Re: kernel helper modules parameters

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On Wed, Feb 08, 2012 at 04:49:07PM +0100, Jan Engelhardt wrote:
> On Wednesday 2012-02-08 16:16, Mr Dash Four wrote:
> >
> >> "ENOENT has many meanings, and iptables prints just one of them,
> >> which is potentially misleading."
> >>  
> > Thanks, this will be corrected I take it?
> Is this wording compatible enough with non-developers? :)
> diff --git a/libiptc/libiptc.c b/libiptc/libiptc.c
> index 42d9784..4106afe 100644
> --- a/libiptc/libiptc.c
> +++ b/libiptc/libiptc.c
> @@ -2730,7 +2730,10 @@ TC_STRERROR(int err)
>  	    { NULL, ENOPROTOOPT, "iptables who? (do you need to insmod?)" },
>  	    { NULL, ENOSYS, "Will be implemented real soon.  I promise ;)" },
>  	    { NULL, ENOMEM, "Memory allocation problem" },
> -	    { NULL, ENOENT, "No chain/target/match by that name" },
> +	    { NULL, ENOENT, "An object was not found. Check that the chain, "
> +	                    "target/match extension, and/or per-extension "
> +	                    "named object exists. Look at `dmesg` for "
> +	                    "reports about the latter." },

This makes sense to me.

We still need better (more fine grain) error reporting though. That's
one limitation that would be great to solve.

Probably the netlink interface will allow us to solve this.

>  	  };
>  	for (i = 0; i < sizeof(table)/sizeof(struct table_struct); i++) {
> >>The reason you have to specify -p tcp is so that CT can take a
> >>reference to the particular helper instance (which is identified
> >>by name, L3 family, _and_ L4 family) and/or load a module that
> >>does provide such instances, respectively.
> >  
> >Is there a need for the L4 inclusion (seems that it causes the initial error
> >message)?
> I guess this is a relic of the past. Before we had the CT target, the 
> only way to assign packets to a helper was by port number.
> Without the L4proto number being part of what uniquely identifies a 
> helper instance (struct nf_conntrack_helper), you would not have been 
> able to have both a RFC959-compatible helper listening on 21/tcp and a 
> $my_own_fancy_protocol-understanding helper on 21/udp.
> With CT, this now looks moot to me like it does to you, since packets 
> can now be assigned via the awesome iptables logic, and the 
> nf_conntrack_tuple inside struct nf_conntrack_helper basically goes 
> unused.
> Let's hear what Pablo (cc'd) has to say.

I think we can get rid of it once we remove the current conntrack
helper behaviour. We've discussed this before, and after Eric report
on the correct use of the conntrack helper, we need to make them fully
configurable through iptables, not through kernel module parameters.

Still, __nf_conntrack_helper_find seems to require the layer 4
protocol to look up for the helper if the CT target is not used (ie.
the default helper behaviour that we had since the very beginning).

We can plan to send a patch to warn that helper default behaviour is
deprecated in favour of the CT target, and that it will be removed
soon. Then, remove it in the near future (couple of years or so...).
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