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A set of toolchain to simplify the building and running eBPF program on kernels without native BTF support. It utilizes btfhub to drop the dependency of native BTF.

What's in it

This repo mainly contains three parts:

  • A shell script script/btfgen, which can be used to clone the btfhub repo, or create stripped btf based on the compiled eBPF program and pack the btf archives into .tar.gz
  • A Rust crate bpf-compatible-rs, which were used by eunomia-bpf to implement the unpacking and loading of the package that btfgen generated
  • A Rust crate bpf-compatible-sys and its C binding btf_helpers.h, which could be linked to other programs. It implements the unpacking and loading of the tar archive that btfgen generates. It can load tar archive either embedded into the executable, or provided by an external source. Used together with the btf_helpers.h, it can conveniently modify struct bpf_object_open_opts* and set the custom_btf_path.

Usage - Manually use the toolchain

Usually the prepare steps could only be run once.

Prepare - btfhub-archive

You will need a git repo like btfhub-archive, which contains prebuilt btf archive of various releases, archs, and kernels. We also provided a repo for demonstrating only (It contains a little number of kernel btf archives)

The repo should have the structure like:

|- ubuntu <ID in os-release>
|- ---- 22.04 <VERSION in os-release>
|- ---- ---- x86_64 <machine in uname>
|- ---- ---- ---- 5.15.0-71-generic.btf <kernel-release in uname>
  • Note: words in <> are explanation of the folder name.

Prepare - build bpf-compatible-sys

Run make in the bpf-compatible-sys folder. It will build libbpf_compatible.a for you, which is a static library used to linked to libbpf programs

Prepare - Use btfgen to fetch btfhub-archive

Run ./script/btfgen fetch to download the repo to ~/.cache/eunomia/btfhub. You can use BTFHUB_REPO_URL to override the repo url, or use BTFHUB_CACHE_DIR to override the local directory.

Write your kernel program

Since generating the btf tar requires the compiled kernel program, so you should provide that first.

Create a btf tar archive with btfgen

Run ./script/btfgen btfgen xxx.o -o min_core_btfs.tar.gz to pack the tailored btf archive into min_core_btfs.tar.gz. xxx.o is the name of the compiled kernel program.

Create a linkable object of the btf archive

Run ld -r -b binary min_core_btfs.tar.gz -o min_core_btfs_tar.o to generate a linkable min_core_btfs_tar.o. This file declares symbols named _binary_min_core_btfs_tar_gz_start and _binary_min_core_btfs_tar_gz_end, indicating the range of the embed tar.gz file

Write the userspace program with btf_helpers.h

Call int ensure_core_btf(struct bpf_object_open_opts*) before opening the skeleton.

For example:


    err = ensure_core_btf(&open_opts);
    if (err) {
        fprintf(stderr, "failed to fetch necessary BTF for CO-RE: %s\n", strerror(-err));
        return 1;

    obj = execsnoop_bpf__open_opts(&open_opts);
    if (!obj) {
        fprintf(stderr, "failed to open BPF object\n");
        return 1;

And call void clean_core_btf(struct bpf_object_open_opts*) before exiting. For example:


It can be directly done by calling clang <your_program> libbpf_compatible.a min_core_btf.tar.o

Usage - more simply

We have adapted the libbpf-bootstrap to the bpf-compatible toolchain. So there is a more simpler way: - Put your xxx.c (userspace space program) and xxx.bpf.c(kernel program) in the example/c folder, or directly modify an exist one - Add the name (xxx in the last row) to line 27 of example/c/Makefile, e.g APPS = bootstrap execsnoop xxx - Run make xxx in example/cs