llvm.org GIT mirror llvm / release_31 docs / ExceptionHandling.html
release_31

Tree @release_31 (Download .tar.gz)

ExceptionHandling.html @release_31raw · history · blame

  1
  2
  3
  4
  5
  6
  7
  8
  9
 10
 11
 12
 13
 14
 15
 16
 17
 18
 19
 20
 21
 22
 23
 24
 25
 26
 27
 28
 29
 30
 31
 32
 33
 34
 35
 36
 37
 38
 39
 40
 41
 42
 43
 44
 45
 46
 47
 48
 49
 50
 51
 52
 53
 54
 55
 56
 57
 58
 59
 60
 61
 62
 63
 64
 65
 66
 67
 68
 69
 70
 71
 72
 73
 74
 75
 76
 77
 78
 79
 80
 81
 82
 83
 84
 85
 86
 87
 88
 89
 90
 91
 92
 93
 94
 95
 96
 97
 98
 99
100
101
102
103
104
105
106
107
108
109
110
111
112
113
114
115
116
117
118
119
120
121
122
123
124
125
126
127
128
129
130
131
132
133
134
135
136
137
138
139
140
141
142
143
144
145
146
147
148
149
150
151
152
153
154
155
156
157
158
159
160
161
162
163
164
165
166
167
168
169
170
171
172
173
174
175
176
177
178
179
180
181
182
183
184
185
186
187
188
189
190
191
192
193
194
195
196
197
198
199
200
201
202
203
204
205
206
207
208
209
210
211
212
213
214
215
216
217
218
219
220
221
222
223
224
225
226
227
228
229
230
231
232
233
234
235
236
237
238
239
240
241
242
243
244
245
246
247
248
249
250
251
252
253
254
255
256
257
258
259
260
261
262
263
264
265
266
267
268
269
270
271
272
273
274
275
276
277
278
279
280
281
282
283
284
285
286
287
288
289
290
291
292
293
294
295
296
297
298
299
300
301
302
303
304
305
306
307
308
309
310
311
312
313
314
315
316
317
318
319
320
321
322
323
324
325
326
327
328
329
330
331
332
333
334
335
336
337
338
339
340
341
342
343
344
345
346
347
348
349
350
351
352
353
354
355
356
357
358
359
360
361
362
363
364
365
366
367
368
369
370
371
372
373
374
375
376
377
378
379
380
381
382
383
384
385
386
387
388
389
390
391
392
393
394
395
396
397
398
399
400
401
402
403
404
405
406
407
408
409
410
411
412
413
414
415
416
417
418
419
420
421
422
423
424
425
426
427
428
429
430
431
432
433
434
435
436
437
438
439
440
441
442
443
444
445
446
447
448
449
450
451
452
453
454
455
456
457
458
459
460
461
462
463
464
465
466
467
468
469
470
471
472
473
474
475
476
477
478
479
480
481
482
483
484
485
486
487
488
489
490
491
492
493
494
495
496
497
498
499
500
501
502
503
504
505
506
507
508
509
510
511
512
513
514
515
516
517
518
519
520
521
522
523
524
525
526
527
528
529
530
531
532
533
534
535
536
537
538
539
540
541
542
543
544
545
546
547
548
549
550
551
552
553
554
555
556
557
558
559
560
561
562
563
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN"
                      "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
<html>
<head>
  <title>Exception Handling in LLVM</title>
  <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">
  <meta name="description"
        content="Exception Handling in LLVM.">
  <link rel="stylesheet" href="llvm.css" type="text/css">
</head>

<body>

<h1>Exception Handling in LLVM</h1>

<table class="layout" style="width:100%">
  <tr class="layout">
    <td class="left">
<ul>
  <li><a href="#introduction">Introduction</a>
  <ol>
    <li><a href="#itanium">Itanium ABI Zero-cost Exception Handling</a></li>
    <li><a href="#sjlj">Setjmp/Longjmp Exception Handling</a></li>
    <li><a href="#overview">Overview</a></li>
  </ol></li>
  <li><a href="#codegen">LLVM Code Generation</a>
  <ol>
    <li><a href="#throw">Throw</a></li>
    <li><a href="#try_catch">Try/Catch</a></li>
    <li><a href="#cleanups">Cleanups</a></li>
    <li><a href="#throw_filters">Throw Filters</a></li>
    <li><a href="#restrictions">Restrictions</a></li>
  </ol></li>
  <li><a href="#format_common_intrinsics">Exception Handling Intrinsics</a>
  <ol>
  	<li><a href="#llvm_eh_typeid_for"><tt>llvm.eh.typeid.for</tt></a></li>
  	<li><a href="#llvm_eh_sjlj_setjmp"><tt>llvm.eh.sjlj.setjmp</tt></a></li>
  	<li><a href="#llvm_eh_sjlj_longjmp"><tt>llvm.eh.sjlj.longjmp</tt></a></li>
  	<li><a href="#llvm_eh_sjlj_lsda"><tt>llvm.eh.sjlj.lsda</tt></a></li>
  	<li><a href="#llvm_eh_sjlj_callsite"><tt>llvm.eh.sjlj.callsite</tt></a></li>
  </ol></li>
  <li><a href="#asm">Asm Table Formats</a>
  <ol>
    <li><a href="#unwind_tables">Exception Handling Frame</a></li>
    <li><a href="#exception_tables">Exception Tables</a></li>
  </ol></li>
</ul>
</td>
</tr></table>

<div class="doc_author">
  <p>Written by the <a href="http://llvm.org/">LLVM Team</a></p>
</div>


<!-- *********************************************************************** -->
<h2><a name="introduction">Introduction</a></h2>
<!-- *********************************************************************** -->

<div>

<p>This document is the central repository for all information pertaining to
   exception handling in LLVM.  It describes the format that LLVM exception
   handling information takes, which is useful for those interested in creating
   front-ends or dealing directly with the information.  Further, this document
   provides specific examples of what exception handling information is used for
   in C and C++.</p>

<!-- ======================================================================= -->
<h3>
  <a name="itanium">Itanium ABI Zero-cost Exception Handling</a>
</h3>

<div>

<p>Exception handling for most programming languages is designed to recover from
   conditions that rarely occur during general use of an application.  To that
   end, exception handling should not interfere with the main flow of an
   application's algorithm by performing checkpointing tasks, such as saving the
   current pc or register state.</p>

<p>The Itanium ABI Exception Handling Specification defines a methodology for
   providing outlying data in the form of exception tables without inlining
   speculative exception handling code in the flow of an application's main
   algorithm.  Thus, the specification is said to add "zero-cost" to the normal
   execution of an application.</p>

<p>A more complete description of the Itanium ABI exception handling runtime
   support of can be found at
   <a href="http://www.codesourcery.com/cxx-abi/abi-eh.html">Itanium C++ ABI:
   Exception Handling</a>. A description of the exception frame format can be
   found at
   <a href="http://refspecs.freestandards.org/LSB_3.0.0/LSB-Core-generic/LSB-Core-generic/ehframechpt.html">Exception
   Frames</a>, with details of the DWARF 4 specification at
   <a href="http://dwarfstd.org/Dwarf4Std.php">DWARF 4 Standard</a>.
   A description for the C++ exception table formats can be found at
   <a href="http://www.codesourcery.com/cxx-abi/exceptions.pdf">Exception Handling
   Tables</a>.</p>

</div>

<!-- ======================================================================= -->
<h3>
  <a name="sjlj">Setjmp/Longjmp Exception Handling</a>
</h3>

<div>

<p>Setjmp/Longjmp (SJLJ) based exception handling uses LLVM intrinsics
   <a href="#llvm_eh_sjlj_setjmp"><tt>llvm.eh.sjlj.setjmp</tt></a> and
   <a href="#llvm_eh_sjlj_longjmp"><tt>llvm.eh.sjlj.longjmp</tt></a> to
   handle control flow for exception handling.</p>

<p>For each function which does exception processing &mdash; be
   it <tt>try</tt>/<tt>catch</tt> blocks or cleanups &mdash; that function
   registers itself on a global frame list. When exceptions are unwinding, the
   runtime uses this list to identify which functions need processing.<p>

<p>Landing pad selection is encoded in the call site entry of the function
   context. The runtime returns to the function via
   <a href="#llvm_eh_sjlj_longjmp"><tt>llvm.eh.sjlj.longjmp</tt></a>, where
   a switch table transfers control to the appropriate landing pad based on
   the index stored in the function context.</p>

<p>In contrast to DWARF exception handling, which encodes exception regions
   and frame information in out-of-line tables, SJLJ exception handling
   builds and removes the unwind frame context at runtime. This results in
   faster exception handling at the expense of slower execution when no
   exceptions are thrown. As exceptions are, by their nature, intended for
   uncommon code paths, DWARF exception handling is generally preferred to
   SJLJ.</p>

</div>

<!-- ======================================================================= -->
<h3>
  <a name="overview">Overview</a>
</h3>

<div>

<p>When an exception is thrown in LLVM code, the runtime does its best to find a
   handler suited to processing the circumstance.</p>

<p>The runtime first attempts to find an <i>exception frame</i> corresponding to
   the function where the exception was thrown.  If the programming language
   supports exception handling (e.g. C++), the exception frame contains a
   reference to an exception table describing how to process the exception.  If
   the language does not support exception handling (e.g. C), or if the
   exception needs to be forwarded to a prior activation, the exception frame
   contains information about how to unwind the current activation and restore
   the state of the prior activation.  This process is repeated until the
   exception is handled. If the exception is not handled and no activations
   remain, then the application is terminated with an appropriate error
   message.</p>

<p>Because different programming languages have different behaviors when
   handling exceptions, the exception handling ABI provides a mechanism for
   supplying <i>personalities</i>. An exception handling personality is defined
   by way of a <i>personality function</i> (e.g. <tt>__gxx_personality_v0</tt>
   in C++), which receives the context of the exception, an <i>exception
   structure</i> containing the exception object type and value, and a reference
   to the exception table for the current function.  The personality function
   for the current compile unit is specified in a <i>common exception
   frame</i>.</p>

<p>The organization of an exception table is language dependent. For C++, an
   exception table is organized as a series of code ranges defining what to do
   if an exception occurs in that range. Typically, the information associated
   with a range defines which types of exception objects (using C++ <i>type
   info</i>) that are handled in that range, and an associated action that
   should take place. Actions typically pass control to a <i>landing
   pad</i>.</p>

<p>A landing pad corresponds roughly to the code found in the <tt>catch</tt>
   portion of a <tt>try</tt>/<tt>catch</tt> sequence. When execution resumes at
   a landing pad, it receives an <i>exception structure</i> and a
   <i>selector value</i> corresponding to the <i>type</i> of exception
   thrown. The selector is then used to determine which <i>catch</i> should
   actually process the exception.</p>

</div>

</div>

<!-- ======================================================================= -->
<h2>
  <a name="codegen">LLVM Code Generation</a>
</h2>

<div>

<p>From a C++ developer's perspective, exceptions are defined in terms of the
   <tt>throw</tt> and <tt>try</tt>/<tt>catch</tt> statements. In this section
   we will describe the implementation of LLVM exception handling in terms of
   C++ examples.</p>

<!-- ======================================================================= -->
<h3>
  <a name="throw">Throw</a>
</h3>

<div>

<p>Languages that support exception handling typically provide a <tt>throw</tt>
   operation to initiate the exception process. Internally, a <tt>throw</tt>
   operation breaks down into two steps.</p>

<ol>
  <li>A request is made to allocate exception space for an exception structure.
      This structure needs to survive beyond the current activation. This
      structure will contain the type and value of the object being thrown.</li>

  <li>A call is made to the runtime to raise the exception, passing the
      exception structure as an argument.</li>
</ol>

<p>In C++, the allocation of the exception structure is done by the
   <tt>__cxa_allocate_exception</tt> runtime function. The exception raising is
   handled by <tt>__cxa_throw</tt>. The type of the exception is represented
   using a C++ RTTI structure.</p>

</div>

<!-- ======================================================================= -->
<h3>
  <a name="try_catch">Try/Catch</a>
</h3>

<div>

<p>A call within the scope of a <i>try</i> statement can potentially raise an
   exception. In those circumstances, the LLVM C++ front-end replaces the call
   with an <tt>invoke</tt> instruction. Unlike a call, the <tt>invoke</tt> has
   two potential continuation points:</p>

<ol>
  <li>where to continue when the call succeeds as per normal, and</li>

  <li>where to continue if the call raises an exception, either by a throw or
      the unwinding of a throw</li>
</ol>

<p>The term used to define a the place where an <tt>invoke</tt> continues after
   an exception is called a <i>landing pad</i>. LLVM landing pads are
   conceptually alternative function entry points where an exception structure
   reference and a type info index are passed in as arguments. The landing pad
   saves the exception structure reference and then proceeds to select the catch
   block that corresponds to the type info of the exception object.</p>

<p>The LLVM <a href="LangRef.html#i_landingpad"><tt>landingpad</tt>
   instruction</a> is used to convey information about the landing pad to the
   back end. For C++, the <tt>landingpad</tt> instruction returns a pointer and
   integer pair corresponding to the pointer to the <i>exception structure</i>
   and the <i>selector value</i> respectively.</p>

<p>The <tt>landingpad</tt> instruction takes a reference to the personality
   function to be used for this <tt>try</tt>/<tt>catch</tt> sequence. The
   remainder of the instruction is a list of <i>cleanup</i>, <i>catch</i>,
   and <i>filter</i> clauses. The exception is tested against the clauses
   sequentially from first to last. The selector value is a positive number if
   the exception matched a type info, a negative number if it matched a filter,
   and zero if it matched a cleanup. If nothing is matched, the behavior of
   the program is <a href="#restrictions">undefined</a>. If a type info matched,
   then the selector value is the index of the type info in the exception table,
   which can be obtained using the
   <a href="#llvm_eh_typeid_for"><tt>llvm.eh.typeid.for</tt></a> intrinsic.</p>

<p>Once the landing pad has the type info selector, the code branches to the
   code for the first catch. The catch then checks the value of the type info
   selector against the index of type info for that catch.  Since the type info
   index is not known until all the type infos have been gathered in the
   backend, the catch code must call the
   <a href="#llvm_eh_typeid_for"><tt>llvm.eh.typeid.for</tt></a> intrinsic to
   determine the index for a given type info. If the catch fails to match the
   selector then control is passed on to the next catch.</p>

<p>Finally, the entry and exit of catch code is bracketed with calls to
   <tt>__cxa_begin_catch</tt> and <tt>__cxa_end_catch</tt>.</p>

<ul>
  <li><tt>__cxa_begin_catch</tt> takes an exception structure reference as an
      argument and returns the value of the exception object.</li>

  <li><tt>__cxa_end_catch</tt> takes no arguments. This function:<br><br>
    <ol>
      <li>Locates the most recently caught exception and decrements its handler
          count,</li>
      <li>Removes the exception from the <i>caught</i> stack if the handler
          count goes to zero, and</li>
      <li>Destroys the exception if the handler count goes to zero and the
          exception was not re-thrown by throw.</li>
    </ol>
    <p><b>Note:</b> a rethrow from within the catch may replace this call with
       a <tt>__cxa_rethrow</tt>.</p></li>
</ul>

</div>

<!-- ======================================================================= -->
<h3>
  <a name="cleanups">Cleanups</a>
</h3>

<div>

<p>A cleanup is extra code which needs to be run as part of unwinding a scope.
   C++ destructors are a typical example, but other languages and language
   extensions provide a variety of different kinds of cleanups. In general, a
   landing pad may need to run arbitrary amounts of cleanup code before actually
   entering a catch block. To indicate the presence of cleanups, a
   <a href="LangRef.html#i_landingpad"><tt>landingpad</tt> instruction</a>
   should have a <i>cleanup</i> clause. Otherwise, the unwinder will not stop at
   the landing pad if there are no catches or filters that require it to.</p>

<p><b>Note:</b> Do not allow a new exception to propagate out of the execution
   of a cleanup. This can corrupt the internal state of the unwinder.
   Different languages describe different high-level semantics for these
   situations: for example, C++ requires that the process be terminated, whereas
   Ada cancels both exceptions and throws a third.</p>

<p>When all cleanups are finished, if the exception is not handled by the
   current function, resume unwinding by calling the
   <a href="LangRef.html#i_resume"><tt>resume</tt> instruction</a>, passing in
   the result of the <tt>landingpad</tt> instruction for the original landing
   pad.</p>

</div>

<!-- ======================================================================= -->
<h3>
  <a name="throw_filters">Throw Filters</a>
</h3>

<div>

<p>C++ allows the specification of which exception types may be thrown from a
   function. To represent this, a top level landing pad may exist to filter out
   invalid types. To express this in LLVM code the
   <a href="LangRef.html#i_landingpad"><tt>landingpad</tt> instruction</a> will
   have a filter clause. The clause consists of an array of type infos.
   <tt>landingpad</tt> will return a negative value if the exception does not
   match any of the type infos. If no match is found then a call
   to <tt>__cxa_call_unexpected</tt> should be made, otherwise
   <tt>_Unwind_Resume</tt>.  Each of these functions requires a reference to the
   exception structure.  Note that the most general form of a
   <a href="LangRef.html#i_landingpad"><tt>landingpad</tt> instruction</a> can
   have any number of catch, cleanup, and filter clauses (though having more
   than one cleanup is pointless). The LLVM C++ front-end can generate such
   <a href="LangRef.html#i_landingpad"><tt>landingpad</tt> instructions</a> due
   to inlining creating nested exception handling scopes.</p>

</div>

<!-- ======================================================================= -->
<h3>
  <a name="restrictions">Restrictions</a>
</h3>

<div>

<p>The unwinder delegates the decision of whether to stop in a call frame to
   that call frame's language-specific personality function. Not all unwinders
   guarantee that they will stop to perform cleanups. For example, the GNU C++
   unwinder doesn't do so unless the exception is actually caught somewhere
   further up the stack.</p>

<p>In order for inlining to behave correctly, landing pads must be prepared to
   handle selector results that they did not originally advertise. Suppose that
   a function catches exceptions of type <tt>A</tt>, and it's inlined into a
   function that catches exceptions of type <tt>B</tt>. The inliner will update
   the <tt>landingpad</tt> instruction for the inlined landing pad to include
   the fact that <tt>B</tt> is also caught. If that landing pad assumes that it
   will only be entered to catch an <tt>A</tt>, it's in for a rude awakening.
   Consequently, landing pads must test for the selector results they understand
   and then resume exception propagation with the
   <a href="LangRef.html#i_resume"><tt>resume</tt> instruction</a> if none of
   the conditions match.</p>

</div>

</div>

<!-- ======================================================================= -->
<h2>
  <a name="format_common_intrinsics">Exception Handling Intrinsics</a>
</h2>

<div>

<p>In addition to the
   <a href="LangRef.html#i_landingpad"><tt>landingpad</tt></a> and
   <a href="LangRef.html#i_resume"><tt>resume</tt></a> instructions, LLVM uses
   several intrinsic functions (name prefixed with <i><tt>llvm.eh</tt></i>) to
   provide exception handling information at various points in generated
   code.</p>

<!-- ======================================================================= -->
<h4>
  <a name="llvm_eh_typeid_for">llvm.eh.typeid.for</a>
</h4>

<div>

<pre>
  i32 @llvm.eh.typeid.for(i8* %type_info)
</pre>

<p>This intrinsic returns the type info index in the exception table of the
   current function.  This value can be used to compare against the result
   of <a href="LangRef.html#i_landingpad"><tt>landingpad</tt> instruction</a>.
   The single argument is a reference to a type info.</p>

</div>

<!-- ======================================================================= -->
<h4>
  <a name="llvm_eh_sjlj_setjmp">llvm.eh.sjlj.setjmp</a>
</h4>

<div>

<pre>
  i32 @llvm.eh.sjlj.setjmp(i8* %setjmp_buf)
</pre>

<p>For SJLJ based exception handling, this intrinsic forces register saving for
   the current function and stores the address of the following instruction for
   use as a destination address
   by <a href="#llvm_eh_sjlj_longjmp"><tt>llvm.eh.sjlj.longjmp</tt></a>. The
   buffer format and the overall functioning of this intrinsic is compatible
   with the GCC <tt>__builtin_setjmp</tt> implementation allowing code built
   with the clang and GCC to interoperate.</p>

<p>The single parameter is a pointer to a five word buffer in which the calling
   context is saved. The front end places the frame pointer in the first word,
   and the target implementation of this intrinsic should place the destination
   address for a
   <a href="#llvm_eh_sjlj_longjmp"><tt>llvm.eh.sjlj.longjmp</tt></a> in the
   second word. The following three words are available for use in a
   target-specific manner.</p>

</div>

<!-- ======================================================================= -->
<h4>
  <a name="llvm_eh_sjlj_longjmp">llvm.eh.sjlj.longjmp</a>
</h4>

<div>

<pre>
  void @llvm.eh.sjlj.longjmp(i8* %setjmp_buf)
</pre>

<p>For SJLJ based exception handling, the <tt>llvm.eh.sjlj.longjmp</tt>
   intrinsic is used to implement <tt>__builtin_longjmp()</tt>. The single
   parameter is a pointer to a buffer populated
   by <a href="#llvm_eh_sjlj_setjmp"><tt>llvm.eh.sjlj.setjmp</tt></a>. The frame
   pointer and stack pointer are restored from the buffer, then control is
   transferred to the destination address.</p>

</div>
<!-- ======================================================================= -->
<h4>
  <a name="llvm_eh_sjlj_lsda">llvm.eh.sjlj.lsda</a>
</h4>

<div>

<pre>
  i8* @llvm.eh.sjlj.lsda()
</pre>

<p>For SJLJ based exception handling, the <tt>llvm.eh.sjlj.lsda</tt> intrinsic
   returns the address of the Language Specific Data Area (LSDA) for the current
   function. The SJLJ front-end code stores this address in the exception
   handling function context for use by the runtime.</p>

</div>

<!-- ======================================================================= -->
<h4>
  <a name="llvm_eh_sjlj_callsite">llvm.eh.sjlj.callsite</a>
</h4>

<div>

<pre>
  void @llvm.eh.sjlj.callsite(i32 %call_site_num)
</pre>

<p>For SJLJ based exception handling, the <tt>llvm.eh.sjlj.callsite</tt>
   intrinsic identifies the callsite value associated with the
   following <tt>invoke</tt> instruction. This is used to ensure that landing
   pad entries in the LSDA are generated in matching order.</p>

</div>

</div>

<!-- ======================================================================= -->
<h2>
  <a name="asm">Asm Table Formats</a>
</h2>

<div>

<p>There are two tables that are used by the exception handling runtime to
   determine which actions should be taken when an exception is thrown.</p>

<!-- ======================================================================= -->
<h3>
  <a name="unwind_tables">Exception Handling Frame</a>
</h3>

<div>

<p>An exception handling frame <tt>eh_frame</tt> is very similar to the unwind
   frame used by DWARF debug info. The frame contains all the information
   necessary to tear down the current frame and restore the state of the prior
   frame. There is an exception handling frame for each function in a compile
   unit, plus a common exception handling frame that defines information common
   to all functions in the unit.</p>

<!-- Todo - Table details here. -->

</div>

<!-- ======================================================================= -->
<h3>
  <a name="exception_tables">Exception Tables</a>
</h3>

<div>

<p>An exception table contains information about what actions to take when an
   exception is thrown in a particular part of a function's code. There is one
   exception table per function, except leaf functions and functions that have
   calls only to non-throwing functions. They do not need an exception
   table.</p>

<!-- Todo - Table details here. -->

</div>

</div>

<!-- *********************************************************************** -->

<hr>
<address>
  <a href="http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/check/referer"><img
  src="http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/images/vcss-blue" alt="Valid CSS"></a>
  <a href="http://validator.w3.org/check/referer"><img
  src="http://www.w3.org/Icons/valid-html401-blue" alt="Valid HTML 4.01"></a>

  <a href="http://llvm.org/">LLVM Compiler Infrastructure</a><br>
  Last modified: $Date$
</address>

</body>
</html>