some of the more subtle DMTCP data structures
and algorithms.  These documents are snapshots in time, and they
may become somewhat out-of-date over time (and hopefully also refreshed
to re-sync them with the code again).

This document is about connections.  In DMTCP, a connection
can be almost anything associated with a file descriptor.  For the most
part, at checkpoint time, the state is recorded by inspecting /proc/*/fd,
and the state is then restored at restart time.  As is often the case
in well-structured code, a single .h file provides a "conceptual map"
of the data structures and corresponding utilities.  In this case,
connectionmanager.h provides that conceptual map.

===
ConnectionList:

The file connectionmanager.h defines a class, ConnectionList.  This is
a singleton class, whose sole object is obtained by ConnectionList::instance().
At the heart of this object is an STL/C++ map (essentially, a hash array).
In STL notation, a hash entry is a key value pair, referred to
by "->first" for key, and "->second" for value.  One can think of
the hash array as if it were a linked list of key-value pairs.
iterator() will create a pointer to this linked list.  Think of an
iterator as a pointer to a node of the linked list.  The methods begin()
and end() will denote pointers to the first and last node of the linked list.

The erase() method will delete a node of the linked list.
As you would expect, if an iterator points to a linked list node, and you
erase it, then the iterator is now invalid.  Make a copy of the iterator when
it pointed to the previous element, before erasing the current element.

Alternatively, STL allows you to view an "STL map" as an array and use
subscript notation: "[]".  However, if you "erase" and entry of the array,
then all further indices into that array may be invalid.

In DMTCP, a ConnectionList is an "STL map" (similar to linked list)
of nodes of type Connection.  The Connection class is discussed later.

ConnectionList::scanForPreExisting() is a handy utility to
scan /proc/self/fd to populate a ConnectionList.  If you already know
the fd that you are interested in, use ConnectionList::retrieve()
or KernelDeviceToConnection::retrieve() to get the linked list node
(key-value pair) corresponding to that fd.

The code for ConnectionList::scanForPreExisting() and
KernelDeviceToConnection::handlePreExistingFd() in connectionmanager.cpp
is where /proc/self/fd is read.

Certain file descriptors (typically 0, 1, and 2, for stdin/stdout/stderr)
are "protected", and are handled specially.

===
ConnectionIdentifier:

Each connection has a unique DMTCP id, called a "connection identifier".
The file connectionidentifier.h defines the ConnectionIdentifier class.
A connection identifier is essentially a "unique pid" (a globally unique
description of a process over a distributed computation under DMTCP control),
and a separate unique id (conId) generated for each connection, and guaranteed
unique only within that particular process.  The conId is simply an integer
that is incremented for each new ConnectionIdentifier.

===
KernelDeviceToConnection:


You will also find a class, KernelDeviceToConnection, in connectionmanager.h.
Here, a "kernel device" just means a kernel construct.  It might be
a file, socket, pty, or other construct.  In contrast, a connection
refers to a file descriptor associated with that kernel construct.
As usual, for a single kernel device, there may be multiple file
descriptors (connections) to it, and some of those file descriptors
may or may not be shared among each other (through the use of dup/dup2).

For the inverse direction (connection to kernel device), note the
method fdToDevice() within this class.

===
Connection:

The Connection class is defined in connection.h.  The current connection
types are TCP, PIPE, PTY, FILE, STDIO, and FIFO.  Each connection type
also has a corresponding subclass of Connection:  TcpConnection, PtyConnection,
StdioConnection, FileConnection, FifoConnection

Given a Connection object connection,
connection.conType() will return the type.  Note especially the methods within
Connection:  preCheckpoint(), postCheckpoint() (elsewhere known as "restart"),
and restore(elsewhere known as "resume").  They refer to the three states
associated with checkpointing:  checkpoint (create disk image),
restart (restart process from checkpoint image on disk), resume
(resume original process after creating checkpoint image on disk).

Among the private attributes of a Connection are _id, _type, _fnctlFlags,
_fnctlOwner, _fcntlSignal, _restoreInSecondIteration.  Not all attributes
are use for all connection types.