Link phosphor-hostlogger and bmcweb

Ed Tanous edtanous at
Sat May 22 03:23:55 AEST 2021

On Thu, May 20, 2021 at 11:10 PM Artem Senichev <artemsen at> wrote:
> On Thu, May 20, 2021 at 04:29:09PM -0700, Nan Zhou wrote:
> > Hi all,
> >
> > In the previous thread (
> >, we
> > (engineers from Google and Quanta) discussed our attempt to share host
> > serial logs via Redfish, which includes polling logs via LogService and
> > streaming log bytes via EventService (e.g. SSE). We went with the event log
> > architecture
> > <>
> > and did the implementation.
> >
> > We still want to reuse the phosphor-hostlogger and do some modification. We
> > believe it is better to try to reuse existing codes if possible and improve
> > them rather than creating new things that have similar functionalities (in
> > our case, it is a daemon that could collect logs and persist them).
> I agree, reusing code is a right choice, but only when it is really possible.
> For now it looks like you want to remove most of the Hostlogger features to
> transform it from buffer-like to stream-like service.

I'm not quite following this statement.  Which features are getting
removed?  From what I can see, he's suggesting making
phosphor-hostlogger look more like a well-behaved linux logging
daemon, but I don't think any features got omitted (or I'm missing
something critical).

> > We want to do the following modification in phosphor-hostlogger (from the
> > input and output point of view, just very few things will be changed)
> >
> > 1. One limitation of phosphor-hostlogger is that it will lose data in the
> > memory (the ring buffer maintained by hostlogger) when BMC gets force
> > restarted;
> When BMC goes to reboot it stops all services, at that moment hostlogger gets
> a signal and flushes all gathered logs to a file.

Only if the reboot is planned.  If the BMC loses power (which is
"normal" for a bmc) there isn't time to persist to flash before the
power goes down and the logs are most likely lost.

> > we propose to remove the ring buffer and write to the log file
> > as soon as some characters are received.
> I am not sure it is a good idea.
> The host can generate a lot of logs, but we have very limited free space.

This is a fair concern, but wouldn't the rollover limits make this not
an issue?  They seem like they could be easily configured.

> In
> addition, such heavy traffic will lead to a quick breakdown of the flash (most
> available products are guaranteed to withstand around 100,000 P/E cycles only).

JFFS2 is wear leveled, and there are other BMC stacks that I know of
that implement this without any ill effects to flash longevity, with
that said, if Nan made the "last log on disk" feature configurable,
would that alleviate your concerns?

> > This implicitly removes the needs
> > of the ring buffer, and the persistence triggering (host reboot, sigterm,
> > etc) in hostlogger. We believe this keeps the same functionality but saves
> > hundreds of lines of codes in phosphor-hostlogger.

Difference of opinion here, I don't think this removes the need for
the host reboot event;  Having each reboot post to a different log
needs to be maintained, and I have to imagine that there's some sort
of sigterm handler still, although it becomes a lot smaller.

> You are suggesting to delete the buffer, DBus watcher, log rotate. How are you
> going to keep the same functionality if you remove everything related to it?

+1.  In the initial thought I didn't think we were removing any
functionality with this.  I had assumed the dbus watcher would remain,
and we would still have the log rotation behavior.  In reading through
Nans proposal I don't think these are getting removed;  Maybe I

> > 2. We propose not to compress the latest log file. This saves us the
> > overhead of doing decompression when BMCWeb just needs to retrieve the most
> > recent logs. There are still going to be log rotations in the file level.
> > Files other than the latest log file are still going to be compressed. We
> > can modify existing codes to achieve this or use the linux logrotate
> > directly.
> >
> > Furthermore, we will add host serial logs into BMCWeb, both LogService and
> > EventService. In LogService, we will teach BMCWeb how to read the latest
> > log file that is not compressed and the other compressed old logs, and how
> > to assemble LogEntries out of raw serial logs. We will discuss EventService
> > in future threads but the very initial idea is to setup inotify on log
> > files and SSE to stream out new bytes to clients (like what the existing
> > event logging is doing).
> >
> > As we said above, for phosphor-hostlogger, the input is still the
> > obmc-server unix socket, and the output are still persisted log files. But
> > the functionality will get improved (less data loss), code gets simplified
> > (no ring buffer and persistence triggering), and it will become easier and
> > more performant to get BMCWeb hooked up for log streaming via Redfish.
> >
> > Please let us know what you think. We appreciate any feedback. Thank you
> > very much!
> >
> > Sincerely,
> > Nan
> --
> Regards,
> Artem Senichev
> Software Engineer, YADRO.

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